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State of the News Media

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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David Remnick Cites Glenn Beck to Explain Russian Media

The New Yorker editor David Remnick, a Russophile who is fluent in Russian, gave his take on the country’s politics and media last night. To explain today’s Russian media, Remnick evoked a former cable news star.

“Imagine if Glenn Beck were appointed by the president,” Remnick told Seth Meyers on “Late Night,” adding, “and there were many Glenn Becks all over television, and that was all the information you were getting about the world.” He concluded that Russian media “is not Soviet style, but still not anywhere near what you would imagine here.”

MSNBC Contributor Slams Media, Andrea Mitchell, for ‘Disgustingly Biased’ Coverage

Rula Jebreal 304During a segment on “Ronan Farrow Daily,” MSNBC contributor and Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal took on the media–and MSNBC–for “disgustingly biased” Middle East coverage.

“We are ridiculous. We are disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue,” Jebreal said, noting she thinks biased media coverage has helped U.S. officials stay silent when they’re opposed to some of Israel’s actions.

“Look at how much airtime Netanyahu and his folks have on air on a daily basis. Andrea Mitchell, and others–I’ve never seen one Palestinian being interviewed on these same issues,” Jebreal continued. When Farrow pushed back that MSNBC has had Palestinians on-air, Jebreal said “maybe for 30 seconds, and then you have 25 minutes for Bibi Netanyahu.”

She then brought up NBC’s decision to pull foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin last week from Gaza, suggesting that because he was “covering the Palestinian side” in a “too pro-Palestinian” way, he was pulled from Gaza, and only reinserted because of social media pushback. Farrow again pushed back that Mohyeldin is now back on-air, and that MSNBC was currently offering airtime to her.

We reached out to MSNBC for Mitchell’s response to accusations of bias, but haven’t heard back.

Lisa Myers Agrees With Sharyl Attkisson: Media Less Eager to Hold Obama Admin Accountable

lisa myers_304x200In an NPR interview earlier this week, former NBC News senior investigative correspondent Lisa Myers seemed to agree with former CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson that the media hasn’t covered the Obama administration aggressively enough.

“Overall, the mainstream media has been less eager to hold this administration accountable than the Bush administration,” Myers, who left NBC in January after 33 years, said.

On the issue of investigative reporting on the evening news, she added,¬† “You have to be able to lay out the facts to make the case, and that requires time. And time was an increasingly precious commodity on a network television broadcast. That’s just a reality.”

(h/t Newsbusters)

Glenn Beck: Hillary Clinton Will ‘Pay the Price’ for Pres. Obama’s Treatment of Press

GlennBeck304Glenn Beck predicts that if Hillary Clinton runs for president, she’ll face a tough road to the White House thanks to President Obama.

“Hillary Clinton is going to pay the price of this administration…not by the American people, but by the press,” Beck said on TheBlaze TV today. He added that the press feels “betrayed” by the Obama administration, but is “too deeply in bed” with them to take action.

“I don’t think they have alarm bells going off, but they are uncomfortable with it and they don’t like it, and they don’t like the way they’ve been treated sometimes,” Beck said about the press. “I think they’re going to take that out on Hillary Clinton.”

O’Reilly: ‘Shame’ That ‘American Press Is so Corrupt’

O'ReillyBill O’Reilly took on the mainstream media earlier this week for covering stories like the New Jersey bridge fiasco more than scandals at the VA and the IRS.

“There is no question that the major national media in America is trying to protect President Obama and will promote the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” O’Reilly said on “The O’Reilly Factor” Wednesday.

O’Reilly pointed out that the network news dedicated 112 minutes in the first week of the bridge story, but when the VA scandal broke out, there was no coverage “for almost two weeks.” O’Reilly added that when news of lost IRS emails broke close to two weeks ago, there was just three and a half minutes combined on all of the network news broadcasts. “It is a shame that in a proud republic, in a vibrant democracy, the American press is so corrupt,” O’Reilly said.

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