WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Shop Talk

Tri States Public Radio's weekly round table discussion of media related issues featuring News Director Rich Egger and fellow panelists Jasmine Crighton, News Coordinator for the Western Illinois University Department of Broadcasting, and Jonathan Ahl, General Manager for TSPR.

News outlets in recent years have reported on retail workers who are required to be on the job instead of getting to be with their families on Thanksgiving. Ironically, we hear those stories because reporters also work on Thanksgiving (and many other holidays) -- and without the same fuss.

President Barack Obama promised when he took office to be open and transparent, but his administration has been anything but open and transparent. Might reporters expect more of the same from the administration of President-elect Donald Trump?

A Tale of Two Photos

Nov 9, 2016

The Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times each ran front page stories and photographs about the Chicago Cubs' first World Series championship in 108 years. The Series was tight and competitive, but it wasn't much of a contest between the photos used by the newspapers.

Print editions of newspapers are getting thinner and thinner as more and more content is moved to online editions.  But it seems as though newspapers haven't yet decided on the best way to use the web.

Some protesters have been arrested in North Dakota and Iowa while demonstrating against the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline.  Some people who say they’re journalists have also been arrested, though the Shop Talk panelists wonder whether some of them are truly journalists or advocates.

Chevron started an online newspaper in Richmond, California, where the company processes crude oil in the largest refinery on the west coast.  And Davenport, IA, started its own taxpayer-funded news website, though the city recently dropped the project after it faced backlash from critics who considered it propaganda.

Spotting Fake News

Oct 11, 2016

The proliferation of news-related websites can make it difficult to differentiate between legitimate news sites and fake ones. 

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the use of Facebook Live to give audiences a behind-the-scenes look at what happens in a newsroom and/or during a live newscast.

Calling Out a Liar

Sep 27, 2016

As reported on NPR's Morning Edition last week, the New York Times is not mincing words when covering the campaign of Donald Trump. The newspaper is using the word "lie" often in its coverage of the Republican nominee for president.  

An article in Rolling Stone magazine says news outlets seem to be divided into two camps: one that reports bad news about Democrats and one that reports bad news about Republicans. 

What's in a Name?

Sep 13, 2016

The Newspaper Association of America is changing its name and getting rid of the reference to "newspaper," which apparently is considered an outdated term.  The group, which has been around since the late 1800s, is now known as the News Media Alliance, which describes itself as "the leading voice for the news media industry."

Poynter reports that one year after getting rid of its print edition, the student newspaper at a community college in California is making even more changes by splitting up what it offers. 

BuzzFeed News reports that to keep the contents of a faculty sexual assault investigation secret, the University of Kentucky intends to sue its own student newspaper.

The Student Law Press Center reported new state laws in Illinois, Maryland, and North Dakota provide new protections to college and high-school journalists.

A piece on the Columbia Journalism Review website suggested that just as Edward R. Murrow called out U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) for exploiting fear in the 1950s, journalists today should be pushing back against Donald Trump for exploiting fear – and that increasingly, reporters are doing just that.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss what it's like to cover appearances by presidents and nominees for president.  They also touch on whether they would take advantage of an opportunity to cover the Olympics.

The RTDNA reported Republican North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill that prevents the public from seeing police body camera video without a court order. 

The microphone this week was turned over largely to panelist Jonathan Ahl, who explained what it's like to cover one of the major political conventions.

FTVLive reported that Emily Mowers, the marketing director for television station WVEC in Norfolk, was upset because the news department did a story about the city's public service app, which was better than a similar app available from the station. So she sent a memo to reporters explaining how she thought they should do their jobs.

St Louis television station Fox 2 did an investigation into the police department for the suburb of Kinloch. The station found some police cars had not been registered with the state and the community had not insured the vehicles. 

More than five dozen newspapers across Illinois ran a rare front page editorial on June 29. Under the headline, "Enough," the editorial sharply criticized the governor and legislative leaders for failing to enact a budget for the entire fiscal year.

The Shop Talk crew previously discussed the case of Wendy Bell, an award-winning Pittsburgh TV news anchor who was fired after making racially insensitive comments on social media.  Bell is now suing to get her job back.  She says the comment would not have gotten her fired if she was black.

Waco, Texas television station KWTX was interviewing former Baylor University president and chancellor Ken Starr when Starr’s crisis management expert interrupted, pulled him aside, and then had the reporter re-ask a question so Starr could give a more polished answer.  The station decided to air (and post) the entire exchange, giving the audience a chance to see how the consultant’s advice altered Starr’s response.

Yahoo Finance reported on an editing decision made in the documentary "Under the Gun," which was co-produced by Katie Couric – an editing decision that itself has come under the gun.

Columbia Journalism Review reported on a new on-line feature section from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  It’s called "Aging Edge."  It is designed to appeal to older audiences, which is a change from the media's usual obsession with attracting younger audiences.

Editor & Publisher recently ran an article suggesting audiences might be feeling digital fatigue because of the vast number of on-line news sites.  The magazine said this might be an opportunity for print publications to re-establish themselves.

Reporters from six local television stations across the country were each recently offered a chance to interview President Barack Obama.  But there was a catch – they had to agree to ask a question about his U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss why businesses outside of journalism are interested in luring away reporters.  The panelists feel the skills required of journalists are attractive to those hiring for other types of positions.

It's generally looking like a good job market for college graduates this spring.  But what about for those who wish to be broadcast journalists?

In the rush to be first, several Chicago media outlets got it wrong when reporting on the sentence for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL).

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