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Spectators Allowed At Newspaper News Budget Meetings??

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by BNWriter, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. BNWriter

    BNWriter Active Member


    One paper wants to consider this.

    I can't think it would be a positive thing -- not with the way newspapers are treated these days.

    Editing is not a spectator sport. Would not objectivity be endangered by this -- or worse...??

  2. franticscribe

    franticscribe Well-Known Member

    I don't see a problem with it. Newspapers ask for transparency from the entities they cover. No reason not to walk the same walk you're asking others to.

    I've been involved with several newspapers that regularly made it known to readers that news budget meetings were open to the public. I can only remember one time where someone actually showed up. But the offer was always there.
  3. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    I know that a paper I interviewed at a while back did this about once or twice a month. They would hold morning budget meetings open to the public and offer doughnuts and coffee and they would take input. Most of the stuff dealt with long-range news items and how to cover them instead of daily budgets, but I think it helped them connect to the community and sort of take away the "man behind the curtain" feel for some folks that think the media is controlled by one of two people. You know "THE media."
  4. cjericho

    cjericho Well-Known Member

    it says a subsciber. i would imagine the person writes a letter or they talk to him/her on the phone. judging from the title of the thread i thought they were opening the doors for the riki lake or jerry springer audience.
  5. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I've worked at a paper that has done this. I think it works on a few levels, whether it is just Joe Subscriber or an Interested Party (CofC, local pol or official) - it allows both sides to gain the perspective of the other. The guests realize there isn't a big board of "targets" where editors spin a wheel and figure out whom to go after on any particular day, and also probably come to learn how woefully understaffed most newspapers are today - News editors might learn something about a community they might not be familiar with. Maybe it leads to a story, maybe not. But different perspectives are always healthy in a budget meeting.
    As long as they don't boo a story pitch or cheer a story about a police involved shooting.
  6. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    For a journalism class or a Girl Scouts troop, I think it would be great. But for the general public, I think it's trouble waiting to happen.
  7. Bud_Bundy

    Bud_Bundy Active Member

    We've done this in the past, mostly with high school groups touring the building in the morning, but sometimes with adults or small adult groups. Nothing I recall stands out, just that we've done this in the past.
  8. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    I did this while I was in high school and college, at the Big State Daily and a smaller daily. I found it neat as an outsider, so as a result, I've always tried to provide some transparency in return. I think people will always respond more positively if they can put a face on the news process, as opposed to just thinking of shadowy figures assigning stories.
  9. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    On the plus side, they'd see decisions aren't made based on an alleged liberal bias. On the con side, they'd hear stories getting bumped off the front because there's no photo or because the writer did a shitty job with the story.
  10. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I think it's good that outsiders see the process of how a newspaper is made, if only for their curosity.

    Years ago, one of the top high school athletes shadowed me for a morning. When I first told his mom that I got to the office at 6 a.m. (afternoon paper, morning deadline), she was stunned, then said, "I'll get him there."

    He came in looking like he could use some more sleep, but I showed him everything I did that morning. A couple phoners from the night before, writing, looking through wires, paginating, and even pasting up the boards. THe kid thought all I did was just go to games.
  11. ColdCat

    ColdCat Well-Known Member

    great, then the sports editor can get an earful from the JV football parents
  12. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    They'll want more photos of cats and dogs in funny hats.
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