WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Veteran Journalists Who Stay Put

Mar 18, 2014

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the value of institutional memory in newsrooms.

The issue is the subject of a story in Media Bistro, which looks at the problems caused when a news director leaves a TV station.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Garcia feels larger market stations can usually get by during a change in leadership because most of the anchors and reporters are veterans who know the community. Smaller market newsrooms, on the other hand, are typically staffed with younger reporters so they need someone in a leadership role who knows a bit about the community.

Panelist Lisa Kernek said journalists sometimes make the mistake of thinking they need to be in a large market to do great work.  She said they should always strive to do quality work and should focus less on chasing jobs.

Panelist Rich Egger said a recent story in McDonough County illustrates the value of institutional memory.  The story concerns a crash between a McDonough County Sheriff’s Department squad car and another vehicle during a high speed chase in 2004.  A recent appellate court ruling returned the case to the trial courts.  No other local news organizations picked up on the story, perhaps because none of them have any fulltime reporters on staff who were working in the region in 2004.