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 Rich Moreno, adviser for the Western Courier.

Media Jobs = Low Pay

Mar 5, 2013

The Shop Talk panelists discuss a recent item on the Forbes website that lists reporters and announcers among the 13 surprisingly low-paid jobs.

The magazine used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It found the mean annual income for reporters and correspondents is $43,640. The bottom 10% make $20,000.

The mean annual income for radio and television announcers is $40,510. The bottom 10% make $17,150.

Digital vs Print

Feb 26, 2013

The Shop Talk panelists discuss an item from the Newsosaur blog titled Why Digital Natives Don’t Like Newspapers.

Panelist Lisa Kernek pointed out the younger generation prefers to travel lighter and they don’t want to be bogged down by large piles of newspapers or assets such as stacks of CDs.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss whether journalism is a profession that’s becoming dominated by elites.

The conversation was sparked by an MSNBC piece: How lower-income Americans are shut out of journalism. The article points out how future success in journalism can depend on attending the right college and making the right connections.  Such opportunities are not always available to those from low income backgrounds.

Nova & Drones

Feb 12, 2013

The Shop Talk panelists discuss complaints about a Nova special about drones that was underwritten by Lockheed Martin, which is a drone manufacturer.

Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) complained the situation violated PBS’s guidelines concerning sponsorship and conflicts of interest.

The panelists talk about the report, “The Future of Mobile News,” which is the subject of an article on the Journalists Resource website.

The panelists discuss recent concerns about a doctored photo posted to US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Flickr site.

A piece by the Radio Television Digital News Association reported that Pelosi gathered 57 of the 61 Democratic women now in Congress for a photo on the Capitol steps. By the time the image appeared on the Flickr site, the missing women had been included through the use of Photoshop.

The panelists discuss a newspaper’s decision to publish the names and addresses of gun permit holders.

The information is considered public record – the same as marriages, births, real estate transactions, etc. But The Journal News of Westchester County, NY, did not print the gun permit data until after the school shootings in Newtown, CT. The timing of the decision angered those who believe it cast gun permit holders in a negative light and violated their privacy.

The panelists discuss whether the audience deserves to know more about reporters – and how much information might be too much.

The New York Times covered the issue in a piece by Margaret Sullivan. She wrote, “Journalists can let readers get to know their backgrounds, their personalities and how they do their jobs.”  She also quoted the author David Weinberger, who said, “Transparency is the new objectivity.”

The panelists talk about plans by the Tribune Company to sell its newspapers – including the Chicago Tribune – and focus on its cable television network.

The report from Reuters said the company’s Board of Directors includes many former TV executives, who are expected to soon begin the process of selling most, if not all, of the Tribune-owned newspapers as the company emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The panelists discuss a Washington Post article about how local TV stations across the country end up broadcasting the identical story.

The panelists discuss whether media organizations should start using drones in their reporting, especially of breaking news.

Vince Duffy, Chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association, writes about drones in a recent column. He pointed out it is much cheaper to buy a drone than pay for a helicopter and pilot. The tool is already being used by some news organizations.

The panelists discuss a US Supreme Court ruling on whether people can record Illinois police officers performing their duties in public.

The AP reports the high court went along with a lower court ruling that found the state’s anti-eavesdropping law violates free speech rights when used against people who make audio recordings of law enforcement officers.

The panelists talk about the future of journalism, focusing on one particular start up that has enjoyed some success.

An article in Columbia Journalism Review labels This Land Press as “…perhaps the best for-profit local journalism startup in the country…” The article said This Land is on pace to turn a profit by next spring, just a couple years after it started.

The panelists talk about the challenges journalists face when so many public relations specialists are working to put their own spin on events.

The panelists discuss news coverage of the results of the 2012 presidential election.

Much of the discussion centers around Republican consultant and Fox commentator Karl Rove’s insistence on election night that Fox was jumping the gun by declaring President Barack Obama had won Ohio and thus earned enough electoral votes to be re-elected.

The panelists credit Fox for sticking with its projections – which proved to be correct. Ultimately reporting won out over partisan spin.

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