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.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the New York Times’ decision to do away with its environmental reporting “pod” and its “green” blog. The pod was a group of reporters and editors who focused solely on the environment.

Readers and critics have criticized the changes and the timing of the announcements – news of the blog’s demise was released on a Friday afternoon, which is a good time to release an announcement that you don’t want many people to hear.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the Pew Research Center’s 2013 State of the News Media report.

The study found newsroom staffs are shrinking, as are audiences. The RTDNA pointed out the survey discovered nearly one-third of news consumers have stopped turning to a particular new outlet because they were no longer getting the reporting they were accustomed to.

The panelists discuss whether public information officers help disseminate information or get in the way.

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.

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