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.

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.

Late last month, reporter Steve Majerus-Collins posted an article on his Facebook page explaining that he was quitting his job because, "The owner of my paper is guilty of journalistic misconduct of epic proportions."

Bernard Schoenburg of the State Journal-Register in Springfield reported the Illinois News Network is acquiring the Illinois Radio Network, which provides news reports to stations throughout the state.

It's the season of gift giving, so the Shop Talk crew discusses whether it's appropriate for reporters to accept gifts from the people they cover.

After the FBI finished going through the home of mass murderers Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the agency turned the property back over to the landlord. The landlord then opened it up to reporters, some of whom rummaged through the apartment on live television.

Brandon Smith gets credit for forcing the city of Chicago to release video that showed a police officer shooting unarmed teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.

In an article on its website, RTDNA said it and several other journalism organizations have written an open letter to musicians, calling on them to loosen restrictions on news photographers at concerts.

Demonstrations this month at the University of Missouri led to the resignation of University System President Tim Wolfe.  But the conduct of some protesters also became part of the story when they tried to muscle out reporters who were there to cover the event.

The Republican presidential candidates made demands recently concerning the format of debates and the questions asked.  They want more say over how the forums are handled.

Chris Ivanes joins the Shop Talk panel for this week’s discussion. Ivanes was a high school student in Romania when the Berlin Wall came down on November 9, 1989 and he remembers how the news spread through the Eastern bloc.

A contributing writer to NPR's website was caught plagiarizing.  Instead of trying to cover up the act, NPR posted a story about it. The story spotlights ten examples and includes links to the original material.

Nielsen is known for measuring TV ratings, which helps determine what shows air and how much money networks can charge for ads on programs.

The commercial radio group in Macomb, Regional Media, fired its news director and no longer has anyone covering city hall, police briefing, and other local beats.  While the move might improve the company's bottom line, it does nothing to serve the community it purports to cover.

Recent mass shootings in the U.S. led some journalists to declare they will not report the shooter's name in such cases.  There are concerns that naming a shooter could turn him/her into a celebrity and could inspire copycats.

Columbia Journalism Review recently ran a piece regarding the need for newsrooms to build stronger ties with their communities so they can do a better job determining  what local audiences expect. 

Broadcasting students at Western Illinois University are required to buy a Mac for writing and editing stories.  That got Shop Talk panelist Rich Egger wondering whether students might soon be required to own a smartphone, and if smartphones might be the wave of the future for professionals.

The first couple forums featuring the Republican presidential candidates seemed to be more about entertainment than informing voters.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss whether it's appropriate to use graphic images in news stories.

Last year, Jon Daniel of Peoria had his home raided, his property seized, and he was arrested after creating a Twitter account that spoofed the city's mayor.  Legal action ensued, and last week it was announced Daniel will be awarded a $125,000 cash settlement.

Reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward of WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia, died last week when they were shot and killed while doing a live story from a water park.  The woman they were interviewing was wounded.

Podcasts vs Broadcasts

Aug 25, 2015

There is a bit of a debate right now in the public radio world about whether a greater emphasis should be placed on podcasts rather than the radio.

A recruiting manager told Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton he would not hire someone she referred.  The reason?  "Questionable content" posted by the applicant on social media accounts.

The Shop Talk panelists share their thoughts on what young journalists need to know as they prepare for a job in the industry.

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