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.

July 17, 2007 – The panelists discuss how presidential campaigns are using new media. The Internet has become a source for more than just fundraising.

July 10, 2007 – The panelists discuss the federal Freedom of Information Act, which celebrated its 40th anniversary on July 4. A watchdog group recently discovered some FOIA requests made to the federal government go unanswered for 10, 15, or even 20 years.

July 3, 2007 – The panelists discuss a proposal by a pair of federal lawmakers to bring back The Fairness Doctrine. The regulation was abolished in the late 1980s. The Fairness Doctrine required that equal time be given to all sides of a political debate.

June 26, 2007 – The panelists discuss whether local TV coverage of elections is adequate. The FCC recently rejected a complaint filed by a media reform group that contended television stations in Chicago and Milwaukee failed to broadcast sufficient coverage of state and local elections in 2004.

June 19, 2007 – The panelists discuss whether women in television news are still judged on their looks more than on their journalism skills.

June 12, 2007 – The panelists discuss recent comments made by former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw, who says he's disappointed with the direction of the network. Shaw told WTTW (public television) in Chicago that CNN continues to ape many of the on-air mannerisms of the Fox News Network. Shaw says he does not want to hear a new anchor's personal opinion about anything - he says anchors should just report the news.

June 5, 2007 – The panelists talk about coverage of last week's angry outburst by Illinois State Senator Mike Jacobs. The lawmaker told reporters the governor threatened a major project in his district if he did not vote for the funding plan for the governor's health care proposal.

May 29, 2007 – The panelists talk about job prospects for journalists graduating from college this year. Traditional media outlets are cutting back on jobs but it's possible that graduates might find positions in new media.

May 22, 2007 – The sheriff's department in Will County, IL has started doing podcasts to disseminate information. A spokesperson says "This is a news program." The panelists discuss whether it's accurate to call a sheriff's department's podcast "a news program."

May 15, 2007 – The topic is a job posting by an on-line newspaper. The paper says it's looking for "a newspaper journalist based in India to report on the city government and political scene of Pasadena, California."

May 8, 2007 – The topic is an Open Meetings Act complaint filed against the Macomb Planning Commission. The Illinois Attorney General's office has decided against taking any action in the case.

May 1, 2007 – The topic is Arbitron's decision to start using portable people meters rather than diaries to measure radio listenership. The company hopes this will provide data that's more accurate than what's currently available.

April 24, 2007 – The topic is Freedom of Information Act requests filed with Illinois State Police. A study by the Springfield State Journal-Register found the agency routinely turns down requests for public information and sometimes ignores them altogether.

April 17, 2007 – The topic is citizen journalists. A TV station in California laid off most of its news staff and is asking the community to help provide local coverage. In addition, some big media corporations are soliciting videos for on-line use - and possible broadcast - but don't pay contributors.

April 10, 2007 – The panelists talk about video blogger Josh Wolf, who spent 226 days in prison before being released after reaching a deal with prosecutors. Wolf agreed to turn over uncut video from a protest in San Francisco - video which he's also now posted on his website - but he refused to testify before a grand jury about what happened at the protest or who participated in it.

April 3, 2007 – The panelists discuss the ways candidates try to circumvent reporters and the public in order to avoid the hard questions and control the message.

March 27, 2007 – The topic is a pair of apparent violations of the Open Meetings Act by local governments in McDonough County. The incidents happened within the past couple weeks.

March 20, 2007 – The topic is the pending sale of the Peoria Journal Star and eight other Illinois newspapers to the company that already owns daily newspapers in Macomb, Monmouth, Canton, and a number of other Illinois towns and also owns papers in 17 other states.

March 13, 2007 – The panelists weigh the pros and cons of public relations specialists (or spin doctors as they're sometimes called).

March 6, 2007 – The topic is Illinois Senate Bill 0729, which is known as the College Campus Press Act. It would offer student journalists protection from school administration interference at state-sponsored institutions of higher education.

February 27, 2007 – The topic is the future of radio. The panelists discuss the local coverage the medium can provide and touch on the impact HD might have on radio.

February 20, 2007 – The topic is a study by the Parents Television Council, which found TV programs are becoming increasingly violent. The PTC says violent incidents averaged about 13 per hour in prime time programs.

February 13, 2007 – The topic is coverage of presidential campaigns, especially at this early stage of the game. How does the media decide - even before any votes are cast - which campaigns to focus on and which candidates deserve less attention?

February 6, 2007 – The topic is job cuts in the media. The job placement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas reports US media outlets announced more than 17,800 job cuts last year and 9,400 the year before.

January 30, 2007 – The topic is the veracity of Internet blogs. The discussion was sparked by the Internet rumor that US Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) attended a conservative Islamic school when he was a child in Jakarta.

January 23, 2007 – Politicians and members of the Peoria arts community rallied to show their support for the Peoria Journal Star. The newspaper (and other Copley-owned papers) are up for sale. The community is hoping to pressure owner David Copley to consider offers only from those willing to maintain the newspaper's current quality and staffing levels.

January 16, 2007 – The topic is Internet bloggers. They will be allowed to join reporters from traditional media in covering the criminal trial of former White House staffer Lewis "Scooter" Libby. It's believed this is a first for a high-profile trial.

January 9, 2007 – The topic is the video of Saddam Hussein's execution. If you were a television news director, would you air it?

December 19, 2006 – The topic is the Committee to Protect Journalists' annual survey on the number of reporters in jail around the world. The CPJ found that those incarcerated include 67 print journalists, 47 Internet journalists, 8 radio reporters, 8 TV reporters, and 2 documentary filmmakers. 24 nations have imprisoned reporters, with China (31) and Cuba (24) leading the way. The US government has detained three journalists.

December 12, 2006 – The topic is the future of printed newspapers. Will the time come when newspapers are available only on the Internet?