"E & P Reports" from Editor & Publisher Magazine hosted by Mike Blinder

Mike Blinder

Each week, Editor & Publisher Magazine (E&P) produces a Vodcast of timely interviews with newspaper, broadcast, online and all forms of news publishing and media industry leaders. E&P has been publishing since 1884 and is considered the "bible" and "authoritative voice" of the North American newspaper industry. Each episode is hosted by Publisher Mike Blinder. A video version of "E&P Reports" is also available on YouTube or on the E&P Website at: http://www.EditorandPublisher.com/vodcasts

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165 The best of 2022 E&P's "The Corner Office," from consultant/ columnist Doug Phares
2d ago
165 The best of 2022 E&P's "The Corner Office," from consultant/ columnist Doug Phares
Doug Phares is a passionate business consultant who helps executives find ways to get past all the hurdles and challenges that slow us down. From small-scale work like examining product bundling to assisting decision-makers in developing 3-year plans, Phares has seen it all over the course of his career. In his news media career, Phares was most recently the CEO of the Sandusky Newspaper Group (SNG), a media holding company operating in Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Before that, he was Boone Newspapers's group president and managed Copley properties.  Today, Phares is managing director of Silverwind Enterprises, a Florida-based firm that provides executive-level business services. He's also the board chair of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches, an organization with 3,000-plus international members comprised of independent business owners and non-profit career centers such as colleges and universities, military bases, workforce development offices and state Departments of Labor in North America. In this 165th episode of “E&P Reports," we review this year's contributions to Editor & Publisher Magazine from consultant Dough Phares's "The Corner Office, his monthly advice column for c-suite executives. Topics we cover include how to better onboard and retain quality talent,  increasing productivity with what he calls a "Big Mac Presentation," and how to bolster sales by "Getting to the no," increasing a manager's self-awareness by asking, "Are you managing or doing?" And there's much more.
165 The best of 2022 E&P's "The Corner Office," from consultant/ columnist Doug Phares
2d ago
165 The best of 2022 E&P's "The Corner Office," from consultant/ columnist Doug Phares
Doug Phares is a passionate business consultant who helps executives find ways to get past all the hurdles and challenges that slow us down. From small-scale work like examining product bundling to assisting decision-makers in developing 3-year plans, Phares has seen it all over the course of his career. In his news media career, Phares was most recently the CEO of the Sandusky Newspaper Group (SNG), a media holding company operating in Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Before that, he was Boone Newspapers's group president and managed Copley properties.  Today, Phares is managing director of Silverwind Enterprises, a Florida-based firm that provides executive-level business services. He's also the board chair of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches, an organization with 3,000-plus international members comprised of independent business owners and non-profit career centers such as colleges and universities, military bases, workforce development offices and state Departments of Labor in North America. In this 165th episode of “E&P Reports," we review this year's contributions to Editor & Publisher Magazine from consultant Dough Phares's "The Corner Office, his monthly advice column for c-suite executives. Topics we cover include how to better onboard and retain quality talent,  increasing productivity with what he calls a "Big Mac Presentation," and how to bolster sales by "Getting to the no," increasing a manager's self-awareness by asking, "Are you managing or doing?" And there's much more.
164 A frank one-on-one with the LMA's Nancy Lane
Nov 26 2022
164 A frank one-on-one with the LMA's Nancy Lane
Recently Meta (formally Facebook) made it official that it was leaving the news business, as they included most of the staff that worked within their “Meta Journalism Project Accelerator Program" in the 11,000 company positions eliminated in their mid-November 2022 mass layoffs. Since 2019, the U.S.-based Local Media Association (LMA) and associated Local Media Foundation worked in partnership with Meta as a facilitator providing administrative services and publishing case studies about how over $16.8 million in funds were distributed across North America to local publishers. The funds were to assist them in initiatives that included building reader revenue, monetarizing branded content and others. Some within the news publishing industry have criticized big tech companies like Google and Meta’s journalistic philanthropy, stating it was just a means to help them lobby against pending legislation. That legislation — the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act (JCPA) (H.R. 1735 and S. 673) — would allow news publishers to collectively negotiate with the tech platforms for fair compensation for the use of their content. Others, like former ProPublica president Dick Tofel, have been adding their voice to many who feel that there are flaws in how these hundreds of millions in big-tech philanthropy have been allocated through organizations and not directly from the providers themselves. However, LMA CEO Nancy Lane has been very outspoken lately in defending the positive impact the Meta Journalism Project has had on the industry, posting a statement about their organization's Meta dollars, "Most of the $16.8 million ($12+ million) was distributed through the COVID-19 relief fund and nearly 80 percent of recipients were family- or independently-owned.” Lane stated: “More than half of the funds were used to benefit publishers by or for communities of color; nearly 40% were digitally native publishers, and over 1/3 were nonprofits." She also stated that "82% used the grants to expand their local reporting on COVID-19 issues. 23% said the funding outright saved their newsrooms from extinction.” In this 164th episode of "E&P Reports," we go one-on-one with Local Media Association (LMA) and associated Local Media Foundation CEO Nancy Lane on her impressions of how the millions of dollars that Meta/ Facebook has donated to the news publishing industry since 2019 has benefited local journalism and the impact it may have in the future as those funds cease to exist. We also posed questions on the future of local news enterprises and what she feels are viable, sustainable business models for local journalism.
163 ProPublica founder Dick Tofel speaks on funding/ philanthropy flaws and more
Nov 12 2022
163 ProPublica founder Dick Tofel speaks on funding/ philanthropy flaws and more
After senior management positions at Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, Dick Tofel helped start and eventually led the well-known, nonprofit investigative journalistic entity ProPublica for 15 years. Today he consultants the industry as the principal of Gallatin Advisory. However, Tofel recently "lit up the Twittersphere" when he posted on his blog, "Second Rough Draft," an unabashed and unvarnished assessment and warning about how philanthropic funds are awarded to journalistic enterprises. He stated how there may be flaws within the process that some organizations and associations employ today — questioning that "Given limited resources, shouldn't more money go to news orgs directly, even if that means making hard choices?” In the November 3, 2022 post entitled "A Few Words of Warning About Funding Intermediaries and Philanthropy’s Leaky Bucket,” Tofel states that he is concerned that organizations like LION (Local Independent Online News) Publishers, the Knight Foundationand others “may be getting a bit out of scale” in handling the millions of dollars of funds they allocate. He sees a "more pressing need for funding nonprofit news organizations directly." Tofel states, "To put a finer point on it, I am increasingly worried when I observe what I see as the increasing fragility of many nonprofit newsrooms juxtaposed with the robust growth of the intermediaries whose mission is to support them.” Within the piece, later "picked up" and published by Harvard's NiemanLab, Tofel cites data showing how half of LION Publishers' members, between the years 2020 and 2021, showed no revenue growth at all, while the association itself had in the same period revenue growth from less than $700,000 to $3.8 million. And The Knight Foundation spent more than $10 million on staff and trustees in 2020 to make $71 million in grants, while the much larger and more diversified Ford Foundation spent on staff and trustees in the same year about as much as Knight spent on grantees ($71 million again) to make about $805 million in grants. In this 163rd episode of "E&P Reports," we go one-on-one with ProPublica founder Dick Tofel, first on his latest opinion piece on how there may be some flaws in how organizations like LION Publishers and the Knight Foundation award millions in philanthropic journalistic funds. And his views that the only sustainable model for local journalism will be nonprofit enterprises.
162 Against big tech comp, paywalls & more. 1-on-1 with Jeff Jarvis
Nov 4 2022
162 Against big tech comp, paywalls & more. 1-on-1 with Jeff Jarvis
As the news publishing industry continues to fight the big tech giants, Google & Facebook, for what is considered fair compensation for the content journalists create and that the tech companies monetize via clicks and posts, one voice tweets to over 170,000 followers: "Klobuchar's JCPA is shit legislation” and “Protectionism is not a business model. Whining is not a business model. Handouts are not a business model. Lobbying politicians is not a business model. Adding value to communities and their conversations, helping them meet their goals: that is the only model worth pursuing.”   Those tweets and comments belong to the director of the Tow-Knight Center at the Craig Newmark Graduate School at CUNY, Jeff Jarvis, who also posts that “paywalls damage democracy." He states, "When disinformation is free, how can we restrict quality information to the privileged who choose to afford it?”   Jarvis is not a newcomer to our industry, starting in the '70s as a columnist at the San Francisco Examiner, spending most of the '90s as president and creative director at advance.net, the digital arm of Newhouse Newspapers, Conde Nast magazines, Fairchild Publications and Bright House Cable. He eventually began consulting and blogging about digital transformation and teaching at CUNY. He has authored over five books, including: "What Would Google Do?: Reverse-Engineering the Fastest Growing Company in the History of the World (2009)”  and “Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live." In his latest Kindle Single offering, "Guttenberg the Geek,” Jarvis claims that Johannes Gutenberg was our first “geek” and our “patron saint of entrepreneurs," being the original technology entrepreneur, facing the same challenges a Silicon Valley startup deals with today. He even draws a parallel between Guttenberg and Steve Jobs on how they both had to raise capital and mitigate risk to innovate how we would receive our content for centuries. In this 162nd episode of “E&P Reports,” we go one-on-one with the director of the Tow-Knight Center at the Craig Newmark Graduate School at CUNY, asking Jeff Jarvis his reasons for not supporting current congressional fair compensation efforts and antitrust legislation to help local news publishers continue to find sustainable business models. Why is the industry making a big mistake moving toward paid content models? Why he believes "Media forms have half-lives, newspapers & magazines are fading, and broadcast's age is ending."
160 Mourning a newspaper's death through the words of the residents impacted
Oct 22 2022
160 Mourning a newspaper's death through the words of the residents impacted
Andrew Conte, founding director of the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University, has been receiving wide industry acclaim for his latest book “Death of the Daily News,” which tells the story of how residents in one Pennsylvania community have identified and sorted local news and information since their local newspaper stopped publishing after 131 years. The book also addresses how “citizen gatekeepers” run a new local newspaper and an online news outlet, post to social media sites and seek other platforms for sharing information. “The massive changes that have caused so much disruption and pain for our industry also are creating opportunities for the future of local journalism,” Conte stated. “While the book focuses on a motif of ‘death,’ the narrative tells a story of rebirth that should give hope for all of us who care about local news and the democratic institutions it supports.”  “The hardest part was probably getting people to trust me enough to talk about what was going on in a community where people are wary of outsiders,” says Conte. “They want to know your intentions and why you are interested in their community before they start talking to you and opening up. And so that took a long time.” In this 160th episode of “E&P Reports,” we interview veteran reporter-turned-educator Andrew Conte, who founded the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. He is also the author of “Death of the Daily News,” his latest book, which takes an in-depth look, via local reporting, at what happens when one local community loses its newspaper of record and flounders to find other forms of local journalism.
159 One man’s fight to return public notices to his Kansas publication.
Oct 15 2022
159 One man’s fight to return public notices to his Kansas publication.
Most United States municipalities have laws requiring that all public notices must be published by a third-party independent newspaper — a concept that dates to the 1700s. This practice is based on the idea that the people of a democracy have the right to know what is going on with their government and the legal proceedings that occur within their community. There is no question that the newspaper industry, especially on individual state levels, spends a good deal of resources to maintain that precedent, not only because the public notice linage creates necessary revenues that fund our newsrooms. These small, innocuous postings have helped provide, in many cases, another level of transparency within local governments that has uncovered and delivered a final check on graft and possible theft of tax dollars. Over time some states and municipalities have found various reasons to try to stop the practice of placing public notices within newspapers of record. For example, in a March 2022 episode of "E&P Reports," this magazine reported on how the state of Florida passed sweeping legislation, reversing their stance on the practice in what was rumored to be the result of a vendetta between the state's governor and a hard hitting investigative reporter (“Florida's public notice reversal”). More recently, the small town of Westmorland, Kansas' city council took advantage of a loophole in the state charter that allowed certain city governments to opt out of having to place these notices within a newspaper by declaring home rule in the exemption. The council's claim for the change was simply a way to save taxpayer money. On August 11, 2022, Ned Seaton, the GM and editor-in-chief of the Manhattan (KS) Mercury and the Times of Pottawatomie County Kansas, the newspaper of record of Westmorland, stood in front of the council and pled a case that reminded the council members of the three key implications of the government’s choice to remove notices from newspapers: Budget, transparency, and liability. Within the very text of the recorded speech, Seaton stated to the group: “I am asking you to reverse your vote last month and instead continue to stand for transparency. I am asking you to designate – as your predecessors have designated for decades – an independent, subscription-supported printed newspaper as the verifiable method of notifying the public of what you're doing. By doing so, you'll be not only supporting a regional family-owned business and its employees who cover your meetings, and you'll be using a cost-effective medium and making a statement that you value government accountability — at least to the extent of four-tenths of one percent of your budget." His compelling argument worked; the council voted to reinstate the practice directly after. In this 159th episode of "E&P Reports," we interview Ned Seaton, the GM and editor-in-chief of the Manhattan (KS) Mercury and the Times of Pottawatomie County Kansas, the newspaper of record of Westmorland, KS. The town decided to suspend the placement of public notices in the local newspaper and then reverse itself when reminded by Seaton of the value and overall benefit the practice itself has for the community as a whole. Also appearing is Emily Bradbury - Executive Director of the Kansas Press Association. She offers her perspective on how important it is that news publishers help in all ways possible to keep this practice in place.
158 A Texas newspaper acquired by local public broadcasting. A new trend?
Oct 9 2022
158 A Texas newspaper acquired by local public broadcasting. A new trend?
The Denton Record-Chronicle, the main newspaper for the city of Denton and Denton County Texas, a suburb of the Dallas/ Fort Worth “Metroplex” with a population slightly under 1-million, recently announced that it is being acquired by KERA public media, the regional public broadcasting facility of north Texas. Assisting to make the deal happen is the National Trust for Local News, a non-profit entity that has a focus on developing the financial end of new business models for local news. And who heled put together the Colorado News Conservancy, a public benefit corporation, which along with a large regional news website has now purchased a number of suburban newspapers near Denver, CO (“Denver News Disruptor Colorado Sun Purchases Suburban Weeklies”). In this 158th episode of “E&P Reports” we interview Bill Patterson, Publisher of the Denton (TX) Daily Record-Chronicle, Elizabeth Hansen Shapiro, CEO and Co-Founder at The National Trust for Local News (NTLN), Senior Research Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism and Nico Leone, President & CEO of KERA the public broadcasting outlet in North Texas that just announced the purchase of the Daily Record with the assistance of NTLN. Patterson speaks to how and why he sought out the sale of his 3-generation family-owned media company, while Leone talks about the benefit to public broadcasting expanding into local legacy news and Shapiro explains how deals like this are made and how they may be become much more common in the future.
157 Celebrating forty years! USA TODAY’s Nicole Carroll talks about four decades of reporting the news in accessible but innovative ways
Oct 2 2022
157 Celebrating forty years! USA TODAY’s Nicole Carroll talks about four decades of reporting the news in accessible but innovative ways
It has only been a few years since the February 2018 announcement that Nicole Carroll was to succeed Joanne Lipman as editor-in-chief of USA Today. She was by no means an outsider to the operation, being part of their Network of more than 200 local digital properties in 45 states. As an editor and vice president of news at The Arizona Republic, Carroll led a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting. Today, Carroll not only manages this Gannett flagship, but she is also one of the 19 members of the Pulitzer Board, comprising leading journalists, news executives and academics who preside over the judging process. In this 157th episode of “E&P Reports,” E&P Publisher Mike Blinder speaks with Nicole Carroll, president of news and editor-in-chief of USA TODAY, about the past 40 years for this iconic news media brand and its evolution to a multi-platform national information outlet. Their conversation occurred in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ian, a devastating storm for Florida, where Gannett operates 18 daily operations, including in Ft. Myers and Naples. Carroll reported to Blinder that at least three of their journalists’ homes were no longer habitable. She marveled at the tenacity and resilience of their journalists. “Daylight came, and they could not wait to get back out there, helping their community, and that has been their focus,” Carroll told Blinder. Having Gannett’s newsrooms across the country and abroad connected through digital communications enables journalists to share information and build on stories. Journalists chat about important public interest topics — in this case, a catastrophic weather event. Through chat conversations, they began planning their approach to coverage approach when the storm was still a far-off tropical depression. Carroll and Blinder also spoke about the USA TODAY’s 40th Anniversary and the brand’s evolution. Earlier in her career, she was a Gannett reporter “on loan” — or “loaners” — to USA TODAY. “You would work three- or six-month shifts, and then you’d go back to your home paper,” she explained to Blinder. Content that is factual, informative, and accessible is foundational to the brand. “We always say that we’re expert, not elitist,” she said. That resonates with readers. USA TODAY continues to have strong single-copy and home-delivery figures, she suggested, plus distribution at partner hotels. This brilliant marketing strategy introduced an untold number of travelers to USA TODAY’s colorful front page, predictably placed just outside their hotel room door each morning. The website attracts an impressive audience, as well, including a segment that represents younger news consumers. “We have, on average, 100 million unique visitors every month to USA TODAY,” Carroll reported. “We are leaning into our heritage of innovation. We were innovative 40 years ago. We still are today. So, just this morning, we created out of Hurricane Ian a text chat where people can sign up for texts about the hurricane. Some of them are getting cell service, but they’re not getting internet, or they don’t have power, and we’re giving them constant updates via text to the readers. And we were up to more than 5,000 people in about 24 hours who’ve signed up for that. So, that’s one small daily innovation we’re doing to connect readers to the news they need when they need it.” Having seen USA Today mature over decades, Carroll credits the editorial coverage for its longevity and popularity.  “Our editors were just in tune with what America was talking about,” she reflected.
156 “He runs one of the largest media operations you’ve never heard about.” Meet Kevin Dilley
Sep 25 2022
156 “He runs one of the largest media operations you’ve never heard about.” Meet Kevin Dilley
When Editor & Publisher Magazine (E&P) opened the nomination process for the yearly "25 over 50" salute, one entry from Emily Metzgar, a director at the School of Media & Journalism at Kent State University, stated that Kevin Dilley, the director of Kent State Student Media, “Has built one of the largest media operations you’ve never heard about.” Emily wrote E&P that “Kevin wrangles a $750,000 budget annual budget, 400+ students each semester, nine distinct media outlets, one business office and 30+ platforms.” She also mentioned that Dilley tackled challenges stemming from COVID-19, where he was able to keep the student-run TV station on the air even while being directed to operate remotely. There is no question that Kevin Dilley deserved to be recognized as a "25 over 50" in the September edition of E&P Magazine. However, after some investigation into the many successful ongoing programs that Kent State Student Media has developed and the numerous awards their journalism continues to win, E&P decided to go one step further and introduce you to the leader of this large campus-based media operation. In this 156th episode of E&P Reports, meet Kevin Dilley, the director of Kent State University Media, where we explore the work the 400+ students produce for 10 distinct media outlets and 30+ media platforms. Plus, E&P Publisher Mike Blinder and contributing journalist Victoria Holmes ask Dilley how he feels about the future of News Publishing as being one of the educators that helps today's students become tomorrow's industry leaders.
155 One-on-one with Chris Stirewalt
Sep 17 2022
155 One-on-one with Chris Stirewalt
Before joining Fox News, Chris Stirewalt served as political editor for the Washington Examiner. As a top editor and election forecaster for Fox News’ decision desk during the 2020 election, Stirewalt stood firm to defend the network being the first to correctly call Arizona for Joe Biden on election night — the first sign that Donald Trump would lose the 2020 presidential race. What resulted was a backlash from Trump, his supporters and even calls for his being imprisoned as part of an election fraud conspiracy. In his latest book “Broken News: Why the Media Rage Machine Divides America and How to Fight Back,” Stirewalt states that some news organizations (like Fox News, MSNBC and others) have developed a philosophy of fanning the anger within their core audience in what he calls “rage revenue” practices that leans towards bias coverage that helps stoke the political division and culture wars within the U.S. In “Broken News,” Stirewalt offers some inside insight into these news operations about how they reward this form of coverage because it is easier and more profitable than investigative journalism. But all is not lost because not only does “Broken News” point out the problems within the news industry, but it also offers the reader a solution to become better news consumers for the sake of the future of our democracy. In this 155th episode of “E&P Reports,” we go one-on-one with Chris Stirewalt, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), contributing editor for The Dispatch and author of his new book, “Broken News: Why the Media Rage Machine Divides America and How to Fight Back,” where he writes about his time as the top political editor and election forecaster for the Fox News channel and how he became famous (and subsequently vilified) for being the first to correctly call the 2020 election results for the state of Arizona in favor of Biden. Stirewalt offers some inside intelligence and perspective on how the biased reporting of news media outlets like MSNBC and Fox News channel are helping divide our country and advises on how we, the news consumer, can help find some common ground.
154 1-on-1 with I Messenger Media's Cheryl Smith, 2022 NABJ Hall of Fame inductee
Sep 10 2022
154 1-on-1 with I Messenger Media's Cheryl Smith, 2022 NABJ Hall of Fame inductee
One of the 2022 inductees for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Hall of Fame included the publisher/editor of Dallas, Texas-based I Messenger Media: Cheryl Smith. This latest honor was presented at the August 2022 NABJ Annual Convention in Las Vegas, where her numerous awards, years of service to the industry and contributions to black journalism were recognized. Smith has more than 35 years of experience in the news publishing industry. She is the current executive director and publisher of I Messenger Media News Group, the owners of Texas Metro News, Garland Journal and I Messenger newspapers. She is also the region IV president for the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a board member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the immediate past president of the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists (DFW/ABJ). Smith was also recognized in the September issue of E&P Magazine within the 2022 “Class of 25 over 50,” a yearly group of news executives chosen based on an industry-wide nomination process. Her name was submitted by Eva D. Colman, NABJ region III director of the NABJ, where she cited that "Cheryl has dedicated her entire career to the betterment of our industry, those who serve in it, want to become a part of it and consume all that we bring to it."  Colman said, "Watching Cheryl tirelessly pursue diversity and fairness at all costs has been inspirational to myself and others, not only in Dallas-Fort Worth, however globally as well. Leaders throughout the African diaspora seek her guidance in messaging, advocacy, human rights initiatives and so much more.” In this 154th episode of "E&P Reports," we go one-on-one with Cheryl Smith, owner/ publisher of I Messenger Media News Group & 2022 inductee in the National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ) Hall of Fame, where we discuss her career not only as a successful news publishing executive, but also her views on the industry as a whole, where it is heading, and how we can achieve more diversity, equity and inclusion to better represent the communities we serve.
153 1-on-1 with Mike Barnicle, a frank discussion on covering a democracy in crisis
Sep 3 2022
153 1-on-1 with Mike Barnicle, a frank discussion on covering a democracy in crisis
With elections, law enforcement agencies, the courts, elected officials, branches of the government and the very rule of law under sustained and concerted attack by its own citizens and elected leaders, there is no question that the media has an essential role to play in addressing these important issues. E&P’s September 2022 cover story “American Democracy in Crisis” reports on the need for the news media industry to reframe democracy coverage during this perilous & critical moment in U.S. history. Award-winning print and broadcast journalist Mike Barnicle is no stranger to this topic as a regular contributor on MSNBC’s popular Morning Joe, where he discusses the news of the day with prominent guests, scholars, political leaders, and fellow journalists. Barnicle began his career in the 1960’s as a young speech writer for John Tunney, Edmund Muskie, and the late Robert F. Kennedy. He then moved on to become one the nation’s most respected newspaper columnists, penning more than 4,000 pieces, for over 25-years for the Boston Herald, New York Daily News, and The Boston Globe. Today, his work is seen regularly on the pages of Newsweek, The Baily Beast, The Huffington Post, ESPN, Esquire and other publications.  In this 153rd episode of “E&P Reports” Publisher Mike Blinder goes one-on-one with well-known TV commentator and journalist Mike Barnicle, where they discuss the state of the news media industry, and the challenges journalists are facing in reporting on the culture wars and political polarization that is affecting our society.
152 As Trust in T.V. news & newspapers continue to decline, NewsGuard offers “trust ratings” for over 7,500 websites.
Aug 27 2022
152 As Trust in T.V. news & newspapers continue to decline, NewsGuard offers “trust ratings” for over 7,500 websites.
The latest Gallup poll came with a warning flare: “Americans’ confidence in two facets of the news media — newspapers and television news — has fallen to all-time low points.” Since 1973, Washington, D.C.-based Gallup, Inc. has polled Americans about their trust in newspapers and, in 1993, began tracking American sentiments about television/cable news. A mere 16% of Americans “have a great deal/quite a lot of confidence in newspapers,” Gallup’s Research Consultant Megan Brenan summarized the July 2022 findings. Television news fared even worse, with just 11% of the respondents having “some degree of confidence” in the news service cable and network news provides. Gordon Crovitz and Steven Brill co-founded NewsGuard in 2018 to help the public discern what is trusted, reliable news on the internet. Crovitz and Brill were guests on E&P Reports’ 152nd vodcast episode to talk about trust in news and misinformation online. “At least when you were reading your first newspaper, you knew you were reading a Hearst newspaper. You sort of knew what you were getting,” Crovitz said. “If you think about where we are today, the metaphor I like to use is: Imagine right now, if you walk into a library, books are neatly arranged on shelves, the magazines are arranged on shelves according to topic. You can pick up the book. You can read the book jacket. You know who the author is. You know who the publisher is. … Now, imagine instead you walked into the library, and there are just a trillion pieces of paper flying around in the air, and you grab one out of the air and start reading it. You don’t know who wrote it; you don’t know who’s financing it. You don’t know what their backgrounds are. There’s no librarian. You’re on your own,” he explained. Using a transparent and weighted set of nine criteria, NewsGuard rates news sites on a scale of 100. It assigns symbols from red to green based on the scoring and provides users with a “Nutrition Label” that explains the site's score. On July 22, 2022, NewsGuard circulated a press release about its “downgrade” of MSNBC’s and Fox News’ websites, which read in part: “For the first time since NewsGuard launched in 2018, both the Fox News and MSNBC sites are rated red, meaning they have earned an overall score of less than 60 out of 100. Their readers are urged to proceed with caution when they encounter content from these websites. … In both cases, NewsGuard analysts have now found that the most opinionated programming on the cable outlets, often based on clearly false claims, is now so extensively published and heavily promoted on the websites that a significant portion of the websites’ content fails to adhere to basic journalistic practices.”
150 A one-on-one with Rick Rogers, now six months in as the Owner/ Publisher of Star Local Media
Aug 13 2022
150 A one-on-one with Rick Rogers, now six months in as the Owner/ Publisher of Star Local Media
On January 28th, 2022, The Dallas Morning News reported on the purchase of a local, suburban metroplex group of weekly newspapers, stating, "Instead of a trip to Hawaii to celebrate 25 years together, Rick and Elizabeth Rogers bought a community newspaper company.” That company is Star Local Media, a community publishing group based in the affluent northeast suburb of Plano, Texas, that prints 14 community newspapers across cities in Denton, Collin, and Dallas counties, with some titles more than 100 years old. Rick Rogers is not unknown to most in the news publishing business, with his most recent job as Chief Revenue Officer at TownNews. His previous life offered 25 years of editorial, publishing and management experience with corporate roles at ACM and Gatehouse Media in Missouri and Texas. Rick and his wife Elizabeth have resided for the past 11 years in Frisco — a market served by Star Local Media with the Frisco Enterprise, making them both quite familiar with the communities they serve. In this 150th episode of "E&P Reports," we go one-on-one with a longtime industry veteran and recent CRO of TownNews. Rick Rogers' journey from serving media companies as a vendor to becoming owner/ publisher of the Dallas suburban weekly newspaper group, Star Local Media, is highlighted. He talks frankly about why he chose to invest in local media, how he and his wife/ partner Elizabeth are facing the challenges of news publishing in today’s challenging marketplace and how his 1st quarter P & L fared.
149 Data is fundamental to The Washington Post's “Unaccountable” series
Aug 6 2022
149 Data is fundamental to The Washington Post's “Unaccountable” series
Damian Daniels had three encounters with the local police during the last 48 hours of his life. The Army veteran was in his home in August 2020, amid a mental health crisis, when his brother — 800 miles away in Colorado — called the Red Cross for help. The agency, in turn, called 9-1-1, and police officers were dispatched for a welfare check that turned deadly, culminating in an officer shooting Daniels twice, killing him. Tragedies like this — when a person in the throes of a mental health crisis is shot and killed by police officers — aren’t rare. Washington Post reporters Jon Gerberg and Alice Li found 178 similar cases over the course of three years. They wrote about Daniel’s death in “When a call to the police for help turns deadly,” part of the Washington Post’s “Unaccountable” investigative series — a deep dive into how the police serve the communities they’re tasked to protect. Jon Gerberg is a senior video journalist for the Washington Post and a member of the investigative team. He's been with the news organization since 2017, and before that, he reported for The New York Times, the Associated Press, TIME, and worked as a foreign affairs producer for “PBS NewsHour.”   As the database editor for the investigations unit at the Washington Post, Steven Rich knows data and how integral it is to investigative stories. Rich and Gerberg were E&P Publisher Mike Blinder's guests on E&P Reports 149th episode. They were joined by E&P contributor Gretchen A. Peck for a conversation about data and the “Unaccountable” series. “I got the job here at The Post through an internship,” Rich recalled during the vodcast. “I turned that internship into a second internship and into a job. At the time, there was not as much data capacity at The Post. They sort of needed me, and I was focused largely on large investigative projects.” Though the term “data journalism” may be relatively recent on the news-evolution timeline, the practice is hardly novel. “Data journalism has kind of been under the surface for a very long time,” Rich said, citing Ida B. Wells as an example, who in effect collected data about lynchings in the south. Rich sees data as a way to offer larger context to otherwise anecdotal stories. “My job is to take your anecdotes and to tell you how often they happen,” he said. For roughly seven years, The Post’s data team has been building a publicly available database of police shootings across the country, populating it, mining it, and gleaning patterns and revelations to inform their reporting. For example, they track the number and location of police-involved shootings, whether the victim was armed, and where it took place — for instance, in a private home versus in a public setting. They also seek insight into why the police are on the scene at all — if a call to 9-1-1 was the only option for help.  The investigative team knew that Damian Daniel’s death was not unique. They knew of other high-profile incidents when the police were called to help people in mental crisis, only to kill them during the course of that interaction. They cited Daniel Prude in Rochester, New York and Walter Wallace, Jr. in Philadelphia. “But we wanted to know how often this is actually happening, and that’s where we turn to colleagues like Steven, who have actually been compiling this database,” he added. With the help of a team of journalism students from American University, The Post’s investigative team could look at approximately 1,000 police shooting cases and drill down to those for which mental health was a suspected or known factor. They found 178 such occurrences, representing victims of all ages, races and genders. There were some things the data didn't reveal, which required the investigative team to find answers in other ways. For example, the database doesn't currently track officers' disciplinary records or suspensions, whether they were involved in prior similar incidents, or whether they've been violent outside of the job. “My approach to data journalism is and has always been as a way to take a great story and make it excellent,” Rich said. “The most important part of data journalism is the journalism itself. … It’s one thing to collect data, but you have to actually extract the meaning out of it,” Rich suggested.   The “Fatal Force” database continues to inform the investigative team’s reporting. “It’s kind of a gift that keeps on giving, from a storytelling and reporting perspective,” Gerberg told Blinder and Peck. "Data really is the fundamental spine of our reporting because why are we telling these stories if they do not tell us something about the world in which we live? I would just add that if you kind of take the inverse of that, if you only have the data and are never taking stories out of that, what does it mean in the first place? I think a crucial part of our job is to take that data and identify those trends, but also work to really illuminate and understand what kind of consequences these trends are having in the lives of everyday people,” Gerberg concluded. The team’s reporting of this story inspired change in Bexar County, Texas. “Bexar County had a mental-health response unit within its own police department,” Gerberg explained. “The problem was, Mr. Daniels was actually in the jurisdiction of the Bear County Sheriff’s, rather than the [San Antonio Police Department] — so, a different jurisdiction. But since Mr. Daniel’s killing, the judge there has implemented a secondary program to increase mental health options for the rest of the county, as well.”
146 Exploring The Tributary, Jacksonville's new nonprofit news outlet
Jul 16 2022
146 Exploring The Tributary, Jacksonville's new nonprofit news outlet
On their website, JaxTrib.com, the team of Jacksonville, Florida's newest news outlet, posted, "Before it’s too late, we must rethink what news will look like and how it will be delivered in our community. For the Tributary, the future of local journalism is about accountability and accessibility. This nonprofit news hub feeds investigative stories to area partners, filling a gap in coverage of entrenched problems and solutions to strengthen the entire Northeast Florida news ecosystem.” Founded by two newsroom veterans of Gannett’s Jacksonville (FL) Times-Union, Andrew Pantazi, the founding editor and Deirdre Conner, board chairman, worked for over one year to establish the nonprofit entity and find the necessary funding to establish an investigative news outlet that proudly shares their stories with other area media companies. Moreover, Pantazi, who, while working for Gannett, helped organize the Times-Union’s newsroom into the NewsGuild-CWA, now boasts in his recruitment ads that the Tributary operates as a “workplace democracy” where the team makes all decisions collectively on hiring, compensation, budgeting, and the actual stories they cover and how they are edited before being published. In this 146th episode of "E&P Reports," you will meet two integral founders of Jacksonville, Florida's newest nonprofit news start-up, The Tributary. On this broadcast are Andrew Pantazi, the founding editor and Deirdre Conner, board chairman, who will talk about the challenges of building a nonprofit media entity along with their new, innovative model of providing an investigative news outlet that shares content with other local news media.