Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss whether it's still possible to have a shared national experience over a news story.
The starting point for the discussion is the shooting death of terrorist Osama bin Laden. Many people around the nation found out about his death at roughly the same time, though they got the news from many different sources.
Years ago people generally tuned into the same few TV or radio stations for breaking news. Now, there are countless stations and websites from which someone can obtain news updates.
Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss a report that says USA Today is considering whether to pay annual bonuses to writers based on page views.
The panelists feel such a move would cheapen the product. Reporters would be tempted to write misleading headlines to increase page views, or they might skip certain stories altogether to instead report on the sensational.
The panelists also point out that a page hit does not necessarily mean someone read the story or got anything out of it.
Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss how they think social media should be used by journalists.
Bill Knight said social media can be used as a tool to receive tips about stories. It can also be used to promote stories. He said reporters should simply remember to maintain a sense of professionalism.
Mike Murray also said reporters need to be professional, but added he is not a big fan of social media. He is concerned some reporters might editorialize, thus compromising the way they're viewed.