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.

Vice News reported many of the journalists who survived the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol are still covering Congress. But things don't feel normal to them.

Reporting on UFOs

Jul 13, 2021

Poynter recently noted that UFOs have landed in mainstream media coverage. NPR and other outlets reported on a preliminary assessment from U.S. intelligence agencies looking into unidentified aerial phenomena. And Poynter noted that the New York Times ran a story a few years ago about what was described as a shadowy Pentagon program that investigated reports of UFOs. 

Inside Radio reported that Purdue University has agreed on terms to sell news/talk WBAA-AM and classical WBAA-FM in West Lafayette, Indiana to Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Media.

Poynter has been reporting a series of stories about reporters who have lost their jobs. Those former reporters each have their own story to tell but they're similar in the how they underscore the challenges facing the profession of journalism and the people who work in the industry.

The Chicago-based Better Government Association handed out awards for investigative reporting. The top prize went to WBBM-TV for a story about a police raid on the wrong home, which the City of Chicago tried and failed to suppress in federal court before it aired.

Poynter examined a story ProPublica reported about the taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans. The ProPublica story said billionaires pay little in income tax compared to their massive wealth — sometimes, even nothing.

RTDNA reported that it has joined more than 100 other groups in urging the Justice Department to include “treatment of the press” in its reviews of the Minneapolis Police Department, Louisville Metro Police Department, and any future inquiries the Justice Department might pursue. 

AP reported that Prince William and his brother Prince Harry harshly criticized the BBC and British media for unethical practices after an investigation concluded that one of the BBC's journalists used "deceitful behavior" to secure Princess Diana's most explosive TV interview in 1995.

As WBBM Newsradio in Chicago reported, the city's mayor, Lori Lightfoot, is calling for more diversity among the news media who cover local government. She kicked off the discussion with a controversial move.

NPR is marking the 50th anniversary of its first on-air original broadcast.  The network's All Things Considered debuted on May 3, 1971.

The Guardian reported that a journalist at the New York Post said she was ordered to write an incorrect front page story about Vice President Kamala Harris. The reporter later resigned.

The student newspaper at Illinois State University has printed its final edition. The Vidette is switching to a digital format. Shop Talk's Will Buss is familiar with that transition because the Western Courier made the switch a bit more than a year ago.

Reporters Without Borders has released its latest World Press Freedom Index. The group called journalism the main vaccine against misinformation. However, that vaccine is not getting through in many parts of the world.

Journalist Abigail Higgins wrote a piece for Business Insider under the headline, "The FBI used my journalism to charge a January 6 insurrectionist. I have complicated feelings about that."

RTDNA ran a piece a few weeks ago about a study conducted by the Center for Media Engagement. The Center looked at the content of nightly network news broadcasts on ABC, CBS, and NBC and of primetime cable news network shows on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC between January, 2020 and June, 2020.

Poynter is holding a series of seminars about the future of the newsroom. Poynter, which bills itself as the world’s leading instructor, innovator, convener, and resource for anyone who aspires to engage and inform citizens, is examining what we’ve lost and learned in a year of remote journalism.

Editor & Publisher magazine reported the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill includes funding for economically disrupted industries to help keep their retirement plans solvent. Those disrupted industries include America's community newspapers, which Editor & Publisher said are weighed down by underfunded pension liabilities.

The BBC reported that a few months ago, millions of TV viewers across South Korea were watching the MBN channel to catch the latest news. At the top of the hour, regular news anchor Kim Joo-Ha started to go through the day's headlines. It was a relatively normal list of stories for late 2020. Yet, the BBC said, this particular update was far from normal.

Sunshine Week

Mar 16, 2021

News Leaders Association – formerly known as the American Society of News Editors – has designated March 14-20, 2021 to be Sunshine Week. The group said they started marking Sunshine Week in 2005.

The Hill reported that the journalism watchdog group Reporters without Borders filed a criminal complaint in Germany against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other officials over the murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the detention of other journalists.

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.

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