WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Shop Talk

Tri States Public Radio's weekly round table discussion of media related issues featuring News Director Rich Egger and fellow panelists Jasmine Crighton, News Coordinator for the Western Illinois University Department of Broadcasting, and Will Buss, Director of Student Publications at WIU.

Scientific American recently conducted a study that found newspaper closures are linked to partisanship. The publication used voting data from across the country over a four year period.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week that a group of House Republican lawmakers in Georgia filed legislation to create a state Journalism Ethics Board. The newspaper reported the board would create "canons of ethics," issue advisory opinions, develop voluntary accreditation, and set up a system for investigating complaints and sanctioning accredited violators of such canons.

The Guardian reported Facebook's effort to establish a service that provides users with local news and information is being hindered by the lack of outlets where the company's technicians can find original reporting.

Bradley University athletics recently denied a so-called "extra coverage opportunity" to Peoria Journal Star reporter Dave Reynolds.  Assistant Director of Athletic Communications Jason Veniskey and Men's Basketball Coach Brian Wardle reportedly told Reynolds that he failed to "promote the Bradley brand" and was not wanted around the team as it prepared for its first trip to the NCAA tournament in 13 years.

Let the Sun Shine In

Mar 19, 2019

Many journalism groups across the county observed Sunshine Week last week.  Sunshine Week serves as a reminder of the role journalists play as watchdogs in ensuring open and transparent government. 

Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) reported that Craig Forman, the President and CEO of the publishing company McClatchy, recently emailed employees to let them know 450 staffers will be offered early retirement.  CJR also reported that Forman's take-home pay from McClatchy in 2017 was $1.7 million, excluding restricted stock. And his newest contract with the company includes a base pay of $1 million, a bonus of $1 million, and an additional $35,000 monthly stipend.

Jasmine Crighton joined the Shop Talk panel in August 2013.  This week she recorded her final program, which focused on the latest Status of Women in the U.S. Media report.

Shop Talk panelists Jasmine Crighton and Will Buss talk about some of the training they provide to students in their news reporting and writing classes.

GateHouse Media reportedly refused to run a column titled "Media Under Siege" that, among other things, criticized the company.  The piece was written by Randy Miller, who retired from the Hawk Eye in Burlington a few years ago.  He continued to write a column for the paper but – due to the "Media Under Siege" piece -- it appears his contributions are no longer welcome.

A video taken in Washington D.C. on January 18 appears to show white high school students from Kentucky mocking a Native American man. Some of the high school students are wearing red "Make America Great Again" caps. The video went viral on social media, and numerous news media outlets picked up the story even though none had a reporter on the scene. In the following days, the narrative of what happened that day in D.C. changed as more video was released.

On the day after the nation honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Shop Talk panel discussed the issue of diversity in the newsroom.  Panelist Jasmine Crighton shared some information she gathered last week at a workplace integrity seminar in Washington D.C.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton said she recently filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with Western Illinois University.  Crighton told the Shop Talk panel she filed the FOIA to obtain data her students might use for a story. She also filed the request so that she could talk about the FOIA process with her students.  She was surprised by what happened next.

An article on the RTDNA website said local news is not dying if you look to TV.  Kevin Mott, who is a Program Analyst at the Stanton Foundation, writes in the piece that local television news has demonstrated growing revenue, stable employment, and robust viewership. 

As NPR and other news outlets reported, Time has chosen a group of four journalists and the Capital Gazette as its "Person of the Year" for 2018.  The magazine praised them for their work in the so-called "war on truth."

The Student Press Law Center reported that an Arkansas school district censored a high school student newspaper and halted its publication after the paper's reporters raised questions about the transfer of six football players to a rival high school.  The district eventually bowed to public pressure and criticism from journalism organizations and allowed the story to be published.

The student newspaper advisor at the University of North Alabama (UNA) reportedly lost his job because school administrators didn't like a story the paper published.  Journalism organizations have criticized the university and the College Media Association even censured the school.

For Thanksgiving week, the Shop Talk panelists share some thoughts about the aspects of journalism for which they give thanks.  

The White House suspended the press credentials of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta after the reporter angered President Donald Trump during a news conference on November 7.  CNN is suing Trump over the matter.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton said she got into it with a worker at the early voting place in the Western Illinois University Union.  The poll worker told Crighton's student reporters they could not video record there.

TSPR' s southeast Iowa reporter Jason Parrott filled in for Jasmine Crighton for this week's program. Parrott told us he was recently at the public library in Hannibal, Missouri, interviewing a candidate for public office when they got kicked out for talking politics.

The disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is another example of the dangers journalists sometimes face when working on stories. Khashoggi was a critic of Saudi Arabia's crown prince. Khashoggi fled that country in 2017 and began writing for the Washington Post. He died at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, 2018.  The Saudis said Khashoggi's death was an accident, but Turkey's president said he was brutally murdered.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton said the number of men enrolled in the Broadcasting & Journalism program at Western Illinois University far exceeds the number of women. She feels the program's emphasis on sports broadcasting might attract more men than women because professional sports broadcasting continues to be a male-dominated field.

Santa Clara University's website has a piece that looks at the ways social media is changing journalism.  The broad categories are faster, clickier, and more personal.

Shop Talk panelists Jasmine Crighton and Will Buss said their student reporters ran into a dead end as they tried to get information from Western Illinois University and its Office of Public Safety (OPS). The journalists are seeking details regarding a report filed by a woman who said she was followed by a man hiding in some bushes on campus.

In a piece for The Atlantic, Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC's Meet the Press, wrote journalists must fight back against what he called "the campaign to destroy the legitimacy of the American news media." He said the campaign against the media has its roots in the Nixon administration and achieved great success through the likes of Roger Ailes and his cohorts at the Fox News Channel.

The Shop Talk panelists look back at the events of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, when terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners in the U.S. Two of the jets took down the World Trade Center towers in New York City.  One plane was flown into the Pentagon.  Passengers on the fourth flight fought the hijackers and that plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania.

A video shows Denver police officers telling Susan Greene, editor of The Colorado Independent, that HIPPA supersedes the First Amendment as she tried to photograph them responding to a call on a public sidewalk. They then told Greene to "act like a lady" as they handcuffed and detained her.

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.

Tri States Public Radio last week reported on Western Illinois University's decision to zero out TSPR's funding as of March 1, 2019.  At least one WIU administrator was shocked the radio station reported the story.