tv [untitled] April 6, 2011 8:30am-9:00am PDT
the 2009 numbers for minorities in the news were much more encouraging for television than they were in radio. so, we are seeing more people of color in television, for sure. we are seeing more people in television and radio. what we are not seeing is those people of color taking managerial, decisionmaking positions. the policy of a station reflects the difference in content. you cannot just put people of color on the screen and expect diverse coverage. >> but could you not agree that you would be a reference of some sort? for me, anything that comes up about sudan, they ask me about it. i would argue that editorially it makes somewhat of a
difference. >> but you are a clear exception if you look at the numbers. in radio, women in general are few and far between. we are talking about small market stations, not even 10% of staff. at larger market stations here in san francisco, we are the no. 6 market in the country. that number is higher. talking about women of color in media -- >> thank you. another question? >> my name is kathy, i came up here for the panel and am very appreciative of the work you are doing. what do you think of community media? public access channels? what is the role in the new media landscape? journalism academies in the hyper globalism journal, it is
there and the advice for nonprofit working at the new media center? >> we can give that question to barry. maybe you can give her some advice? >> there are a lot of challenges in community media right now. i have been trying to get our local station to work with us to figure out how to work together to get things going in the community. one of the challenges right now that the media landscape has is that it has been remade for lot of the other stations. these folks that are doing educational government television right now are rooted in ratings in a lot of cases. anyone can be broadcaster and no one wants access to the channel anymore. really, we are just at the beginning of this. for example, i no longer have
cable. i get all of my television of the web. that is not on the -- that is not an unusual situation. >> [unintelligible] first of all, back to the question of diversity, the fact that we even have to talk about diversity and employing people who represent that range of diversity, in this day and age, is incredible to me. after 50 years of struggle we are still talking about how many women and minorities are in the workplace. that is insanity writ large. to the question posed by my colleagues with respect to community media, this is my
view. again, one other point for how democracy can flourish is when the elected representatives have an opportunity to communicate directly with the constituency, unencumbered by third-party influences or interpretations. that is a major role that we must play as community television, providing a straight pathway to community so that they can hold elected officials accountable based on the reality of what they are saying, not the interpretation flowing from other levels of media. >> let's talk about the bill's funding. nice to have a wonderful idea, but it cannot happen without the money. paul can hopefully give us some finance pointers in that regard. i hope. regarding funding? >> despite what i said about
the increased philanthropic support for journalism, we also need to keep in mind that that is just a drop in the bucket. what we are seeing with nonprofit media contact is that having a hybrid model where there are contributor revenues, that is the key to success. it is interesting, the nightly news challenge is that a $25 million five-year initiative. they are providing support to for-profit and nonprofit organizations. they actually do not care about the irs form of organization. what they care about is digital, open source, in the public
interest in that there is some local angle. what we have seen, having a combination of brands and individual donations, as well as fees, that is the key to success. keep in mind, nonprofit journalism business models are not a new country is -- not new. the associated press is a nonprofit cooperative. there are some current models, like "mother jones magazine." those are some of the ideas. >> let's take another question. >> my name is peter, i have spent many years, decades in one
town and i have one question that i would like the panelists to dress in different ways. first, i would very likely -- very much like to say that on the issue of public funding, we all need to listen closely to the example we were given about the bbc. think about what would happen in this country if john boehner was making the decisions. the decisions about what was covered. or mitch mcconnell. that is how it would shake out. we have had these problems over the years where high-profile exhibits cannot -- cannot -- came up with any number of barriers between the funding and the practitioners. you will have greater government control over content.
the issue that i wanted to address, sandy, you talked about being connected to the diversity. ron, you talked about the current toxic atmosphere. you'll mentioned -- several of you have mentioned that quality journalism is happening in this country. there is no question about that. the global post and in international areas, there is quality journalism. the question to me is not whether there can be quality journalism, but how as the news media becomes increasingly atomized around the country, how can anyone get a comprehensive view of the world? it used to be that we could pick up the chronicle and hope to find at least as close to a
comprehensive review as possible. no longer. they will have a couple of stories per day plus a lot of opinion pieces and a map telling you where it is. but it is not the comprehensive publication we're looking for. no publication is right now. we have all of these wonderful things where the educated get on line and look at five, 10, 15 websites per day. people that know where to look. there are good things in their, locally. -- in there, locally. how do we get the connected nature of what was done by editors, but no longer? we need to reach out and find things in each of these areas.
really, it could easily be editing or any number of other words. what would we do with a silo of brickner growers? -- brick throwers? >> thank you. >> the answer is not aggregation, it is still journalism. you cited an example mice -- yourself, the global post. market watchers also operates under that philosophy. we are trying to think on a daily basis what we can give that gives a global overview of what is in the markets, diving down deeper for the people that want to get deeper into it. yes, the proliferation of the
hyper local media does present challenges. the idea that we could just aggregate something to give a global overview is difficult to imagine without editors. there will always be a journalist in any form. they have the expertise you are talking about, taking a look at a story, picking out seven that need to be put on the front page. we will see that in newspapers, weekly magazines, or daily online. >> barry? >> i think the idea is overrated. if you look at the number one source of news on the internet right now, y'all who. -- got to -- yahoo.
no. 2 is cnn. they are not being filtered in a lot of cases. on the other hand, the stuff on the long tail, political blogs, typically are performing a supplemental role. they are continuing to build a large sites. it is a power curve. at the short end of the curve there are big sigh -- big sites. >> let's get sandy, we have a big line of audience members. >> talking with a number of people about looking at a cub
talented that out for it the children that live in this state are going to be in poverty this year. 43% of women have babies now as single mothers. that is an historic shift. something is happening in gender relations. i saw a brilliant review on sunday, the text without context. the idea of physical reality is under assault as we move to a faster, edgier, noisier and more opinionated media landscape.
what if all of the ethnic media, legacy media, decided to take back data that children in poverty had grown from 18% to 35%, doing it from the standpoint most relevant to their audience. you might begin to get an impact on sacramento, on the public. public awareness might begin to grow. media keeps propelling news, but it is consumed with a public state. partially because it is not very diverse and the society that it reflects is so complicated, so fragmented, in
some ways i believe that investigative journalism is easier. we might know what went down with chauncey bailey and the oakland police department, but we do not know how black oakland absorbent the death of the institution that plagued it for 20 years. we do not know that story. >> let's go to another audience member. >> this question is for mr. frank. i am "the new york times" this morning there was an interesting story about the lack of success that the obama and administration had in convincing the public that there are good things about the health care bill. they referred to studies from ann arbor saying that people with his -- specific political
opinions, confronted with facts contrary to the opinion, they may be reinforced into the wrong opinion. wrong opinions may be reinforced. you are talking about the amortization of the media, but on a political scale people want to read what they want to read. getting people to read something different is extremely challenging. how do you address that? how much responsibility the media -- responsible to its stockholders, to challenge the leadership to read something different? >> a really good question. i hate to fall back on the british model again, everyone loves british newspapers that because they are very lively and
fun to read. they managed to figure out exactly where they are. they know their audiences in very seldom write anything against the conventional wisdom of their audience. american media, criticized rightly in some ways, they have a very large church that they address. "the washington post" is in 60% of washington households, so they had to be very broad. what i tell my students and what i tell myself is that journalism at best challenges convention. maybe it surprises you. telling you something you did not know or something that you need to know. making you think about whatever
the issue is. health care, poverty among children, whatever it is. it lays out your assumptions and tells you which ones might be true in society. i can remember covering zimbabwe, a country that marched to the front page those days. it actually defied conventional wisdom about africa. that is one of the things i think we are in danger of losing as the media becomes undone, less bundled, people going to the place where they are more comfortable and forgetting about everything else out there. i believe that that is one of our crucial missions as journalists. there has to be a place where people can go to read things that challenge them. >> may be answered your question
is that local news needs to focus on the quality of life of the local communities that they cover. you're absolutely right, if you cover the gestalt of the human condition in a community, you will deal with diversity and all of these issues. i am not talking about the public sector alone, that is an absurd dichotomy. if you start writing about the quality of life in a community, maybe people will start to see themselves change the pattern of how they read and interpret. >> you had said there was not a piece of content in this discussion, what about preventing a citizen from becoming a silo? >> i think there are a couple of things that the community should
demand of all of us in the industry. transparency. what we stand for and who we are. we should be very transparent about whether we are reporters, journalists, constitutionalists. what i said earlier, what is really important, we can try to bridge these communities, even if we cannot cover them all individually. why are we not try to cover the different pieces together? we will be starting in the late spring to cover content, and once we start doing it, why not work with other organizations? >> all right, let's take another audience member. >> my name is berlin, but.
-- [unintelligible] the quality of journalism, we feel that all of the people working in poverty, those people are always excluded. especially where corporate mainstream media is concerned. we do this in so many ways and so many forms. the real quality of journalism is the people. even though we are grass roots, always hanging by a thread, we never failed to be heard. i believe that the mayor of oakland said this, for one the government is pretty much run by large media corporations. when you are out there speaking
the truth that they do not want to hear, just to make your media -- especially if you are pointing out your expos -- that you are exposed. we also believe that in media there should come education. the word minority is a derogatory term. believe it or not. thank you. >> we have a little bit of time left. i want to make sure all of the audience members are heard. >> my name is bruce grimes. i am an independent writer and producer of television, going back to "rolling stone." my question will relate to the comment about quality from dr. abraham.
specifically about journalists today. 250 people, ranging in age between 25 and 35, pretty frightening. they were new media folks from a content perspective. what i came away with listening to them talk about their audience, reaching out, being writers, was scared me was how selfish the audience seemed to be. subway breakfasts, your comment about crime and people being tired of reading about it, they were reaching for people like this, this is how they were going to make money. it scares the hell out of me. i brought it back and brought it up, especially in the '60s and '70s, it was a extremely political newspaper magazine
that used music to bring in an audience. so, my question, what about the new journalists today reaching out to the 20-year-old and 30- year-old? your comment about the two schools of journalism and reaching out, getting quality journalism to the public, how will we do that? >> we have a couple of issues here. the old school and the new school. i guess the question would be -- is there a standard? a single standard anymore for journalism? >> i do not know who sets that
standard anymore. frightening, sometimes, to hear the fact that the most trusted name in news is jon stewart. but who can argue that there is not some good quality reporting and information that goes on on a show like that? i think it will be far reaching. we have young people, both in print and on the internet. it is a wide range of opportunity. i do not know that there is any one standard today that anyone could point to that would be the single source. >> what about the chronicle right now? reducing $1 million per week, what does that look like right now? >> thank goodness we are not losing $1 million per week
today. i am happy to say that. to give you an idea, fourth quarter of last year, in the toughest economic times of this country that we have seen since the great depression, it was a record quarter for us for the decade. now, the bar was awfully low, but it was a profitable quarter. started out at the beginning of the year, in this type of environment, not making money today. but we are on our budget and on our plan. the last six months of the year looked to be a strong revenue environment for us. we think we will be fine overall for the year. >> we have gone over our time a little bit. one last question. >> this is for mr. frazier. the panel last night, it looks like there is no after the
chronicle, so congratulations. we were talking about how people to get them to eat their broccoli with their ice-cream. reading city hall coverage with subway breakfasts. can you talk about ways you are experimenting with getting people to eat them both? making it palatable? concrete experiments that you will try? >> that will -- that sounds terrible. [laughter] >> maybe we can have broccoli with cheese? i do not think that there is a simple answer. i think that people come to read various news sources. there will be multiple sources. some for entertainment, some for other resources. the key thing about broccoli and in sustaining a democracy, it tells us what we need to know even if we did not need to know
it. it is about the role that the journalist plays, telling the community what we did that no we needed to know. cheese, ice cream, it does not matter. that means editors. that means transparency. that means education about media. it means membership of junior journalists. without all of those things, there is no broccoli. no one will tell us what we need to know that we did now know we need to know. >> on that note we will have to conclude today's town hall forum. we hope that you enjoyed it. it has been presented by the northern california chapter of professional journalism. they've asked me to express thanks to tonight's panelists. thank you for being here today. [applause] thank you to the audience as
well. give yourself a clap, making it on the tuesday evening from work or whatever. we would also like to thank the san francisco public library from -- for sharing this facility, the crew from sfgtv, thank you for joining us. we wish you good news in everything that you do. [applause] >> thank you very much for joining us tonight. i would appreciate it if folks would move into the lobby for conversation.