The Tribune’s story raises a larger question, however, one faced by news outlets of all sizes. When some political bigwig wants to talk to your reporters, how tough do you want to be? Can you really ask the hard, confrontational questions that might clarify things for your audiences but piss off the politico who won’t “give” you an interview next time around? Too many times these interviews become sounding boards for politicians to trumpet their agendas and spin their positions to their liking. The news story then becomes a subtle, or not-so-subtle, form of flackery. Unless the news outlet bores down, their stories may not differ much from from political advertising. As health legislation heads toward passage, the audience deserves something better.
08:00 AM - January 11, 2010
When Does a News Outlet Become a Press Agent?
Ben Nelson and the Fremont (Nebraska) Tribune
Apple can’t hide from a 20-year-old reporter - The University of Michigan student gets behind the tech titan’s newest products
Al Jazeera America struggles to get off the margins - A quality-first strategy faces huge hurdles
Finding James Foley - This 2013 story takes a look at GlobalPost’s search for the photojournalist
Gannett cribs from Advance Publications playbook for struggling newspapers - Staff compete for fewer jobs; ‘readers become the assignment editor’
Cop corruption probe sparks newspaper feud - A spiked story is at the center of a bitter fight between Philadelphia’s two dailies
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“[E]xecutions, even for people who support capital punishment, and even when the criminals being put to death evoke little personal sympathy because of the nature of their crimes, take a toll on witnesses”
The company will possess log-in information and will be free to post any material to the account without journalists’ knowledge
“People who say reporters exploit people? You are right, we do. We parachute into people’s lives, sidle up, convince them that we care — and then disengage when the story is over. But that doesn’t mean we don’t connect, in a genuine way.”
“Lately, the restaurant has taken on the appearance of a battered frontier outpost”
Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.