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.

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).

The Poynter Institute reports that some journalism educators in Oregon want to prepare students to cover mass shootings. 

St Louis TV station KTVI recently announced it hired Sara Dayley to be a weekend anchor and reporter.  This is of interest to the Shop Talk panel because Dayley is also the public liaison for a public, tax-supported EMS and fire protection district. 

A study the American Press Institute recently completed for the Brookings Institution found that digital news consumers are interested in in-depth and enterprise reporting. That runs counter to the long-held belief that on-line stories should be short and to the point.

Wendy Bell, an award-winning journalist with WTAE-TV  (Pittsburgh) for 18 years, was fired for comments she made on Facebook about a mass shooting in a nearby community.

Cokie and Steve Roberts wrote a column late last month imploring the "rational wing" of the Republican Party to prevent Donald Trump from being its presidential nominee.  NPR later issued a release to clarify Cokie Roberts' role on the network, saying she serves as a commentator rather than a  journalist for NPR.

An article from The Poynter Institute said USA Today sports reporter Lindsay Jones was subjected to sexist, violent, and otherwise hateful emails and tweets after she asked a tough question during NFL quarterback Peyton Manning’s retirement news conference.  Jones inquired about sexual harassment allegations against Manning that recently resurfaced and date to his college days. 

This is Sunshine Week, which is a celebration of access to public information. The first Sunshine Week was held in 2005.  The Associated Press Media Editors said it takes place in mid-March to coincide with the March 16 birthday of James Madison, who was a key advocate of the Bill of Rights.

This week the Shop Talk panelists discuss how reporters are being treated as they try to cover this year’s presidential campaigns.

Radio and television coverage of courtrooms will continue in Illinois.  Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey reported that the state Supreme Court is satisfied with a four-year test of electronic media coverage of the state's trial courts.

A recent article in the New Yorker profiled the founder of TMZ, the organization that reports on celebrity gossip and entertainment news.  TMZ sometimes breaks stories that are of interest to a wider audience, which got the Shop Talk panelists discussing the quality of its work.

Many presidential debates have been held during this election cycle and no doubt there are many more to come.  But do they provide any value, and does the post-debate reporting inform voters?

A Missouri House committee discussed a bill that would reinforce first amendment rights for student journalists.  St Louis Public Radio's statehouse bureau reported the bill, which is called the Walter Cronkite New Voices Act, would require public schools and universities to grant student journalists the same degree of free speech they would to a professional journalist.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton said a student in one of her classes acknowledged mixing into a story a piece of sound that was not recorded at the scene.  That is sometimes referred to "unnatural sound."

Al Jazeera America announced it will shut down its TV operations in a few months. It might try to continue with a digital presence in the U.S.

The Associated Press reported state senators in Missouri ordered journalists off the Senate floor after some lawmakers complained their private conversations had been tweeted.

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