WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Getting to Know Your Reporters

Jan 15, 2013

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.”

But Shop Talk panelist Lisa Kernek pointed out there should be limits. For example, reporters should not vote in primaries to avoid the appearance of favoring one party over others.

The panelists also discuss the controversy over an NPR piece on Kwanzaa. A new NPR reporter who was being interviewed about Kwanzaa was unable to answer a question about it.

Editors could have chosen to remove that part of the interview but instead allowed it to air. Was that a smart move on behalf of transparency or did that jeopardize the reporter’s credibility?