‘Not in the business of spreading lies’

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

Margaret Sullivan, writing her final column in the Aug. 21 Washington Post, said:

Margaret Sullivan (Washington Post)

Journalists simply can’t allow themselves to be megaphones or stenographers. They have to be dedicated truth-tellers, using clear language, plenty of context and thoughtful framing to get that truth across.

News organizations also have to continually explain to their readers, viewers and listeners why they are doing what they’re doing. If they aren’t airing a speech live, for example, they ought to say why. Not because they are on the team of the opposing candidates, but because they are not in the business of spreading lies.

Why the Salt Lake Tribune developed Mormon Land

Tapped out on subscribers for local news, an innovative newspaper in Utah went national. We have extensive, unique reporting on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and know there is an audience that cares about these stories outside of the traditional Tribune audience, including members of the church who live out of state.

Danyelle White, vice president of strategic initiatives and community engagement, and Eve Rickles-Young, digital media manager, both of The Salt Lake Tribune, said their 151-year-old newspaper created Mormon Land. Paul Huntsman bought the paper from Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund. His innovative team attained profitability and converted to a nonprofit.

Great story. Swag includes a Mormon Land “coffee mug” for “hot chocolate.” The report in betternew.org is here.

Chuck Todd (photo MSNBC)

Chuck Todd says he’s staying as host of Meet the Press, despite declining ratings and a new executive producer (from CNN). He quoted Mark Twain: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Here’s The Daily Beast story that started the rumors.

Gannett CEO Mike Reed told staff in a companywide Q&A session Wednesday that Gannett laid off 3% of its U.S. workforce, or roughly 400 employees, in August. And will not fill 400 open positions. The August layoffs started just a week after the company announced it had lost $54 million on revenues of $749 million during its second quarter. Angela Fu reported this story for Poynter on August 31, 2022.

Tennessee Press Association presented its awards for 2022 on Aug. 26 with a long list of winners – missing was the Knoxville News Sentinel. Form your own lame joke. The list of winners is here.

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Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of KnoxTNToday Inc. This column is about media – old, new and wildly weird. As old media fade, reporters across the country are reinventing themselves and their business model. This is our story.


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