President Donald Trump's daily COVID-19 press briefings included so much incorrect information that some journalists questioned the value of carrying the briefings live. Journalists noted the challenge of fact-checking and correcting his statements in real time.
NPR eventually stopped carrying the briefings live within its regular programming, and CNN's John King said a video that aired during one gathering was propaganda, leading some viewers to ask why the network carried the briefings.
The Shop Talk panelists believe the networks that stopped airing the briefings live made the correct choice, even though the briefings attracted a large audience (Trump called them ratings winners).
The panelists said the briefings did not contribute to the common good because they contained bad information and because Trump treated them as campaign events.
Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues. This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.