WXXI AM News

journalism

We talk to the man who is celebrating 50 years at work this week: 13WHAM news anchor Don Alhart has served the Rochester community for half a century.

We discuss his career, his favorite stories from work, and his view of TV journalism in the modern age. You can also watch this hour on Facebook Live.

Fifty-two years after Times v Sullivan, a President Donald Trump would seek to "loosen" libel laws to make it easier for politicians to sue journalists. In particular, Trump doesn't like the "actual malice" portion of the Supreme Court decision.

What would it mean for journalists if Trump gets his way? How could it impact a free press? How does our country's libel law standard compare to that of other countries? Our guests:

Why are some government agencies so unresponsive to public inquiries?

It's Sunshine Week: a time to examine how well our public offices are performing when it comes to transparency. From schools to government leaders at all levels, we discuss how the system works, how information is occasionally suppressed, and how it can improve. Our guests:

Our monthly media panel discusses the film, Spotlight, a new drama about the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” investigative team that from 2001-2002 uncovered a pattern of sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests in Massachusetts. The team’s story, which exposed the cover-up by the Boston Archdiocese, won the Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

The Spotlight team devoted more than a year of reporting to publish the story. This raises questions about journalism today, where budget cuts and the threat (and reality) of layoffs impact the time and resources devoted to stories. We talk about the state of today’s newsrooms and the ongoing struggle for dollars and resources. Our guests:

  • Sean Lahman, Watchdog reporter, Democrat and Chronicle
  • Justin Murphy, education reporter, Democrat and Chronicle
  • Steve Orr, Watchdog reporter, Democrat and Chronicle
  • Scott Pukos, public relations coordinator, The Little Theatre

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has developed student journalists and promoted diversity in newsrooms for 40 years. The Rochester chapter of the organization (RABJ) has supported that mission in our community for the last decade. Our panelists discuss the impact of both the NABJ and RABJ, and provide a preview of the Salute to Excellence Gala on November 7, which will honor African American pioneers in Rochester media and award scholarships to students. Our guests:

As the news business changes, what place does investigative journalism occupy? The nation’s top investigative reporters recently gathered at the Investigative Reporters & Editors conference. We’ll talk to several Rochester journalists who were there about what they learned and where their field is headed.

Rolling Stone has officially retracted their November blockbuster story, "A Rape on Campus." On Sunday, the magazine published a 12,000-word review conducted by the Columbia Journalism School that took apart the many journalistic failures in the piece. The result? Victims advocates now worry that rape survivors will encounter more skepticism, less support.

That's a timely conversation because on Tuesday, April 14th, the Little is showing the documentary "The Hunting Ground." We'll talk about rape on campus, the Rolling Stone mess, and more with our guests:

Dawn Meza Soufleris, RIT Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Andrea Hickerson, RIT journalism professor

Should students go into journalism? Financial journalist Felix Salmon says no, not anymore. His piece touched off a strong online debate over whether 20-somethings should abandon the profession and find another career. It made me wonder: what do local journalists of all ages say about getting into the field in Rochester? In studio:

What does the Brian Williams mess tell us about trust? How will it impact the public trust in television journalists? Should Williams be fired? Panel includes some of the longest tenured local news anchors. In studio:

We start the hour with a look at how women in journalism have seen their opportunities and contributions change for the better. But in some ways, not enough has changed. Joining us is Leah Stacy (also editor-in-chief of 585), creator of a new documentary-sytle performance for the upcoming Fringe Festival and acting professor Shawnda Urie.

Then we talk to Matt Ryan, managing editor of "New York Now", and filmmaker behind the new documentary about Teddy Roosevelt's installation as president called "Nine Long Days". It’s a companion doc to the Ken Burns production, "The Roosevelts", and it airs this Saturday at 6 p.m. on WXXI-TV. The documentary focuses on the assassination of McKinley and the rise of Roosevelt.

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