Local Birdcage Liner Cites Local Radio Show Re: Local Politician

June 18, 2010 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It frustrates KLIN’s Jack Mitchell (of Jack & John in the Morning fame) that a local newspaper likes to cite the show in articles as “a radio talk show”. That’s it. Not as “a radio talk show on KLIN”, nor are any other descriptors provided so you could actually search out the source if you wanted to. Just “a radio talk show”. He’s right to be annoyed.

It’s particularly obnoxious when you consider that Jack’s show forms the entire foundation for the local newspaper’s front page, above-the-fold article today. This isn’t a minor piece of news buried on B5. This is something important. The message is that a columnist at the newspaper is willing to let others do a big chunk of her work, but she isn’t willing to credit them for it. I’m not sure what journalistic ethics say about that, but in the world of blogging such a thing will get you widely chastised. And rightfully so.

I have always used local media sources as the foundation for much of the content I publish here on Lincolnite, and I have always tried to give credit where credit is due. Perhaps I’ve been too generous. Perhaps as an experiment I will begin referring to some of my sources as, for example, “a local newspaper”. It’s worth a try. If it works for a local columnist and her employer, it can work for me.

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The Comments

foxspit June 18, 2010 at 1:00pm

I don’t disagree with Mitchell. However…

Radio stations for decades here and everywhere else I’ve lived have made a living out of magically having a news segment without having reporters who leave the station. You can practically hear the pages of the newspaper rustle as they read “their” news.

JackM June 18, 2010 at 1:08pm

True.  We do use the newspaper. It’s hard to compete with a newsroom 20 times your size.  But the relevant factor here is when we use a story they broke we either cite them directly or go get our own quotes to use.

JT June 18, 2010 at 1:37pm

Sounds like it’s time for a blogger ethics panel.

Fletch June 18, 2010 at 1:46pm

I still think the downfall for Deena began with that stupid column about how we’re not tough like North Dakotans. I feel qualified to comment, as I lived in North Dakota for 5 years - yes it’s colder, but it’s not the Klondike.

At any rate, where I once felt she was an asset to the LJS, I think her work has gone downhill, most notably with the coverage of the arena. While the LJS did a good job of covering that issue from all sides, I felt her work in many cases crossed back and forth between news and editorial comment, all within the same piece.

I think it’s funny when any of the local media fail to cite the others. It happens all the time. Yes, there are days when you can tell a radio person is getting their news from the paper (but often it’s just from the AP), and there are a lot of times when 10/11 has a story like 2 days after it’s broken in print or on the radio. It’s kind of amusing in all.

I also like knowing that a bunch of folks at the LJS are reading this, and they know we are right, but they cannot or will not say a word. Hi guys!

Matt Olberding June 18, 2010 at 1:47pm

Jack and John in the morning may cite the source and get its own quotes, but the radio newscasts often do not. TV stations do the same thing. You often don’t know where the info came from. They don’t say if it came from a wire service, their own reporting or is just lifted from another news source. Newspapers always cite the source of their info, even if they don’t always do it the way the source would prefer.

RandyK June 18, 2010 at 1:48pm

I agree. The JS has thumbed it’s journalistic nose at KLIN for years. I don’t know whether it’s envy, territorialism, ignorance or just plain arrogance, but CORRECTLY crediting your sources is Journalism 101. This is not a huge metropolis. The JS is not the Chicago Tribune or the New York Times. It is a relatively small time newspaper in a medium sized town in the midwest. It’s scope of influence hardly circles more than 100 miles. In a small town, we have friendly competition. Friendly, but honorable. And yes, Lincoln is a big “small town”. We aren’t (thankfully) Omaha, a small “Big City”. There is no room for nose thumbing, turning your backs on one another, or subtle slaps in the face like this. It’s about time the JS got it’s ducks in a row and take the high road, doing what is journalistically correct, even if it percieves some “slight” by others in media. They just keep punching themselves in the face, darkening that black eye. When will they get it?

Moses June 18, 2010 at 1:55pm

Any radio station with a lineup of Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity has no claim to journalistic credentials.

Mr. Wilson June 18, 2010 at 2:06pm

Holding the rest of KLIN’s lineup against Jack and John is like saying Jon Stewart sucks because you don’t like Southpark.

John Bishop June 18, 2010 at 2:09pm

It is our newsroom policy to ALWAYS cite the proper source of any story.  Perhaps Matt is referring to stories that the LJS has sent to or been picked up by the Associated Press.  Once it is on our AP newswire, it is no longer cited to the newspaper UNLESS the citation is directly written into the AP story.  (BTW, this is also the same as when radio stations also give material to the AP - we do not expect, nor receive direct citation.)

The mayor’s comments were NOT a story picked up by AP, thus I believe they deserve a more direct citation.

What was cited in Deena’s story would have been the same as if ESPN had cited the source of their Nebraska-to-the-Big-Ten story to “a website” instead of Orangebloods.com.

And to Moses….really, you’re going to drop the right-wing radio card?  Please.  Do you also believe 10-11 is not a credible news organization because they carry Oprah or Channel 8 has no journalist integrity because they have Dr. Phil?  Beck, Limbaugh et al are entertainment programs.  Some may consider them “news”, but I have always considered our opinion talk shows as entertainment and not an extension of the news product.

Mr. Wilson June 18, 2010 at 2:15pm

Just to clarify, Matt, are you defending the “a local radio station” style of citing sources? I find it hard to believe that you wouldn’t be irked if you reported something and I were to follow with:

“A local blog reports that Cheesecake Factory is coming to town; IKEA is opening a location in Lincoln; and BP is relocating their headquarters to Downtown Lincoln. This is the biggest story in Lincoln’s history!”

Surely that’s unethical, isn’t it? Or is it merely not “the way [you] would prefer” I cite you?

Fletch June 18, 2010 at 2:20pm

Hi John Bishop - thanks for stopping by. Here’s a question for you… I think the addition of Glenn Beck is good for KLIN, but I miss Laura Ingraham. Any thought to having her show (delayed) on overnights in lieu of Michael Medved or Hugh Hewitt? Those shows are okay, but I don’t think are nearly as entertaining as Laura Ingraham.

Moses June 18, 2010 at 2:25pm

Jon Stewart doesn’t suck but he doesn’t pretend that he is a journalist.  His show is on Comedy Central.  His show is what it is.  Jack and John whining on twitter does not make them newspeople.

Moses June 18, 2010 at 2:28pm

It is not about which wing they are, it is about idiots on the radio.

John Bishop June 18, 2010 at 3:09pm

Fine if you don’t like those hosts….but your original comment was the hosts and their relationship to our news.

They are separate entities.

John Bishop June 18, 2010 at 3:11pm

We considered it, but the Laura distributors value their show to the point that they don’t want to air overnight.  Their advertisers don’t see any value to airing their commercials at 1am.

Fletch June 18, 2010 at 3:21pm

Cool. I guessed as much. Oh well. It’s sort of funny, they all mostly have the same commercials anyway. ProFlowers.com or VermontTeddyBears - just change the name of the host to get your discount. LOL Keep up the good work with Jack!

Moses June 18, 2010 at 3:22pm

“If you like your news two days late and your sources improperly cited, make sure you check out the LJS online article on the arena audit.”

This is newsreporting? Or is this whining?

JackM June 18, 2010 at 3:27pm

uhhh, no, that’s not news reporting. That’s a tweet.  No one’s ever claimed my tweets are news reporting.  I’m not a news reporter, I’m a talk show host.

Moses June 18, 2010 at 3:37pm

And a pretty good one too.

The tweet sounds a little childish and I find it hard to take your frustration seriously, that is if you wish for us to take you seriously.

Neal June 21, 2010 at 5:34am

A question to those of you pointing fingers at Deena Winter—I’m curious about your confirmation that this particular style of citation was her choice and not the decision of the number of section and copy editors who would’ve also had their hands on this story or even the newspaper’s stylebook for referencing radio programs.

(Since we’re lecturing each other on proper journalistic ethics and whatnot, I’m sure that base was covered before going public with the grievance. I’d just like to hear more about how it was discovered.)

Matt Olberding June 21, 2010 at 1:45pm

I’m not authorized nor am I in a position to speak on behalf of the paper in a specific instance. I was pointing out that, in general, newspapers are traditionally better at citing sources for their work than TV or radio. For instance, if we use an Associated Press story, we put a byline on it that says it came from the Associated Press. Likewise with the Washington Post or any other news source we pay to get information from. Radio and TV, on the other hand, never denote on their broadcasts news they reported themselves and news that comes from a wire service. I just thought it was ironic that everybody was ripping the LJS in this one instance when overall we are much better at citing sources than the other media. And just for the record, I listen to Jack and John in the Morning and enjoy the show. They made my 6-year-old daughter’s day a few weeks ago when she heard my name mentioned on the program while we were on the way to school.

Mr. Wilson June 21, 2010 at 2:15pm

You may not know this, but I’ll ask anyway. Are “media outlets” (to use a broad term) not required to cite the AP when using AP material? At the very least there must be different rules for print, audio, and video media.

I suppose I automatically assume a big chunk of material is from the AP because I’ve been conditioned that way. But from the AP’s perspective, you’d think they would want their name put out there explicitly for branding purposes.

JackM June 21, 2010 at 7:25pm

I don’t know that John or I ever publicly poitned a finger at Deena Winter, just at the LJS.  In case you weren’t listening at the time, I clarified on-air each time I mentioned this that I didn’t know if this was her decision or an editorial decision, as I understood the potential for cries of hypocracy as you alluded to in your post, Neal.  I think Deena was specifically criticized initially by the posters above. 

That said, given that I’ve been critical of some of her work in the past, so one could argue that there’d be ‘motive’ in this situation, but we clarified on-air that such a conclusion would be speculative.  Beyond that, just to clarify, I’m not one of the ‘finger-pointers’ you reference.

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