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
Why one editor won’t run any more op-eds by the Heritage Foundation’s top economist - A reply to Paul Krugman on state taxes and job growth made some incorrect claims
Is ISIS a faith-based terrorist group? - Journalists and scholars disagree about how much Islam, rather than politics and power, drives Muslim extremists
Why Bill Simmons might leave ESPN - Other outlets would jump at the chance to gain his following
Why news organizations are abandoning the Redskins - The media mostly avoids Washington’s football team name
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
Whoever nets the most before retirement wins a free lunch
Poop and Pooches. That is all
Useful resources for journalists
“This video suggests that organized crime is trying to buy off journalists, creating a new brand of narco-journalism”
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.