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
Serial creators don’t know what will happen to Adnan Syed - New developments in his legal case suggest that the outcome is wide open
The press is responsible for ignoring Bill Cosby rape allegations - Where were journalists 10 years ago when claims originally surfaced against him?
Journalism has a plagiarism problem. But it’s not the one you’d expect - Fareed Zakaria’s case highlights news organizations’ ethical grey areas
4 topics John Oliver explained more clearly than television news - The political satirist brings explainer comedy to HBO viewers
Will radio save science journalism? - WNYC will soon have a new health unit
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“[T]here was little that justified CNN’s egocentric coverage”
“[I]n spite of all the good reasons not to use the phrase, it is still very easy to find in the US press, even in headlines”
“Right now, my immediate plan is to go to work as a lay therapist at The Intercept to bring the healing there so John Cook and Matt Taibbi can return. I have great interpersonal skills.”
“Like the US drone program itself, this deceitful media practice continues unabated”
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.