Thursday, March 01, 2007

On the Frontline of News Gathering

We're venturing off topic again today to alert the journalists in our crowd (a substantial portion of our audience) about a terrific piece of work by the PBS public affairs program Frontline. Lowell Bergman, who might be best known for his investigation of the tobacco industry for "60 Minutes" that was chronicled in the 1999 Academy Award-nominated feature file "The Insider," investigates the media today in a three-part series titled "News War." Bergman's report is troubling, especially when you consider 85% of the grunt work of gathering news is done by newspapers. The beauty of Frontline is that then entire 270-minute program is available online, so you can watch this at your leisure. The link is available by clicking here, and you will see that the show is divided into three parts with video segments ranging from seven to 12 minutes. Of particular interest is part three, starting with chapter 21, which details with the financial future of newspapers, the L.A. Times in particular. It's disturbing stuff if you work at a newspaper.

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