Shop Talk

Tri States Public Radio's weekly round table discussion of media related issues featuring News Director Rich Egger, WIU Broadcasting Professor Mike Murray and WIU Jounalism Professor Bill Knight.

In an article on the “Take Part” website, Eric Alterman wrote that public relations is killing journalism. Alterman pointed out there are now 4.6 public relations specialists in America for every one reporter. And those p.r. specialists make considerably more money on average than reporters.

The Baltimore Sun reported new Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's lawyer has urged agency heads and staff to stamp a claim of "executive privilege" -- the civilian equivalent of "top secret" -- on all their internal correspondence, emails and documents.

The FAA is now accepting public comments on its proposed regulations for the commercial use of drones.  Interest in the regulation is high among news organizations because drones are considered a potential new tool for reporters. However, it could be a year or more before the regulations are implemented and drones can be used for gathering news.

Stretching the Truth

Feb 17, 2015

The nightly newscasts on the TV networks draw a fraction of the audience they once did, but the fall of NBC lead anchor Brian Williams still sent shock waves through the industry.

Some news organizations have decided to drop their on-line comments section because of rude and/or offensive remarks.But in doing so they risk eliminating direct feedback from their audience.

The Indianapolis Star reported Indiana Governor Mike Pence planned to begin a media outlet called “Just IN.”

This would have been a website run by the state to break stories and disseminate information to news organizations.

It’s rare to find a news outlet that focuses exclusively on a single community.

Reporters are being asked to cover wider and wider areas at the same time many newsrooms are cutting back on staff.

Long-time Chicago media critic Robert Feder reported: “Phil Ponce isn’t just the host of WTTW-Channel 11’s “Chicago Tonight” anymore. From now on, he’s The Alexandra and John Nichols Chief Correspondent and Host for the public television station’s nightly news program.

“Marking a first in Channel 11’s 60-year history, Window to the World Communications has named an on-air host’s position in honor of a couple of major financial backers.”

Rage Against the Media

Jan 13, 2015

Physical and verbal attacks on the media got the attention of people around the globe last week.The horrific slaughter at the Paris offices of the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo received the most attention – as it should.

The correspondent seen most frequently on the network TV evening newscasts last year was the chief meteorologist for ABC.>The Associated Press reported that in the past five years, the evening newscasts just about doubled the amount of time spent on stories about weather and natural disasters.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton said people are attracted to weather-related stories, even if the story has no impact on their lives.  She said that might explain why more of those stories are showing up on the network newscasts.

Reporter Joseph Hosey will not be forced to reveal the source of a leak in a northern Illinois murder case.

The Associated Press reported appellate court judges reversed a lower-court ruling that ordered Hosey to name his source.

The McDonough County Health Department told reporters they would need to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain information about why the agency temporarily closed a restaurant in Macomb.

The gutting of newsroom staffs had a negative impact on local coverage of the fall elections.

That’s a conclusion from the article “A Big Election With Little Local Journalism” by David Sirota on the creators.com website.  He asks, “What if you held an election and nobody showed up to cover it? Americans have now discovered the answer: You get an election with lots of paid ads, but with little journalism, context or objective facts.”

Sexual abuse allegations have been made against show business legend Bill Cosby for more than a decade, yet little has been reported until recently.

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