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.

Burned Out on Reporting

Apr 28, 2015

Research by a University of Kansas professor found journalism burnout is affecting women more than men.  Burnout factors include exhaustion, cynicism, and a perceived lack of support from their employer.

An RTDNA survey of news outlets found television stations say they are focusing more on investigative reporting.  The Shop Talk panelists consider that surprising.

Rolling Stone magazine last week retracted the story it ran last fall about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia.  The retraction was issued after the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism looked into the story (at the magazine’s request) and found numerous flaws.

Many news outlets report on crime.  Some even make regular trips to police stations to check on reports.  The Shop Talk panelists were asked the question: how do you handle it when one of your own reporters is arrested?

The alleged corruption by Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) was uncovered through the digging done by reporters.  The Shop Talk panelists say this story demonstrates once again why it's important to have fully funded and staffed newsrooms.

In an article for the RTDNA, former TV news director Forrest Carr refers to this as The Age of Shoddy in journalism.  He wrote that instead of fact checking, New Media advocates think it is okay to report rumors and then check for veracity.

This is the 11th annual Sunshine Week.  It was started as a way of promoting the need for open and transparent government.  It's observed by journalists and many others who keep tabs on public servants.

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.”