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.

Chicago media critic Robert Feder reported radio talk show host and former TV news reporter Amy Jacobson has been barred from attending Governor J.B. Pritzker's daily coronavirus media briefings after she was one of the speakers at a rally protesting the governor's stay-at-home order.

The winners of the 2020 Pulitzer Prizes were announced last week.  The Shop Talk panelists this week talked about the awards, which are considered among the most prestigious in journalism.

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.

There was some encouraging media-related news out of Chicago, where more radio listeners are turning to news-intensive stations -- including public radio -- for information during the coronavirus pandemic. However, at the same time, Poynter reports that newsrooms across the nation are laying off staff members or asking them to take pay cuts because ad revenues are down.

Media Literacy

Apr 21, 2020

Poynter reports the coronavirus pandemic has fueled a surge in media literacy efforts. The story said that in India, the United States, and Brazil, fact-checking and media literacy organizations are training citizens to confront the new coronavirus "infodemic." The groups are trying to teach people how to sort through and verify all the information out there.

Columbia Journalism Review ran a piece that takes a look at how right wing media have been covering the coronavirus pandemic.  The story said the coverage was characterized by faulty projections, inflammatory anti-Chinese rhetoric, and over-the-top praise for President Trump.

The Conversation recently ran a story under the headline: The news media sounded the alarm on coronavirus for months - but few listened. And that begs the question: Why?

Picking up where they left off last week, the Shop Talk panelists share more thoughts about news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.  The panelists say the crisis demonstrates why reliable sources of information are imperative for an informed society, and why owners of media outlets should be investing in journalism instead of cutting staff to maximize profits for a few shareholders.

The Shop Talk panelists share their thoughts on media coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nieman Lab has a story about a new partnership between Report for America and the Native American Journalists Association.  The story said the organizations will collaborate to support 19 journalists in the next year. They will cover Native American and Indigenous communities in the United States

The Truth Sandwich

Mar 3, 2020

Media columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote in the Washington Post that President Donald Trump's propensity for lies and falsehoods could prove dangerous as the coronavirus threatens to turn into a full-blown pandemic. She shared an idea from linguist George Lakoff on how reporters might want to cover the president, especially on the coronavirus issue.

The Associated Press reported that ABC News is moving aggressively to boost its streaming service with the belief that streaming services will change the news business over the next decade.

The Atlantic reported on what it called the largest-ever study of fake news.  And the publication called the findings "grim."

Two investigative reporters at the Chicago Tribune recently submitted an op-ed to the New York Times, expressing concerns about the Tribune's future.  David Jackson and Gary Marx also sounded the alarm on the "Chicago Tonight" program on the city’s public TV station, WTTW.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the latest clash between the Trump administration and a journalist.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blew up at NPR's Mary Louise Kelly when she asked him a question related to Ukraine.  He claimed they agreed to limit the conversation to Iran.

Newsweek reported that at least two reporters said they resigned from the official Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) network, and a third former presenter offered an apology, as the country was gripped by a nationwide furor after Iran shot down a passenger jet.

The AP and other news outlets said journalists will face restrictions as they try to cover the U.S. Senate's impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. The AP reported that all throughout the Capitol building, reporters were prevented from stopping to wait for senators or talking to them outside designated media pens.

It Is Polling Season

Jan 14, 2020

An article in PolitiFact reported that voters will be seeing poll results in their news feeds — lots of them. But not all polls are created equal and it can be hard to put the results into the proper context. 

A story in Columbia Journalism Review takes the media to task for failing to do enough reporting on climate change.  The story said most of the major network newscasts and shows on CNN and MSNBC neglected to do a story on the United Nations Environment Program's annual assessment of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Associated Press reported that deaths among journalists killed in the line of duty are lower this year, but a journalism advocacy group said one reason appears to be that media workers are refraining from going to the most dangerous areas.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss a story in Columbia Journalism Review, which reported that mass layoffs at the Denver Post a little more than a year ago led to a rebellion against the paper's owner, Alden Global Capital. 10 journalists defected from the Post to risk launching The Colorado Sun when a cryptocurrency and blockchain technology company offered them grant money to do so. 

CNN and other news outlets reported President Trump's 2020 campaign announced that it will no longer credential Bloomberg News reporters for its events.  The decision was issued after Bloomberg said it would not conduct investigations into the Democratic presidential candidates but would continue to probe the Trump administration.

Tri States Public Radio Southeast Iowa Bureau Correspondent Jason Parrott joins the Shop Talk panel today to talk about his career at TSPR. This is Parrott's final week with the radio station. He will begin a job with the City of Quincy next week.

Chicago-based Robert Feder, who reports on the media, joined others in taking to task the student newspaper at Northwestern University. The Daily Northwestern's editor-in-chief and eight other editors signed an editorial that apologized for the paper's coverage of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' appearance at a College Republicans event and the protests that accompanied his appearance.

Aggregation Plan Doesn't Benefit Local News (Part 2)

Nov 13, 2019

The Shop Talk panelists continue last week's conversation about Mark Zuckerberg's plan to begin Facebook News. The site will not hire journalists or generate original content; it instead will serve as a gatekeeper by cherry-picking stories from a few select news organizations.

A commentary on CNN's website examines Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's announcement that he will start Facebook News. Zuckerberg said it will curate "high quality" news and information, and will pay some publishers millions of dollars a year for access to their journalism. Those sources of journalism will include NPR, CNN, BuzzFeed News, the Washington Post, and many others.

CNN reported that President Donald Trump recently proposed the idea of starting a new television network.  CNN said the president made the suggestion after attacking CNN International at a Medicare event in Florida. Trump said the news network is "so bad" and called it a "terrible thing for our country."

NPR Illinois, which is based at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been working with ProPublica to report on the University of Illinois' handling of sexual misconduct cases.  The school's Title IX coordinator responded by telling station leaders that virtually all university employees – including journalists -- are required to report alleged sexual misconduct that they are told about to the Title IX office.  

Podcast Popularity

Oct 16, 2019

An article in the public broadcasting trade publication Current said NPR is projecting that podcast sponsorship revenues will surpass revenues from broadcast sponsorships next year for the first time.

What is True?

Oct 8, 2019

The Guardian asked the question: Why can't we agree on what’s true anymore?  This week the Shop Talk panelists examine that question.