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.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the case of a newspaper sports reporter in Massachusetts who was fired for including in his story a quote that made a couple local schools look bad.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss whether American journalists are doing a good job of reporting on the partial shutdown of the federal government.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the thinking that goes into the placement of stories on news media websites.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss research that found an increasing number of people feel journalists don’t contribute much to society’s well-being.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss surveys that show men run the vast majority of newsrooms in local radio and TV. The same is true of daily newspapers.

Macomb, IL – The panelists talk about the way the media in general covers the presidential nomination process.

A study by George Mason University found the number of stories about the primaries generally declined in recent decades on the evening network newscasts. It also found the vast majority of stories focus on the "horse race" rather than substantive issues.

Macomb, IL – The panelists talk about recent attempts to stifle coverage of potentially significant events.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss why some political candidates try to avoid the media.

An article in American Journalism Review takes Mitt Romney to task for his strategy of conducting few media interviews through much of the campaign (though he has granted more in the past month). The article points out Barack Obama chose in 2008 to avoid questions from Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss a recent push to loosen restrictions on ownership rules so that companies can have newspapers, radio stations, and television stations in the same market.

The National Association of Broadcasters filed the petition with the US Supreme Court. The NAB believes companies can improve their financial health by owning multiple news organizations - and that in turn will allow them to invest in more quality reporting.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss CNN's recent decision to fire around 50 staff members, including nearly a dozen photojournalists. The network based its decision on the increasing accessibility of cameras and the growth of citizen journalism.

Citizen journalism can be a useful resource for complementing the work of professionals. It can also provide video from places where a network journalist might not be when news breaks, such as a tornado.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss the role reporters should play in analyzing political ads. Many news stories about campaign ads focus on how effective the commercial is but don't explore whether it's truthful.

Panelist Bill Knight believes there is room for both types of coverage. He thinks the main focus should be on whether the ad is truthful. He thinks an ad's effectiveness should be the subject of a sidebar story.

Macomb, IL – The panelists examine why journalism and public relations programs at universities are often closely tied to together.

Journalists and public relations professionals are both in the business of disseminating information. But they have differing philosophies on how that information should be used.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss the challenges facing TV's nightly newscasts.

Viewership is still strong for the three major networks, though audience numbers have decreased over the years as the potential sources of news have increased. The around-the-clock news cycle means Americans no longer need to tune in to the nightly news for a digest of what happened in the world.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss media coverage of the scandal at Penn State University.

Former PSU football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is charged with 40 criminal counts of molesting young boys. Legendary head football coach Joe Paterno lost his job as a result of the scandal and the university president was also dismissed.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss the "First in Print" or "Only in Print" promotion touted by Gatehouse newspapers. The idea presumably is to sway on-line readers to buy a print copy of the newspaper.

The Shop Talk panelists feel this is a poor idea. They believe news organizations should integrate their stories between platforms rather than trying to compete with themselves by not offering some stories on-line.