WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Shop Talk

Tri States Public Radio's weekly round table discussion of media related issues featuring News Director Rich Egger, WIU Broadcasting Professor Mike Murray and WIU Jounalism Professor Bill Knight.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss a change of heart by Newsweek magazine.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss whether it’s appropriate for a reporter to hug a news source.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss how Twitter is changing the way news is gathered and disseminated.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss why a news report about same-sex marriage might include video of two men kissing.

The Shop Talk panelists criticize NBC News for paying to gain exclusive rights to stories.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss a study by the Pew Research Center, which found younger Americans are barely increasing their news consumption as they grow older.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the case of a newspaper sports reporter in Massachusetts who was fired for including in his story a quote that made a couple local schools look bad.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss whether American journalists are doing a good job of reporting on the partial shutdown of the federal government.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the thinking that goes into the placement of stories on news media websites.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss research that found an increasing number of people feel journalists don’t contribute much to society’s well-being.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss surveys that show men run the vast majority of newsrooms in local radio and TV. The same is true of daily newspapers.

Macomb, IL – The panelists talk about the way the media in general covers the presidential nomination process.

A study by George Mason University found the number of stories about the primaries generally declined in recent decades on the evening network newscasts. It also found the vast majority of stories focus on the "horse race" rather than substantive issues.

Macomb, IL – The panelists talk about recent attempts to stifle coverage of potentially significant events.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss why some political candidates try to avoid the media.

An article in American Journalism Review takes Mitt Romney to task for his strategy of conducting few media interviews through much of the campaign (though he has granted more in the past month). The article points out Barack Obama chose in 2008 to avoid questions from Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss a recent push to loosen restrictions on ownership rules so that companies can have newspapers, radio stations, and television stations in the same market.

The National Association of Broadcasters filed the petition with the US Supreme Court. The NAB believes companies can improve their financial health by owning multiple news organizations - and that in turn will allow them to invest in more quality reporting.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss CNN's recent decision to fire around 50 staff members, including nearly a dozen photojournalists. The network based its decision on the increasing accessibility of cameras and the growth of citizen journalism.

Citizen journalism can be a useful resource for complementing the work of professionals. It can also provide video from places where a network journalist might not be when news breaks, such as a tornado.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss the role reporters should play in analyzing political ads. Many news stories about campaign ads focus on how effective the commercial is but don't explore whether it's truthful.

Panelist Bill Knight believes there is room for both types of coverage. He thinks the main focus should be on whether the ad is truthful. He thinks an ad's effectiveness should be the subject of a sidebar story.

Macomb, IL – The panelists examine why journalism and public relations programs at universities are often closely tied to together.

Journalists and public relations professionals are both in the business of disseminating information. But they have differing philosophies on how that information should be used.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss the challenges facing TV's nightly newscasts.

Viewership is still strong for the three major networks, though audience numbers have decreased over the years as the potential sources of news have increased. The around-the-clock news cycle means Americans no longer need to tune in to the nightly news for a digest of what happened in the world.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss media coverage of the scandal at Penn State University.

Former PSU football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is charged with 40 criminal counts of molesting young boys. Legendary head football coach Joe Paterno lost his job as a result of the scandal and the university president was also dismissed.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss the "First in Print" or "Only in Print" promotion touted by Gatehouse newspapers. The idea presumably is to sway on-line readers to buy a print copy of the newspaper.

The Shop Talk panelists feel this is a poor idea. They believe news organizations should integrate their stories between platforms rather than trying to compete with themselves by not offering some stories on-line.

Macomb, IL – The panelists talk about NPR's latest snafu -- this one involving "World of Opera" host Lisa Simeone.

The network tried to have Simeone fired for taking a leading role in the Freedom Plaza occupation in Washington DC. NPR has told employees they should not participate in political rallies.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss Iowa Governor Terry Branstad's plan to push for even more access to public records.

Branstad, who is a Republican, said he wants better enforcement of open meetings and open records laws. He says lobbyists representing local governments helped defeat the bill last year.

Branstad also announced all open records requests received by his office will be posted on-line. In addition, his office will detail each was resolved.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

They feel the mainstream media was slow to react to the protests, and panelist Mike Murray believes many news organizations continue to give short shrift to the movement. He compares the coverage to the way the media portrayed Vietnam War protesters during the late 1960s and early '70s.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss a $4.1 million Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant to American Public Media for expanding its network of "citizen sources."

The Associated Press reports the grant will be funded over two years. The money will be used to add 100,000 more people to APM to share information with more than 50 newsrooms. The "citizen sources" will help beef up coverage from courthouse and statehouses.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss an Illinois judge's ruling that the state's eavesdropping law is unconstitutional as applied to a particular case.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Michael Allison was accused of violating a city ordinance by fixing old cars on his front lawn. He faced up to 75 years in prison for recording conversations with police officers who he claimed were harassing him.

Macomb, IL – The panelists talk about the Online News Association and its annual conference.

American Journalism Review's article previewing the conference is headlined, "For the Online News Association, the Future Is Now." The article notes the phrase "future of" was banned at this year's conference.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss a federal court ruling on the Green Party's lawsuit against Chicago public television station WTTW.

The Green Party sued after WTTW chose not to include the party's candidates for governor and the US Senate in televised debates during the 2010 elections. The Green Party is recognized as an established political party in Illinois but the station only invited the Democratic and Republican party nominees.

Macomb, IL – The panelists talk about Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's decision to sign House Bill 1716, which rolls back some of the improvements made just a couple years ago to the state's Freedom of Information Act.

Quinn signed the 2009 reforms during a public ceremony. He signed the measure that weakens FOIA in private on a Friday afternoon.

Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss the consequences to communities when newspaper consolidation results in a few regional newspapers instead of local papers.

Panelist Bill Knight is concerned that such consolidations will harm small communities, much as they're harmed when the local post office or school closes. He thinks the change will impact news judgment.