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State of the News Media

America’s Trust in Mass Media Declining Again

After a small uptick in recent years, America’s trust in media is declining again, according to a new Gallup poll.

Out of the over 1,000 people surveyed, 40% trust the mass media, a four-percentage-point drop from last year.

Gallup

On the political end, the poll found a 14-year low among Democrats in terms of trusting the media. A large percentage continue to believe the news media is too liberal (44%) but the opposite viewpoint is gathering steam. 19% of Americans think the media is too conservative; a six-point spike from last year and the highest percentage in that category in eight years.

Do you agree with the poll’s findings? Comment below.

(Poll image courtesy of Gallup)

TMZ’s Harvey Levin to Fox: You’re Telling Me Fox and Others Don’t Pay for Great Video?

Appearing on “MediaBuzz” yesterday, TMZ executive producer Harvey Levin suggested his site paying for video is no different than Fox News and other cable networks paying for video.

“You want to actually tell me that Fox News Channel and all the others haven’t paid for people who come along and say they have this great piece of video?” Levin said to Howard Kurtz. “Fox News and others don’t pay for information,” Kurtz responded. “Howie, you’re changing the subject…I agree with you on information. I’m talking about video.” Levin went on to say TMZ doesn’t pay for interviews.


What Are Journalists in the U.K. Most Addicted to?

A_small_cup_of_coffeeIf you thought journalists in America drink too much coffee, apparently our colleagues across the Atlantic Ocean are even more caffeinated.

In a survey done by the U.K. press release firm Pressat, which spoke to 10,000 professionals, journalists are wired the most of all professions.

It seems that drinking coffee is a necessity on the job in a wide variety of professions. The highest consumers, sinking over four cups daily, were those with stressful careers: journalists consumed the most, followed closely by police officers and teachers. Could it be that being overstretched or working late pushed the workforce to consume more caffeine?

Other professions found to be coffee addicts were plumbers, nurses, and drivers. Note: I put my cup down while writing this.

Janay Rice Speaks, Blames Media for Family’s ‘Nightmare’

CNNRiceThe wife of former NFL player Ray Rice spoke out today via Instagram a day after her husband was released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL following TMZ’s release of elevator footage showing him knocking her unconscious.

The Baltimore Sun reports on Janay Rice defending her husband against the “nightmare” caused by the media and public.

“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend,” Janay Rice wrote. “But to have to accept the fact that it’s reality is a nightmare in itself. No one knows the pain that [the] media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass [off] for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!”

Last night at 8pmET, Anderson Cooper and Chris Hayes both led their programs covering Rice’s release and suspension.

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Are TV News Anchors Blurring the Line Between Reporting and Opinion in Ferguson?

TapperPolitico writes about whether the media coverage in Ferguson has shifted from reporting to opining.

On Monday night, CNN’s Jake Tapper blasted the authorities’ heavy-handed response to the demonstrations, which he deemed nonsensical. Don Lemon, on the air for CNN, even offered personal assistance to the parents of Brown. “If any of you ever need anything, you know how to get in touch with me personally,” he told them during an interview.

“There is nothing going on on this street right now that merits this scene out of Bagram,” Tapper said Monday. “What is this? This doesn’t make any sense!” Earlier in the day, Lemon was pushed back by police during a live shot. “Now you see why people are so upset here…we’re on national television, so imagine what they’re doing to people who you don’t see on national television; the people who don’t have a voice like we do.”

WATCH:

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Dr. Drew on Media Coverage of Depression: ‘Stop Thinking About It As a Sensitive Topic’

Dr-Drew-Pinsky_t580Celebrity deaths — especially the sudden kind — often produce wall-to-wall coverage on TV news, but the root causes behind these tragedies don’t always get the coverage many think is needed.

As Robin Williamssuicide has taken over TV news this week, the not often talked about issue of depression has been thrust to the forefront on many networks. And one cable news host with expertise on the subject has a message for TV news talent and journalists.

“Stop thinking about it as a sensitive topic,” Dr. Drew Pinsky told TVNewser in an interview this afternoon. “Think of it like a topic like any other medical condition, like a cardiac problem, or a lung problem; it just happens to affect the brain.”

“It’s disturbing to me we talk about things like inner demons, which, for God’s sake, is sort of a language that comes out of the Middle Ages. They’re not inner demons; it’s a brain state precipitated by complicated interactions with the environment and it’s a biology that has a medical treatment.”

The coverage has surprised Dr. Drew in another way. “Michael Jackson [death] for some reason didn’t create an ongoing conversation about addiction and pharmaceutical drugs and drug abuse. Somehow, the joy Robin Williams brought us, and the love that everyone feels for him, and the body shot we’ve all taken hearing about his demise, has really given people permission to talk about depression.”

Glenn Beck: TV News Will Change to Be ‘More Personal, More Human’

In part two of a “Reliable Sources” interview with Brian Stelter, Glenn Beck forecasted a TV news landscape that looks far different in a decade.

“I think they’re all going to change, I think television itself is going to change dramatically,” Beck said. “It will be more personal, it will be more human, it will be more authentic, it will not be led by a panel of experts from this club, or that club. It will be much closer to the user.”

40 Years After President Nixon Resigned, Carl Bernstein Would ‘Do It Exactly the Same’

BernsteinWhen Carl Bernstein and his Washington Post colleague Bob Woodward were investigating the Watergate scandal that drove President Richard Nixon to announce his resignation 40 years ago today, the stakes were high. For the country, a presidency was on the line; for Bernstein, his career.

With the anniversary today, we got to thinking whether the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist would’ve navigated the story any differently as a member of a media featuring 24/7 cable news and a never-ending social media stream.

“I’d do it exactly the same way,” Bernstein told TVNewser earlier this week at the CNN “The Sixties” finale screening. “Go out at night, knock on people’s doors, visit them at home, be respectful of them…they all worked for Richard Nixon and his re-election committee; they weren’t Democrats.”

“There’s no substitute for real reporting. Just relying on Twitter or the web to look up information is not real reporting. It can be part of the process, but the real thing… go out and talk to people and find out what the hell is going on.”

Carl Bernstein: ‘There’s a Lack of Leadership in News’

Bernstein panelCarl Bernstein says the news industry today doesn’t have “courageous leadership.” Bernstein, half of that famous duo who broke open the Watergate story, which led to the resignation of President Nixon 40 years ago Friday, says corporate profit has gotten in the way of good news judgment.

Bernstein moderated a panel at the Paley Center last night to promote the final installment of CNN’s “The Sixties.” “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘N’ Roll” debuts tomorrow at 9pmET.

Bernstein says “There’s a lack of leadership in news,” citing Walter Cronkite and CBS president at the time Bill Paley — for whom the Paley Center is named — who dedicated half of the “CBS Evening News” to the Watergate scandal the day it broke, and another big chunk of time the next night.

“That was real leadership what Cronkite did there,” he said. “[Paley] let his news division at CBS operate without making a profit. The three networks insist the news divisions need to operate at the same profit margins rather than say, ‘hey we have a public responsibility here.’”

TVNewser attended the panel discussion which also included Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills & Nash and “Tonight Show” bandleader Questlove.

Bernstein also reflected how the rise of cable news has impacted viewers. “There are fewer people open minded to the best attainable version of the truth. They’re looking increasingly for information as ammunition, to fit into their already preconceived ideologies, notions, politics, and religious beliefs.”

Here’s What Happens When Networks Outsource Foreign News Coverage

Vocativ MSNBCEarlier this year, our sister site Lost Remote reported on MSNBC’s partnership with digital news startup Vocativ. The partnership debuted on “Ronan Farrow Daily,” which has been airing “deep web” stories shot and produced by the New York-based start-up Vocativ, which includes TV news veterans in its ranks.

Last week, while most cable news coverage was dominated by conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine, Farrow aired a Vocativ report on Libya.

Midway through the segment last Monday, Farrow played a 3-minute Vocativ report on Libya’s rival militia groups. “Thank you to Vocativ for taking a lot of risks to get us that report,” Farrow said coming out of the report. The risks in Libya became dangerously apparent a few days later when, on Saturday, the U.S. evacuated its embassy, rushing embassy employees to Tunisia as fighting between militias intensified around Tripoli.

In late June, Farrow aired another Vocativ report on Libya’s arms market. Just today, the show aired a Vocativ report on Spain’s recreational drug use.

This type of news outsourcing seems to be gaining steam. With so many foreign stories to cover–and only so many correspondents and producers on the ground — networks are leaning on digital start-ups. The trend is also spreading to social media. Earlier this year, CNN partnered with Twitter and Dataminr to gain a leg up on finding and reporting breaking news.

Watch both Vocativ-produced segments after the jump.
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