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
Stop trolling your readers - We know you’re only doing it for clicks
Des Moines Register prepares for a ‘very stressful’ newsroom restructuring - Editor Amalie Nash speaks on turnover, transformation, and a virtual reality adventure
PBS pulls ads from Harper’s Magazine after critical essay - Piece argues public broadcaster has fallen under the sway of political influence and outside money
Should all journalists be on Twitter? - Reasons to take up or forgo the 140-character platform
The Tennessean is borrowing reporters from other Gannett papers - Music columnist Peter Cooper is latest journalist to part ways with Nashville paper
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“Among the challenges that make racism so difficult to fix, and so odiously constant, is that white people often don’t even recognize when they’re saying or doing something that cuts their black colleagues to the bone”
After 40 years, every issue still features a weed centerfold
Mark Warren “spoke with 90 members of the House and Senate about what’s gone so wrong in Congress. Sometimes it got a little emotional.”
How a young Danish man turned extremist
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.