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.

In late January, the Shop Talk panelists discussed a proposal in Australia to make Facebook, Google, and potentially other tech companies pay media outlets for their news content. Now CNBC reports that Facebook plans to spend at least $1 billion in the news industry over the next three years.

The Student Press Law Center has declared February 26 to be Student Press Freedom Day. The Center has chosen the theme Journalism Against the Odds to acknowledge the news coverage student journalists produced despite being faced with the challenges brought on by the pandemic and other major stories.

As reported by CNN and other news outlets, two prominent staffers of The New York Times are leaving the paper. Both were involved in high-profile controversies.

NPR reported that election technology company Smartmatic filed a massive lawsuit last week against Fox News. The suit alleges the network and some of its biggest on-air personalities made Smartmatic into a villain and perpetuated false claims about the recent election.

AP reported that the "help wanted" list for top management jobs in journalism is suddenly getting very long.

The BBC reports that Australia is introducing a law to make Google, Facebook, and potentially other tech companies pay media outlets for their news content. The BBC said this would make Australia the first nation to impose such a law.

Last week the Shop Talk panelists discussed the words used to describe the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.  This week they talk about the disinformation campaign that ultimately incited the mob.

The mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 has been described in various ways in news reports. The Shop Talk panelists are concerned that news outlets seemed to shy away from branding them “domestic terrorists.”

Looking Ahead to 2021

Dec 15, 2020

The Shop Talk crew discusses developments they would like to see in the world of journalism during the next year.  They include further advancements in technology, continued strides in providing transparency, and greater media literacy from audiences.

Panelist Rajvee Subramanian said one his students inquired about objectivity in journalism. She wondered why reporters should strive for impartiality when covering racial injustices and other atrocities and wrongdoing.

A story on Poynter's website raises the question of whether journalists will be considered essential workers when COVID-19 vaccines are distributed.

The Denver Gazette debuted a couple months ago, hoping to fill what backers consider a gap in news coverage in that community as the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News have declined.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the election night coverage they participated in and watched last week.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss their experiences as journalists working on election nights through the years.

The Daily Gamecock, which is the editorially independent student newspaper at the University of South Carolina, went dark for a week this month because, as noted in a piece written by the editorial staff, they’re not doing okay.

Will Buss, who is one of our Shop Talk panelists, writes a weekly column for the McDonough County Voice. In last week's column he wrote that some news organizations are questioning whether to assign reporters to cover the Trump campaign if the president and his followers refuse to follow COVID-19 protocols. The news organizations say they don't want to endanger their reporters.

Poynter reported that more and more journalists have either abandoned Twitter or at least cut back on how much they use it.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss last week's presidential debate and whether there is any value to continuing the tradition of holding such events. The debate quickly became a shouting match and provided little insight about the candidates and their positions.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss a recent opinion piece on NPR's website that raises concerns about the long friendship between NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg and the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

Patch columnist Mark Konkol wrote that when shots rang out last week at his alma mater – Western Illinois University – no journalists from the student newspaper were available to cover the story. 

Bob Woodward's new book Rage is now available.  In the book, Woodward reports that President Donald Trump expressed early concerns about the severity of the coronavirus.  Yet Woodward waited until just before the release of the book to reveal what the president said.

Poynter reported the Tech & Check Cooperative at the Duke Reporters' Lab used the political conventions in August to work on perfecting its automated fact-checking program, Squash, and its human component, Gardener.

Poynter did some fact checking on the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Poynter found that several widely shared posts on social media make inaccurate, misleading, or unproven claims about Blake, his interaction with police, and the events that followed.  

A piece on the RTDNA's website says local TV news might never be the same due to the coronavirus pandemic.  It notes, among other things, the innovation required to produce stories while working remotely.

The Shop Talk panelists use that as the starting point for their discussion about how the pandemic is changing the way journalism is taught.

A derecho tore through parts of the Midwest, including Iowa and Illinois, on Monday, August 10.  The powerful storm system caused extensive damage, left thousands of people without power, and flattened farm fields.  Yet the national media was slow to pick up the story amd it still has not received a great deal of national attention.

NPR and other news outlets reported that Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai and several executives at the media company he founded were arrested Monday. They were accused of colluding with foreign forces.

Washington Post media critic Margaret Sullivan's new book is Ghosting the News: American Journalism and the Crisis of Democracy. She writes about the decline of local news coverage; more than 2,000 American newspapers have gone out of business since 2004.

The Pew Research Center reported that a survey it conducted in April found about six-in-ten Americans (61%) said they were following news about the coronavirus outbreak at both the national and local level equally. Around a quarter (23%) said they were paying more attention to news at the local level, while 15% said they were focused more on COVID-19 news at the national level.

The Des Moines Register reported that one of its journalists was arrested in late May while covering a George Floyd protest. The reporter, 24-year old Andrea Sahouri, was covering a demonstration that turned to looting at a mall when a Des Moines police officer pepper-sprayed and arrested her. 

The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, who is also the founder and CEO of Amazon.  His net worth is approximately $153 billion, according to a piece in Columbia Journalism Review. The story said Bezos could bring pay equity to the staff of the newspaper without missing the money required to do so.