The panelists discuss proposals in several states to reduce or eliminate funding for public broadcasting.
The public media magazine Current reports such funding cuts are being discussed in Rhode Island, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Idaho, and Kansas. In addition, there has been talk about slashing funding for Iowa Public Television.
The panelists discuss the problems the Society of Environmental Journalists have encountered in recent years with the US EPA.
The SEJ says the federal agency asks for questions in writing ahead of time, it wants to know what kind of story the reporter is working on, and it's slow to respond to requests for information. The journalism group says the EPA rarely makes available the expert who could be most helpful with the story.
The panelists discuss a pair of plans to bring greater transparency to Illinois government.
One allows cameras and microphones in the state's trial courtrooms. Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride announced late last month he will allow the technology to be used on an experimental basis. The Illinois News Broadcaster's Association and other media groups have said for many years that this would be a way to improve coverage of the judicial system.
The panelists debate whether journalists should be concerned about news makers using social media to circumvent reporters.
The starting point for the discussion is a New York Times piece by David Carr, who wrote about Rupert Murdoch's use of Twitter. Murdoch has only recently started tweeting and has used the platform to sound off on a wide variety of topics.
Some journalists fear news makers will use social media to eliminate the middleman - ie, reporters - and simply distribute their thoughts and information directly to the audience.