Talk for Story "Investigative and local reporting in decline in U.S."

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  1. Other

    Some points:

    “As more and more newsrooms downsize or close their doors due to lack of profitability, the number of local reporters in the United States may be at an all-time low.” Well, it cannot be an all-time low, since there were presumably fewer in, say, 1491. “A low point” is probably what you mean, but better would be figures, like, at “X thousand, the figure is at its lowest since the year Y” (I do not know the values of X and Y”.

    “Research is beginning to indicate that a lack of local investigative reporting is associated with negative consequences for nearby residents.” What is this research, what does it say and where is it published?

    “In areas where local news sources have gone out of business, there’s evidence that local governments become less efficient, waste more tax dollars, and are more likely to cover up for officials who abuse their power for personal gain.” Again, what is this evidence and where is it published?

    “Investigative reporting also regularly identifies problems in the local law enforcement and school systems, for example identifying infrastructure problems, and pointing out corrupt or abusive employees.” Is “local” and “investigative” reporting the same thing?

    1. Rewrite

      Thanks for the suggestions! Yes, I’m still fleshing out the story and will add links to the the research today. I also agree I need to change the word choice to be more precise. I hope you check back tomorrow and offer any additional suggestions as it’s my first time attempting a story 🙂

  2. Other

    My wife and I worked in local Television for 13 years. I have lived the front line and worked with many first time journalist out of college. I would love to offer to answer any questions, but I myself am not much of a writer, so I don't want to write it on my own.

    Edited: 2018-07-11 03:51:54 By Scott Hackleman.. (talk | contribs) .. + 15 Characters .. + 5% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

    1. Rewrite

      Thanks! Do you know of any local new sources that closed down, downsized or otherwise went through significant changes over the last decade? I’m looking for additional specific examples to cite in the story.

      Also, just curious, do you think the work is harder for journalists now than it used to be? Do they have access to fewer resources than they used to?

      1. Rewrite

        I am in Joplin, Missouri. Here we have 4 TV stations, 2 owned by one group, 2 owned by another national other group. The only way the stations survive now days is to sell out to a national company that then shares news stories, resources, etc across the brand. So our graphics that run for show open and the supers across the bottom of the screen, and even the music are from the national company. If you travel enough you can tell which local stations belong to which group based on graphics alone. Now for journalist, we are in market 145ish so we would hire people fresh out of college. It is not uncommon for these kids to start out at less than $10 an hour with a degree from a major university. There just isn’t any money to go around. They sign a 2-3 year contract, then they either stay and try to take a on desk spot, or they try to move to a bigger market. If they are good, they use the job as resume material and keep moving up to bigger markets, or find one they like, and take a job in something like Media relations for a city or company where they can make real money. The ones that can’t afford to start that small or don’t want to move to whatever small town offers them a spot end up with an education and no job. The entire production staff at these small stations are high school and the occasional college kid making minimum wage working 20-30 hours a week often as a second job. This includes camera operators, directors and audio operators. I also saw the stations being careful not to upset local businesses or government with investigative journalism. It was to risky to upset an advertiser that is all income the station has coming in to stay a float with so many people getting local news from social media and viewers preferring Cable TV stations and streaming content.

        1. Rewrite

          Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences. This offers a lot of context and gives me several ideas for information that I need to include in the story. If it’s okay, I may ask you a few more questions in the future 🙂

          1. Rewrite

            Absolutely, just let me know how I can help.

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