Tag Archives: daily iowan

“Fair and balanced” isn’t fun

Local media outlets have covered Occupy Iowa City as 1) a phenomenon to be explored through wonder and amazement, 2) as a chance to meet “real people” through shiny personal profiles, and 3) as a grassroots/underdog storyline of citizens v. local government when the city demanded protestors comply with codes, permits, and other “restrictions.”

So perhaps in an attempt to seem “fair and balanced” in covering an admittedly progressive cause, this Daily Iowan story looks at the downside to public protest. Its headline: “Occupy Iowa City: Neighbors call protest ‘disruptive.'” Continue reading

At what point do you get rid of a local newspaper?

Within the past week, The Iowa City Press-Citizen has lost one reporter to Patch.com, a sports reporter to The Des Moines Register (owned by Gannett, which also owns the PC), and this week let go of its city editor and its executive editor. I also hear there may be more people leaving. That said, the PC is bringing in two reporters, but they will be getting marching orders for coverage from Des Moines.

There is talk about when the PC will fold into the an Iowa City bureau of the Register. Already, the two papers share tons of content. Many times, it seems we are reading the same paper twice when stories appear same-day in both places.

When will the Press-Citizen stop publishing altogether?

At what point do you get rid of a local newspaper?

Maybe it should be now. Continue reading

A watchdog report, finally!

Yay! Adam Sullivan, the editor of the student-run Daily Iowan, published this good report taking on how mainstream media cover politics.

Here’s what’s good about it:

– It names a specific reporter and a story, a newspaper, and the problem with the story. In this case, it was a softball story on a political hardhitter.

– Adam’s piece goes deeper into some of the problems of the media, including that how media work tends to create a cultural that allows for such weak journalism.

Here’s what’s not so good about it:

– In a time of transparency, Adam’s piece should be more clear about a) his role at the DI (that he is the editor) and b) that he has worked at news organizations that compete with the paper he is taking on — The Des Moines Register. These two bits of information wouldn’t kill his argument, or maybe even change my mind about him being right about what he wrote. That information would have just added context, which bolsters his credibility.

All of this said, I am so happy to see this kind of approach, and I hope more of this media watchdog work can keep coming!