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Slate's Jack Shafer: Don't let writers go on TV

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by wicked, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    He argues that for big-name publications -- the specific example used is Newsweek -- that TV appearances do nothing, other than pad the writers' wallets.

  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I wonder how many people by a paper because big-name reporter is on TV? The number is small, I would guess.
  3. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Yet countless newspaper editors bend over while their top writers do radio or TV shows, all in the belief that the attention flows back in some profitable form to the print publication. Meanwhile, they and the rest of the staff have to work around the star's sideline schedule.

    They give their content away for free online. They give their people away, too, to broadcast operations that benefit from the credibility of the print folks, without any cash or direct benefit flowing back to the newspaper. Geniuses.
  4. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Sirs, Madames,

    If you have time to do a daily radio show and multiple hits hither and yon, when are you reporting? No one has that much time. My favorite is spotting one guy in our parts who turns producer-generated on-air interviews into fodder for the next day's column. It might be the only thing approaching reporting/breaking that he actually does. Why papers put up with it (never mind encourage it) is beyond me.

    YHS, etc
  5. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Having a reporter appear on a radio or TV show to give a thumbnail of an article he or she wrote is not a bad thing. People still read and are constantly using their computers to learn more about a topic. The problem is still making money on the Internet.
    Columnists spouting off about their column is a different thing - you hear their take on a topic and there isn't much point to reading it.
  6. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    That's where I thought beat writers going on the air was less of a ripoff to the paper, so long as they weren't breaking news. Just opining? That's something their papers didn't really let them do. But the columnist's opinions are the very thing the paper is paying for, so someone in that position is trying to sell the same widget twice.
  7. finishthehat

    finishthehat Active Member

    Beltway journalism at its worst -- a chummy club telling each other the conventional wisdom, so they can sell books and get lecture fees.
  8. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    Because money is bad. Bring back the hair shirts!
  9. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    Boy, if this isn't the dumbest conclusion any writer ever has Beamoned into.
    Newsweek is struggling terribly, therefore having writers on TV is bad.
    So that means if the writers were never on TV Newsweek would be flourishing?
  10. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Depends on the show. If your people go on that stupid ESPN show where people yell and scream, it can't do any good. If it's "Outside the Lines," what's the problem?
  11. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    You know what pisses me off even more. Giving someone a column, just because they are on TV.
  12. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    And vice versa.
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