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
Q&A: An Apple critic with plenty to say - John Siracusa’s legendary - and lengthy - Apple reviews reach their 15th year
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
4 topics John Oliver explained more clearly than television news - The political satirist brings explainer comedy to HBO viewers
Michael Brown shooting and the crimes journalists choose as newsworthy - Examining why black suspects are covered at a greater proportion than they commit crimes
GOP-backed fake news sites target Dems in congressional races - - Unlike The Onion and other satire sites, the goal is to fool voters, not make them laugh
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
The departure of Katharine Weymouth ends eight decades of Graham family leadership
“[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.”
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.