(AV17519-2) Can There Be Freedom of the Press without a Press?

tomorrow so much of this is is boring to
me and I think the photographer got bored him on my face I’ve been hearing
the same things about the internet and Google since 2003 I work at an
institution of science and technology and science and technology means
something we have to understand what the technology is to sight Gutenberg
Gutenberg printed the junk mail the 15th century called indulgences coupons and
in in a personal divide point out that it takes 60 years before a new we
understand how to use a new medium but the thing about what Steve said is I
agree with much of it but it’s just one truth and there are multiple truths in
the world that we have to deal with it is true that bloggers did this or
cellphones do that but where are the reporters in the street we don’t see
anything about the disenfranchised they’re not out there the register
started paying for productivity Ken and Ken right so obituaries in his spare
time for money was your dream job I thought you were telling the truth when
you told me that that’s what you’re doing
well it doesn’t you know what we’re doing I’m gonna be writing I’m going to
be working with computer science departments some of the best minds and
virtual applications reality virtual reality applications Center and what we
really need to do is to teach K through 12 and and we’re gonna be writing a
multi-million dollar multi-million dollar we hope grant to the National
Science Foundation called technology uses and abuses so when you hold up a
cell phone you know that it’s the Borg of Technology and has assimilated
everything I mean I’m not a Luddite standing up here I’ve predicted what was
going to happen and read the book it’s still printing
was written in 2004 it’s still selling I’m being asked him some people here
have said it so what we really want to know is this
I dislike reading about AIDS do you know that I dislike reading about horror but
when I used to pick up the Des Moines Register I I knew if I needed to find
out about it it was there that’s what we’re trying to resurrect stuff that we
don’t necessarily want to read until we have to read it and then we need to find
him so those are just some of my thoughts and in fact you guys just talk
about it it’s important that you do but what we need to do is find if Steve or
anybody else had an answer to monitize new media they’d be millionaires and
when we’re working here in Iowa all right when somebody knows how to do it
let’s just share it because I’m enjoying what Rasha said I want my journal our
journalism students get more of a taste of Watergate working for this gentleman
right here on The Daily than they do when they work for the professional
media and I want that zeal Steve that you will meet in our students to be used
for the good of society I don’t want it to be used for Twitter or Facebook there
are two and these poor students here have the largest debt load in the
country and there’s their credit cards or ID cards there are the director their
ID cards are debit cards and until we can figure out in Google Google the last
time I checked and they have recently hired some more but they’ve downsized
had 10,000 employees did you hear that they brought in revenues of twenty five
billion dollars or 2.5 million per employee don’t tell me about how
wonderful Google is until you do the research on how it downsized its
everything it touches art and our age it downsized the assembly line now we’re
downsizing people so yeah I worry about it but I don’t have a dancer that I have
to it is education and we work at a great institution of Science and
Technology and I think the answer is here if y’all could raise your hands if you
have any questions so I can bring it around so everybody can hear what’s
going on that would be great okay um I just have a question on how
you guys think that like Facebook Twitter MySpace like how you think that
has affected journalism like if journalists use that as an advantage or
if you guys think it’s a disadvantage to journalists or if they use it in any way
to research or find people just how you guys think they use those social
networking websites journalists should use every tool available that we can to
get the news and to spread the news and and Twitter is is perhaps the most
powerful tool that I’ve seen developed in my career and cell phones were more
powerful than Twitter I’ll take that back because you can use your cell phone
to Twitter the and and the you know the truth is there’s a lot of crap on
Twitter but there’s a lot of crap in conversation too and we use that tool as
well the I there if you remember in December there was a plane crash it
crashed on takeoff in Denver nobody was killed so it wasn’t huge news but it was
it was the big story of the day and I took a look I blogged about this you can
find it on my blog in December I looked at both of the day the Payette plane was
bound for Houston so I looked at the websites of the Houston Chronicle the
Rocky Mountain News when it was still alive and the Denver Post and I looked
on CNN and they all had you know the NTSB says this and you know the airline
says that they didn’t get actual passengers until several hours later or
actually the second day on the newspapers because even even with their
websites there most of their stories other than the first bulletin were were
basically their print stories well those of us on Twitter knew within minutes
that a guy whose Twitter username was two drinks behind I can’t remember his
act I think actually was Mike Wilson be one of the beach boys that was loved
whatever he was yeah that’s true whose first tweet upon the plane
crashing was holy fucking shit I was just in a plane crash now we might not
quote that in my newspaper but we sure want to talk to that guy and get his
first-person account and if you kept following his tweets you could see that
this was the second plane crash this guy had survived
I want to read confusin story on two drinks behind it’ll cost you and and I
didn’t read that in any of those three newspapers or CNN but I read it on
Twitter I also read that they her I also saw his twit pic which wasn’t a very
good picture frankly the pictures were better on but but when
the plane landed in the Hudson the first and best picture I saw was a Twitpic
picture taken by somebody on the ferry that went to rescue those people
standing on the wing and when I kept reading two drinks behinds Twitter
stream I saw him complaining that they herded everybody into I think was US
Airways I can’t remember maybe this kind of is continental herded him into the
you know the the first-class lounge you know where where I don’t get to spend
much time and but he was whining that they wouldn’t give him free drinks you
know after they’ve survived this plane crash that was a great first-person
account it should have been in the press but I got it on Twitter and after I and
others blogged about that the the papers caught up and I kept reading two drinks
behinds Twitter feed and he was he was getting a lot of interviews the day
after her and the day after that and so on but Twitter is a marvelous tool for
lots of journalistic purposes and and journalists who aren’t you figuring out
how to use Twitter and Facebook and Flickr and YouTube and other social
media tools are there several drinks behind in in staying up in this digital
age here’s what bothers me about about this I think it’s great that you can go
on Facebook and get sources for stories and I believe Steve when he talks about
Twitter was great in this plane crash but I think there’s so many gizmos and
tricks now that reporters are expected to do you know what it keeps him from
doing reporting and and in it and it’s it’s got to the point where you know
you’re expected go out and write a blog and twit twit
o twit whatever you’re supposed to do all this is time that you could be
making another phone call checking out a fact or thinking we’ve removed thinking
from the reporting process and you know why here’s here’s the real what’s really
going on here it’s what it’s what Angie talked about about value and ratings
we’ve turned newspapers hits are now the same as Nielsen ratings used to be all
we care about is a number of hits we get we don’t care whether it’s from cute dog
pictures or Twitter’s or racist comments under a news story or anything all we
want is the traffic and you know what’s missing from that equation any sort of
news judgment whatsoever so I don’t mind Twitter and all the rest of this crap as
long as it has something to do with news well let me give you I don’t think it
does I’m gonna give you an illustration of that
in the early 1980s Ken and I are kind of old the monks were doing the paper then
by yeah yeah Kanak ken was a reporter and I was an editor when a tornado hit
Pleasant Hill right outside Des Moines and I can’t remember if Ken was a
reporter I sent to the site I think you were working back in the in the newsroom
and the cops reporter went to the site but Ken got out the old city directories
and and your age students may not know what a city directory is but that used
to be where you found addresses and phone numbers of people you could call
and and we used that all the time because that was a good way to find
people who might have been an eyewitness to that tornado if you’re thinking today
and you need to think Twitter might be a way that I can find people
who were near that and and you can find it in seconds and ken is absolutely
right Twitter or any tool shouldn’t be a substitute for good reporting if you
remember when I was talking about that I said I wanted to read the story ken
wrote after talking to two drinks behind so it needs to be a tool that you use
with every other tool in your journalist toolbox but when it’s but what it’s
really used for is to keep you from actually doing network is what mostly
it’s like romance I just suck I just saw Steve’s wife’s Twitter page tonight I
looked at it and it wasn’t about news it was about gossip which is what most of
us use that sort of stuff for sure well that’s fine that you’re not but it’s
most of us are using it to say hey I would like to add one good one other
perspective to this too and what concerns me about social networks I’m
one of those that’s a few drinks behind because I do not have a Facebook page
I do not Twitter I do not Flickr any of these and I sometimes think to myself
what am I going to wake up one day and say damn I should have been doing this a
long time ago but what concerns me is when we use these tools as journalists
is how can I gaze the validity of two drinks behind and that’s my biggest
concern anybody can post something on Facebook
anybody can tweet about whatever they want
I just recently watched a piece on oh I forget if it was a any or whatever it
might have been but a woman and I forget her name I apologize but she claimed to
be a victim of 9/11 she got tremendous press coverage out of
this she formed a survivor’s group she was probably on every major network in
every major newspaper and she was a flat-out liar and that’s probably what
concerns me the most especially when you think about the emotional toll that that
took on some of those families and the fact that she was posing and claiming to
have this same grief and struggle with losing I don’t believe she claimed to
have lost or she claimed to have lost co-workers and she was pulled by someone
you from the burning building in this amazing rescue and it was all a lie and
that’s probably one of my great Speirs I think they are great tools for
finding people because Steve you are right I mean you try to find somebody’s
phone number now to do a personal account of their story good luck I mean
you have to find another way of reaching them but I guess I can’t stress enough
the importance of not just picking up on that tweet and saying oh right we got to
go with this instead of doing your homework and making sure that this guy’s
really you know true what he’s saying if you read on my blog my my tips for
journalists using Twitter I should point out that one of the points I make is
that the principles of verification apply using that as they do with any
tool one of the one of the many outstanding series that Ken wrote in his
career at the Des Moines Register was a series called the truth about Bob that’s
a correct and one of the things that Ken did was he debunked years worth of media
stories pre-twitter pre-internet stories of journalists who didn’t verify their
facts in telling Bob stories right am I remembering this correctly so so Twitter
in the hands of a bad journalist will result in the same sort of nonsense that
can debunked in truth and the truth about Bob Twitter being used by a good
journalist will get us that story of two drinks behind when everybody else is
just reporting the official statements of NTSB and FAA and those and the
airlines because the fact is he was actually three drinks behind because
they weren’t giving him free drinks in the lounge the time he took the Twitter
yeah I mean that the fact that he tweeted that he wasn’t it better yeah
the fact that he tweeted they wasn’t drinking was a good thing for whatever
reporter would connect with him because you got to be careful when they are I
feel like magazines we have the time to track down a credible source experts in
the field and we have time to do that long-term reporting
maybe you know I’ve found a source online or found a source through those
but never once have we ever taken information from an online medium and
cited it as credible in the magazine so I think there’s a big difference there
and the length of time that we have to prepare stories as to newspapers and TV
and I think that’s probably my greatest concern you know when I stress that is
there is so much pressure and demand on us today to constantly be updating I
mean we no longer have a deadline I mean every time something is coming in we
need to be generating and putting that up on the web and I agree I mean these
social networking outlets are a great way to find some fantastic stories but I
just fear that in that pressure of the newsroom and Kennish you touched on you
know you need to be doing this and multitasking beyond your means that to
get to get the hits which goes to his question aid stories don’t generate hits
so why do we need to do them you know that’s that’s the that’s the question
for newspapers and I really worried that they’re gonna say you know we’d much
rather you do a story about how to date a cheerleader because that’s gonna
really drive traffic instead of this story about the people are really tired
of this bunk house with a million retarded man it’s it’s a it’s a great
question I don’t I don’t know I think to their credit most news organizations
still do the stories that people don’t want to read but the pressures there
certainly is there when I was in high school as the
editor-in-chief of our high school paper and we never really talked about PR or
the importance of advertising or the changing game that journalism always is
and I guess I kind of had an idea that there would be just an easy track to go
to college get my degree and then just start writing for a paper and I’m seeing
now that there’s just among the publication’s here at ISU some are
really good at getting people to pick up their paper or their magazine to get
people to read it and others are absolutely horrible and whether they’re and I’ve also noticed just through
Facebook ironically that back in my high school some of them are using Facebook
groups and Facebook event reminders to to spread PR for their own publications
and so my question is just what do you guys think that students both high
school and in college should be that we should be teaching them right now about
the future about like should we just be teaching them what journalism is to get
them excited about doing it or teaching them about the changing game and all
that I wouldn’t I wouldn’t dwell heavily in teaching journalism on today’s
business model because it won’t last that certainly needs to be covered but
if I were a journalist now I would concentrate on the skills of gathering
fact and verifying fact and the skills of telling stories in multiple ways with
multiple tools and that means with with words and the outstanding narrative
forms that Ken has mastered that means with video it means with interactive
databases and multimedia it means all the storytelling tools that are
available to us so if you learn to gather facts
and you learned to tell stories in a variety of ways I think that you will
have a promising future once the once somebody figures out the business model
of the future and it may not be newspaper publishers it may be folks
like Josh Marshall and Talking Points Memo but it may be a combination I work
for a newspaper company because I believe we are going to figure it out
and and I’m trying to help figure it out but I think there will always be a
demand for people who are good at gathering and verifying facts and and
and finding the stories and telling them well I hope they don’t get too far away
from the basics of you know what a story is how to report it fairly accurately
how to take competing claims and try to figure out who’s telling the truth I
think they do all that but I’m gonna tell you what Steve just said is right
in this respect you are doing yourself a disservice if you’re interested in being
a reporter and you can’t offer if you can’t say to the editor I can take
photos I can do videotape I can blog I can tweet twit wherever you want to call
it I can flickr whatever the hell that under you know what that is
I can go on Facebook they are they are obsessed right now with digital
journalism and the more you can offer them in that regard the better so if you
don’t know how to do videotape and get it online have a friend show you how to
do it because they’re gonna want that choice so if you want to have a job and
you want to make living as a journalist you need to be able to bring all those
skills to the table for them to hire you over somebody you can do all those
because they can’t afford to employ three or four different journalists to
do that job it needs to be one person and that’s how companies are making
their ends meet let me before energy talks just tell you my one of my last
stories I did for the register was covering the Iowa State Fair and I was
telling them at dinner tonight we had a photographer there who was taking still
photos with one hand and video and taping it video with the other hand and
I said next year they’ll have symbols attached to his leg so people can throw
quarters at him to raise revenue so that’s the sort of that’s a sort of
pressure you’re gonna be under to produce there’s really nothing more I
can add to that I mean I can only agree in terms of being unfortunately all
things it’s just the way it’s going unfortunately because as they all said
smaller staffs having that flexibility I mean a newspaper is just not the print
form it’s video it’s sound pictures it’s all everything and I should add that in
my first job out of college in 1976 I was taking notes writing stories taking
pictures writing the headlines you know so multitasking is also a strong
journalism tradition I’m glad I didn’t have to do video because my video really
sex it’s not a little lazy with being able to use the internet to find sources
and being able to use the internet you know to track down stories that appeared
in magazines but you can find them online I think it is a lot of work now
but it’s done I mean it’s definitely worth the work I just have to be willing
to do it we had a question down here so for those of us who have been trained in
print journalism and as all of you have and I feel that we’re really enamored
with these long-form pieces you like to see your byline on top of something
that’s you know 2,000 words impossible it’s a great feeling and in magazines
specifically you know that’s still common but for our generation my
generation the upcoming trend is to read two paragraphs get bored with it and
toss it out and I know that’s how I read which is unfortunate because I like to
write long stories it’s kind of a bad idea I’m just kind of wondering what the
aversion to you know to short form journalism is for instance cnn.com often
gets labeled as an as a mik journalism kind of idea I’ve been in marketing
classes where that’s been the term that’s used it’s it’s it’s make articles
it’s short form the depth really isn’t there but today I also saw that CNN is
vying for the top position on Twitter for the first tweet to reach 1 million
people asking twits and Kuchar has challenged them to beat
him there and this is the two top people above Britney Spears on Twitter right
now Ashton Kutcher of Cedar Rapids so CNN news news specifically not their
other content Ashton Kutcher Britney Spears three top Twitter Twitter people
is short-form what we’re looking for right now and if so is our jet is my
generation gonna be the people to do this or are you guys going to adapt
before we do I’ll answer that in a couple of ways first of all during the
campaign when he was when somebody was twittering actively for him Barack Obama
had the most followers on Twitter so it’s not it’s not just fluff it’s you
know it’s it’s serious time I should also say that one of the most valuable
uses I find for Twitter which if you’re not familiar gives you 140 characters to
make a point that’s about 21 words one of the most useful ways that I find for
using it is to find links to long-form thoughtful things about the business
time in or the community that I live in so Maria’s a great story is a great
story and I have been to several to a few Nieman narrative conferences where I
hear again and again and again the the spike in Internet traffic that a
powerful narrative series brings and I presume can that you’ve had some of that
experience with some of your work at the register when the Hamilton Spectator in
Ontario Canada was considering a a serialized story in a novel fashion but
it was all factual and every every detail verified about a serie doctor in
their community who was a serial killer he was from India and kept going back to
India to marry a new wife and bring her to Hamilton and poison her fabulous
story for a journalist not for the wife but that they were gonna run it in 31
parts and the circulation manager of the pran the print side was seen are you
crazy 31 parts and the internet folks were saying you know
people don’t really go with narrative long form stuff online attention span
and all that kind of stuff it drove record traffic and it drove
record print sales by about the third week the circulation director was
singing do we need to stop it for 31 days can we find another way for
something a great story is a great story is a great story and people like to read
great stories wherever they can find them and one of the great things about
great stories on online is the viral way that they spread that it’s not just the
people in Ames that read your great story here they send a link to their
friends all over and you get hits from all see I used to believe that I don’t
believe that anymore I don’t I don’t think I don’t think a great story is
necessarily gonna get it read if it’s in the newspaper if it’s long I agree with
you that most people like to paragraphs or on Twitter they want one sentence and
that’s about and I think at least I think it’s the medium I think that
they’re gonna look for that kind of work the longer work the more satisfying to
me work stories and books and magazines that’s why I’m basically one to get out
of newspapers I could I feel like a dinosaur with some of this stuff I want
to believe what he just said I’m not sure I’m not sure it’s it’s true I’m
actually my new goal now after tonight is I want to do the first Twitter
narrative serial of one set you know he grabbed a knife tomorrow the next
chapter he plunged it tomorrow you’ll find out who but I don’t think from what
I’ve seen I don’t think long form journalism in newspapers is healthy but
but I do think if it’s got a future it’s in the digital world where the price of
newsprint doesn’t come into play news holes and newspapers now are too tight
to support the kind of stuff that can and frankly I when I was a reporter got
our most satisfaction from actually can I start out I was a show of
hands does anyone here read dig dig calm it’s a user-generated like it’s a it
comp isles news stories or you know anything vlogs just pretty much any
website that you can and a lot of it some of it is news it’s just how do they
rank it’s like it’s it’s user-generated so like people can like if you like a
story you can dig it it’s a social rating yeah if it gets rated up if it’s
popular then it goes to the top and it comes to the front page I guess the
reason I think a lot of people that raise their hands were probably younger
people and that’s your future market well first of all to make the point of
like how things are changing look at like music you used to be you’d buy a CD
you know there might be 15 songs on the CD you hate all but one or two of them
and you pay 15 bucks or whatever for the CD now you buy the song $0.99 you forget
about the other stuff so I mean news I mean it seems like it’s
moving toward that so sometimes you know if you’re an organization that’s going
to be putting out news real news you know you’re probably gonna have to bite
the bullet on some things until you hit those ones that actually bring in the
money but you know it’s gonna happen it’s not gonna stop you know news is
gonna be demanded and they’re gonna be people who are gonna read it but the
delivery mechanism I think is what’s changing so that we’ve been talking
about so much going from newspapers and they’re on the slope down meanwhile
we’re in this middle ground where you can’t afford to print a newspaper but
you can’t afford to you know put it on online and actually pay you to pay your
bills for the newspaper that’s failing to so we’re in this middle ground but
what about it was it so let’s see Steve you talked
about mobile you know ways of spreading information through mobile devices like
iPhone I do and a CrackBerry I’m a real loser
okay so what’s wrong with mobile applications I mean why can’t we
implement something like this through mobile applications I
I’m actually a senior in Mis I’m not even journalism
I’m started I just I’m starting a company right now that I’m gonna
specialize in mobile applications so like why won’t this work I mean a lot of
people way along it it will as dr. bhushaiah said the technology is an
important part of the solutions and and you may be helping us find a way to
deliver news information advertising content other other sort of commercial
connections the the the fact of the matter is if if people are communicating
using these things we need to figure out what’s the model for giving them news
and information and on June 12th last year when my city was underwater in a
flood that went beyond the 500 year level we we sent out I think it was
nineteen different breaking news text alerts saying this bridge was closed
that that road was closed and so on and and heard tremendous response from our
community that that was exactly the news that they needed they loved our print
edition the next morning the the the best newspaper i’ve i’ve been a part of
producing in in 38 years in this business and and we we got it delivered
to everybody who wasn’t underwater and but that was too late to tell people
this bridge is closed that road is closed so absolutely mobile is an
important part of the future I just want to point
out though if that’s the standard if we’re just gonna produce stories based
on like music based on what people want Watergate would have died people did not
want to read about President Nixon legal problems during Watergate it was it was
the it was the decision of the editors mostly newspaper editors because they
were leading the charge to continue doing those stories under great pressure
and from people who didn’t want to read about anymore
so whose are we just if we’re just gonna go by popularity a lot of those stories
aren’t gonna be told yeah and I want to answer both because a lot of people
don’t understand that I’m an editor of a journalism social network and I’m an
adviser and I had an interesting conversation just the other day with
Febreze floor and of Apple who created shockwave and another person on that
another advisers Howard Rheingold like Howard wine don’t ask on all of his
books and there we are trying to advise this social network he told me to turn
my 64 page how to a news writer into 200 words because the demographics showed
that those users of our social network don’t have the attention span to get
beyond 200 words some arguments are complex some arguments I’m not winning
this argument because mine’s a very complicated argument it takes all these
truths and says they are right but there are other truths too so my job now is to
turn a journalism education into 250 words and I’m going to try I’m not going
to not try but the fact of the matter is is that’s the new reality and finally
the the people who speak most eloquently about new media are those who are lega
tours or a literary education and they forget how many books they think they
forget how many letters they’ve written they forget how many Excel sheets
they’ve looked at they forget how many critical thinking these are the ones who
are promoting new media without necessarily understanding that any other
function except breathing and here’s an interesting question anybody here been
broken up with on chat or text look at this look how cold this is raise your
hand you’ve been broken so when you hold up
your cell phones be care there somebody didn’t have the courage
to look you in the eye or maybe you didn’t have the courage to looks over
there and you said I broke up I break up with you did that happen you have that
person’s number this gimmick all I did I did this at boon D man it was a very
interesting occasion let’s call him up and let’s find out why you spend so much
time on text and you that’s cold man don’t you think it’s cold
how many other people have had a similar experience raise your hand but the fact
of the matter is it’s how they’re using and dig the most popular stories are you
know ones that we wouldn’t be reading for free let’s start with some free
things give away your obituaries for free cover for age bring families back
into the newsroom the things that we charge for a local newspaper are
outrageous I remember one time when that happened so I’m not gonna talk to them
about this anymore but that’s the issue I have to turn my book which is 64 pages
and I thought that was slim into okay we’re gonna take a few more questions
I’d like to kind of come back to content I know that everybody’s been more
interested kind of in the technology and can I’d like to talk to you about
citizen journalists and who really is qualified and not qualified to cover the
news having come from print and now online and I get into situations where I
can’t get a pass to want to cover the Cyclones for example because of NCAA
rules all right because I’m strictly online and yet I have been able to
employ at various times including when I was still at the register a citizen
journalist who did great coverage and after he left me he went on to write for
cyclone nation okay that calm so all of these people here are training or at
least they think they’re being trained to be journalists but there are a lot of
people at this university themselves who walk around with PhDs who are perfectly
capable of writing a pretty balanced article and so I’d like your
more thoughts from all of you Angie when somebody is out there getting that video
that you haven’t gotten on the scene yet or and and for I know in Cedar Rapids if
somebody gets there before Jeff rash is he’s still doing your mobile journalist
sure but yeah what could we talk about the people who are qualified to do that
and yet have don’t have a degree well anybody’s qualified I don’t never
degree I mean I don’t think it’s a matter of having a degree but I think
I’ve got a background in what it means to be trying to get both sides and that
sort of thing and I don’t I don’t I don’t belong to any political groups
that I don’t have a hidden agenda and some of these other folks I’m not sure
that they they don’t I’m not I’m not opposed to the whole concept I’m just
saying I think I think basically it’s another way to get not to have to pay
much I don’t know what you paid your citizen journalists but usually I think
that the idea now is that you they use these people more like volunteers I want
I want reporters to get paid you mentioned Jeff rash and outstanding
Iowa State grad thank you for sending Jeff far away Minh Jeff does an
outstanding job and and and covers most of our breaking news but he doesn’t
always get to the scene as quickly and and this week we had a car fire not big
news but it was big news to people who saw that that somebody uploaded their
cell phone picture I presume his cell phone picture of the the fire with with
the flames still going into our block talk hyperlocal tool or where you could
put it on the exact location and people in that neighborhood could click and see
how oh that’s what all the smoke was or whatever not a big story but they got
there one that when it was still a little flaming and Jeff was covering
something else or maybe we lost that damn it sure but it’s not as good as
Jeff getting there and doing picture video and story but
you know I think that we want to we need to verify you know or qualify what
things are are coming from what sources you need to watch out that that you’re
not presuming that people don’t have a stake in the user content that they
contribute or be transparent about it the difference is you know this guy you
hired him would you take somebody who came off the
street since I’ve got a story printed okay I mean that’s David Simon who was
the creator of The Wire worked at the Baltimore Sun wrote an essay recently in
the Washington Post which is really good talking about he saw a little blurb in
the Baltimore Sun about a shooting where a policeman had killed somebody and they
didn’t name the policeman and he thought that was outrageous and he went and
decided he was going to find out who it was and what the deal was he as he
pointed out there weren’t any citizen journalists or bloggers out looking for
that information to do that kind of work I’m not sure they’re actually doing this
sort of watchdog we’re gonna make you uncomfortable work that that newspaper
journalist and as I recall from reading that one of the things he pointed out
with the the reason they didn’t get the name was or the Baltimore Sun used to
have four or five cop reporters it was down to one or two and it wasn’t just a
citizen journalist not finding information the actual paid journalists
didn’t get it either I guess just to quickly add to that when
you talk about that content element especially from our perspective in
capturing that video I don’t think that’s necessarily anything new for a
television newsroom in terms of getting that content but it’s new in the way
that we’re receiving it I mean I can remember being sent to locations you
know to someone out in a rural area who had their shaky video camera capturing a
tornado and we would go and try to find a way to take their VHS and make it
compatible to what we are today it’s so much easier because they can upload that
video shoot it to us and we can put it on the air put it on the web within
minutes so I think that is what’s changed I still think
whether it be video whether it be something that assistant has looked into
and wants us now to them pursue as a news story that’s a lot of ways the same
thing that we have been doing for a long time it’s just how are we getting that
information how’s it being delivered to us okay I think we’re gonna go ahead and
have two more questions and then I would like to invite you all
to enjoy some refreshments over here and continue the conversation afterwards
with these four who I’m sure it would be more than willing to hang around listen
to you chat right sure you could Twitter me we’ve talked about all these mediums
including internet TV nobody said anything about radio that was our first
primitive technique of reaching many people at one time
aside from word of mouth or like a telegram would you predict a return of
radio because if I was driving down the road and some world disaster was had
happened and I was listening to the music a news reporter could come on the
radio and tell however many people it was broadcasting to what just happened
within maybe a matter of 20 minutes do you predict a return of this ancient
technique or do you think it will eventually die out well I should point
out for say the sake of factual accuracy that the newspapers have been around a
lot longer than radio and you talked about primitive technology but every
form of media we’re all being disrupted and and radio is being disrupted by
satellite radio it’s being disrupted by iPods my wife me me sitting in the
audience here never listens to the car radio she plugs in her iPod and listens
to her music and you can come on into with a breaking news flash on the radio
and she is not gonna catch it she just get it off Twitter that is true and and
so all media are being disrupted and need to need to innovate and and and
provide value even if people aren’t paying
for our content they pay with their attention we if we’re not providing
value they’re not going to give us time and so radio television you know news
websites newspapers magazines every form of media right now we’re all being
disrupted I do not think there will be a return of radio journalism for the
simple reason that the corporations that own and don’t want to pay for reporters
and and the truth is a whole lot of radio journalism was reading the
newspaper anyway that’s true I started my first Google in fact we had a story
last week before last where the radio station in Iowa City was reading Diane
helped gazette reporters tweets from the courtroom and the curt is when the
Curtis Frey verdict was being read so they’ve gone from reading our stories to
reading our tweets just quickly I did start my career in radio it was not that
long ago and it was for an all News Network over in Cedar Rapids previously
owned by The Gazette company and I spent probably about a year there and it
wasn’t long after that that it went to a completely sports radio generated format
I don’t think it was all that long ago now that the station was sold and I
think most of its content is generated by syndication so I would have to say no
I just I don’t feel like I’ve been doing this for all that long but long enough
to see you know how I started my career a station no longer exists a lot of the times when during your
individual ten-minute segments you talked about what the consumer wants how
many hits ooh that a lot about what what individuals were reading and a lot of
the centered around sensational honest stories where it wasn’t necessarily news
in itself more like breaking stories about car fires I mean I don’t I don’t
news but news and stuff that I can’t I can’t see it directly but I want to know
about and I mean maybe some people about fires but more about what I think of
like what this day is about first tomorrow day I guess I rely on freedom
of the press to get me news about the government and a lot of what I consider
to be like the the news stories that people want that generate hits on a
website or that people buy newspapers for it doesn’t really generate facts
about the government stories or even not even government at all anymore more
about just things that people experience in their lives that people other people
may find interesting so I mean coming from that do you think
that the freedom of the press is like an aged concept I mean how many citizens
feel that they need to exercise their freedom of press or to utilize other
people’s freedom of press to to find stories that albeit not as interesting
or exciting but maybe necessary to keep our government in check as far as the
First Amendment does if I could throw a question back to you do you feel in the
news that you value that you seek out are you an a majority or in the minority
do you believe of those who are seeking that hard-hitting news okay and I think
that’s probably the challenge because I’m also a lecturer here on campus and I
started off my classes a lot of times in the morning by asking students hey
what’s going on in the news today and I get a lot of blank stares sometimes and
I thought it was pretty telling this semester when I asked that question
and it was right around the time of the whole Chris Brown Rihanna we had about a
20 minute discussion in my class on that and everyone knew about that and so I’m
not saying good or bad but it was very telling to me then when I would bring up
something that I felt was that city government are that major issue that
surely this would be of prominence in terms of that you know news interest and
it didn’t register or didn’t even you know come up as something they had heard
about or they’ve been following so I guess that I think is is the challenge
and what we do is that I just don’t think a lot of people are always seeking
that I think that in 2007 the Washington Post which can already mentioned their
outstanding reporting during the Watergate era when many of you were not
born but we’ll bring it back closer to home in 2007 the Washington Post had one
of the most outstanding years in the history of journalism they won six
Pulitzer Prizes and three of them were for watchdog reporting on the government
on vice president Cheney’s role behind the scenes in the Bush administration on
the the Blackwater scandal over in in Iraq and on Walter Reed
there were three other Pulitzers they won for their coverage of Virginia Tech
massacre you know great breaking news coverage
Steve pearl Stein’s economic commentary which certainly had some some aspects of
government watchdog in some of the things that he commented on and then
Jeanne Weingarten’s fabulous feature writing that was clearly one of the best
years in the history of modern journalism they like I said that one the
six Pulitzer Prizes the only time anyone’s ever won more Pulitzers than
that was the New York Times for their their 9/11 coverage in that same year
advertising revenue at the Washington Post declined bytes in print advertising
revenue in the Washington Post declined by 77
million dollars online advertising revenue grew by six million dollars I
know there’s a lot of journalists in the audience here so let me help you with
the math that’s a net advertising loss of 71 million dollars if we want to
continue the kind of watchdog reporting that you’re talking about we have to
figure out the business model of the future of journalism and whatever
platforms it’s delivered in the business model is more important than the
technology because it’s good good journalism is expensive the Washington
Post in print and online gets a bigger audience
now than they did during the Watergate reporting what we need to do is figure
out how to serve the businesses that want to reach that audience the
Washington the Washington poses audience is totally different from as well sure
most every other newspaper absolutely but the answer your question I don’t
think people are willing to pay with we’ve told them they don’t have to then
why not it for years and years we’ve told them the value of what we’re
providing is not worth anything it’s free which I mean which is what goes to
it so you don’t have to pay now we’re coming back to saying wait a minute now
we’d like some money for it can you pay us and people are saying no I don’t want
to pay I’m used to not paying there are enough people like you out there most
editors think who are interested in paying for the kind of in-depth
governmental watchdog news that you are can they never pay the cost of gathering
the news they just paid the cost of having it delivered to their door and
printed well I’m not paying anything all right so well well then but but what was
a value to it if I’m a customer at home and I’m paying $20 a month for the paper
I’m saying there’s some value to what I’m getting we told you we don’t even
need that money Angie was Angie was right how much time do we spend with
television and bad example no it’s not I paid for CNN I pay for Fox News I pay
for MSNBC I pay for HBO people pay for TV
all the time they don’t pay for the local news although I get it through the
cable system if I want to in-depth national news I’m paying for it okay but
but before cable came along it was free you still don’t pay for the individual
cables just paying for the the delivery it’s not paying I’m it’s paint
how do you think CNN gets its money they sell advertise they also get they get
cable with that they get some cable revenue but it’s not paying for the
content it’s babe you guys are too young you know that well thank you very much let’s give a hand also to Virginia and
Marcia and everybody else let’s have a hand for Steve for recognizing those
people now Russia and Mark Witherspoon the advisor of the Iowa State Daley the
best student newspaper in the country according to SB J is going to give a
brief they’re gonna have a little award ceremony the red light zone I can see
the red line okay think some people thank you with verbally we thank you
with plaques and the on these plaques are what we consider one of the greatest
awards we can give here at the green school and that’s champion of the First
Amendment so I’d like to give a champion of the first time in the war to Michael
Bush Shia Steve buttery in Fuson jelly eagle thank
you so much

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