WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Watchdog Journalism & Gagging the Media

Aug 28, 2018

The Shop Talk panelists continue a discussion from a couple weeks ago regarding statehouse and investigative journalism.  The panelists also talk about a poll that found 43% of self-identified Republicans said that they believed "the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior." Only 36% disagreed with that statement.

Panelist Will Buss said he recently received some diversity training and it made him wonder if journalism comprehension training might be a good idea too. He said there seems to be a general misunderstanding of the media’s role and what reporters do.

Buss said allowing the president to gag the media would be unconstitutional.  He said journalism is a service that is crucial to democracy.

Panelist Jasmine Crighton fears some people believe journalists strive to sensationalize stories to grow the audience.  She said the journalists she’s known don’t think that way.

Crighton said Americans who are okay with gagging the media must be okay with gagging themselves because we’re all using the same amendment to exercise free speech.

Panelist Rich Egger said some people consider journalists to be enemies of the people. He thinks journalists are enemies of those who have something to hide. He said anyone who supports gagging the media should try living under an authoritarian regime for a few years.

Jasmine Crighton is News Director of NEWS3 at Western Illinois University and Will Buss is the Director of Student Publications at WIU.