WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Shop Talk

Tri States Public Radio's weekly round table discussion of media related issues featuring News Director Rich Egger, WIU Broadcasting Professor Mike Murray and WIU Jounalism Professor Bill Knight.

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.”

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.

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.