While it is
more important than ever that journalists check and
double check their facts, a
recent survey by News
Generation, Inc, a corporate audio news distribution
service, indicates that newsrooms are actually cutting
back on the staff needed to do such research.
of 50 randomly sampled radio news directors, reporters
and assignment editors in the top-50 markets found that
nearly three out of four radio stations and networks had
experienced layoffs or consolidations in the past year.
When asked how stations have handled having fewer
reporters, 77 percent of respondents said the remaining
reporters have had to take on extra work.
newsrooms, the effect of layoffs and consolidations
seems to be less time to prepare for news reports. In
fact, only 9 percent of stations spend 30 minutes or
more preparing news reports on a regular basis, with
nearly half of respondents reporting as little as five
to ten minutes for each report.
consolidations have mostly affected stations with 10 to
25 reporters in their newsrooms. Stations with smaller
news operations (one to three reporters) and larger ones
(more than 25 reporters) have been less affected by
layoffs or consolidations.
and consolidations becoming more common, radio reporters
are increasingly relying on outside sources for news
content. Not surprisingly, these outside sources are
usually found on the web. When asked what websites they
visit most often for gathering news content, the
majority of respondents cited
www.ap.org because of its
credibility and timeliness.
combination of providing less manpower to research news
stories and finding content on the web has serious
implications. A Trylon article about respecting the
article) advocates a return to journalism integrity
and fact checking. However, if there is less time than
ever to check facts, and if the content being used for
reports comes from the Internet, we may be taking a step
in the wrong direction.