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The Sound of Ideas

News Coverage for 2009

Posted Monday, January 5, 2009

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These days every news organization has to do more with less. So that makes the decision about what to cover, and how to cover it, more important than ever. So, we'd like to hear from you: what stories should we cover? On the next Sound of Ideas; we'll be joined by editorial decision makers from The Plain Dealer, WKYC TV and ideastream®. We invite you to join us to talk about what direction all of our news coverage should take in 2009. We hope you'll be there, Monday morning at nine on 90.3.

Tags

Arts and Culture, Economy, Education, Environment, Government/Politics, Health, Other, Community/Human Interest, Technology

Guests

Susan Goldberg, Editor, The Plain Dealer
Rita Andolsen, News Director, WKYC TV
David Molpus, Executive Editor, ideastream®

Additional Information

Show Response:
I have a request - I would like to hear more on history based shows. Like the history behind Gaza and Israel (in-depth and as neutral as possible) and the Sri Lanka War. I keep hearing that this year will be a challenging year internationally, so how about some history and substance behind it.
Heidi, South Euclid

Can your panel share tips on the best way that area organizations, nonprofits and businesses can share their expertise as sources as alternatives to same old voices always seen, read and heard?
Thanks!

Wendy, Bay Village

I think the PD's "corruption" articles are terribly important.
The paper should keep it up.

Elisabeth

I was listening to your discussion on my way to work this morning and wanted to add my two cents. This country has a lot of problems which need to be solved (energy, wars on several fronts, unemployments, bail-outs, etc.). It would be very interesting to have a regular feature on how the rest of the world handles such issues. I think a lot of northeastern Ohioans might be surprised at how many other countries use solar and wind power. Why is the USA so behind the rest of the world? Why do we not have any mass transportation. The excuse is always given that we would not use it, but if I could get to where I needed to be, I would use it as would many others. Right now I would find it very difficult to get from Cleveland to anywhere else by rail. The depots are in the dregs of the cities; you arrive in the middle of the night; there is no way to get to your hotel once you've arrived. We need leadership in many area, but we also need to be informed about the rest of the world.
We could also do with a lot less coverage about Hollywood as news. I can find out about Brad, Angelina or Britney without using valuable news space or time. Maybe people do sink to the lowest level, but why can't someone take the lead to be at a higher level and damn the ratings? (I do know that ratings are linked to adverting revenue but it just seems someone should step up to the plate to be more innovative).

Mary Lou, Windsor

I do like the Plain Dealer column on "Whatever Happened to.." I hope it continues. It is a good follow-up to news and feature stories. I wish the electronic media would reserve a few minutes maybe 3 times a week to feature follow-up stories.
Albert

I stopped buying the PD because the news coverage was so one sided in political terms. NPR does that same think in extreme ways. I got sick of the Obama-zombie reporting. I would ask you to get more balanced – more fox like. Nix the one sided reporting and bashing without real evidence. E.g.; President Bush was NOT all bad and did lots of good things, we never heard about. He spent more in Africa on aids then any other president. He kept us safe since 9/11. We have heard nothing of those things. Obama is the least experienced, most unqualified president of our history and yet NPR has not even touched on that.
Want to do news - then DO news in fair and balanced ways.

Skip, Chesterland

Thanks for all of your important work.
Could you report more on fundamental economic principles of how wealth is created so that our regional workforce understands that wealth comes from productive people? Many people think that wealth comes from natural resources like Oil or Gold, however, prior to the emergence of the American Century, the two world powers, England and Japan, were island countries with extremely limited natural resources.
We here in Cleveland have an educated, hard-working, creative labor force that can create an economic powerhouse if people understood that wealth is created by people, not governments.

David, Concord

In the coming year the states are going to receive big chunks of federal money as part of an economic stimulus package.
Someone has to keep an eye on where how that money is being spent. I’ve read stories from around the country of Homeland Security money being wasted on local boondoggles.
We need the media to be our watchdog on this.

Jim, Amherst

I was disappointed when the Plan Dealer cut down its editorial and op-ed features. I would like to see this expanded. One of the things they might do is to have more editorials from other papers in the state, as they do at times. I assume that this is something that would not be expensive, but would help broaden our perspectives.
Other suggestions: the most helpful analysis of controversial issues is to have views from both sides of the issue. This is not done often enough.
More emphasis on the history of the issues, rather than just what is happening today on the issue. For example, the history of relations between Israel and the Palestinians, rather than just how many casualties suffered or rockets fired in the conflict today.
More coverage of basic economic issues since many persons, including myself, really do not understand how the economy works.

Bill, University Heights

I would like to see our news outlets do a series on leadership, but not about the people currently in elected positions, corporate, non-profit or academic jobs, but rather an examination:
What does good leadership look like?
Where do we find and how do we support current and future leaders?

Jill

A significant activity in Cleveland this winter is proceeding in relative obscurity: the re-districting of Cleveland City wards, reducing the number from 21 to 19 or 17. Voters approved a charter change last year, directing that this happen. But how will it happen – little public info has been revealed.
Bette

Realizing that I don't hear all the local news that is broadcast by WCPN nor read everything that is published by the Plain Dealer, I'll risk passing along my observation that there is little coverage of local religious issues -- or at least the local impact of national and world religious events and ideas. Occasionally a regional version of something along the lines of the content of PBS's Religion and Ethics program would be refreshing.
Current events provide at least two subjects -- the ongoing Gaza conflict and Rick Warren's Peace 2.0 initiative and his participation in the Inauguration. Or with a little further digging, explore the pros and cons of replicating in Cleveland the Portland, Oregon Season of Service supported by the Luis Palau Association.
Religion and faith -- of whatever sort -- is a significant part of the lives of Northeast Ohio residents. It should not be ignored.
As an aside, I want to thank WCPN for its Statehouse coverage. It's my primary source for state government news. Keep up the good work.

Sam, Cleveland

More hard news!!! Anyonw can do analysis and commentary. Heck, we have too much of that already. So lets stop trying to interpret the news and focus on accurately reporting it.
Michael

I think you should completely change your perspective time and again you have these same tired, boring "experts" you can pretty much guess their next words. I don't to hear a re-hash of what I've heard this morning's BBC.
Lets see investigating reporting of corrupt public servants, lets hear about how the recession is affecting Dan Moulthrop, Regina Brett not blah blah blah ---blah blah blah. Ok as I listen jump on the county sheriff's giving raises. Now that's reporting kids. Hey post the salaries of WCPN staff - that would be cool!

Ginger

Thanks for the show this morning. It really made one think.
What I wanted to suggest or comment on was what do we do once we have brought up a certain topic for discussion. What are the follow up needs to make sure that we just didnt talk about them but acheived something from the discussion.
Like for instance, last year we discussed on how the city's traffic violation tickets are hurting many of our pockets. Many people I know of have ended up a week paycheck in traffic violation tickets. We discussed that day, where the money goes, how much goes to the state, how much goes to the city but what after that? Is it morally right to charge someone with their whole paycheck? What if they have kids to feed? What about the economy being so bad to top it all?
I am not sure if these questions are relevant to the discussion or not but I wanted to bring to the front one of Mr. Obama's campaign promises of getting the community involved in all the efforts. The state and the city could take this approach too at a personal level. For instance, instead of someone paying a fortune in parking tickets, he/she could have the option of getting some work done for the state or the city for which the city would not have to pay someone else for that job and the violater does not have to pay a huge chunk of his/her salary for the violation.
Similarly, children too could earn their tuition by serving or tutoring at a community center or something else and get their tuitions paid for. I am sure there are some programs doing exactly the same but most definitely they are not covering a higher demographic or many folks might not know about these programs too.
This is what I thought about today. My 2 cents.
Thanks for the program.

Chetna

I think that to better reflect how interconnected we all are the Plain Dealer should experiment with abandoning the section formatting of the paper. Intersperse news with comics, sports with puzzles, international with very local.
Lis, Bay Village

Thank you for a great show today getting listener feedback about what we think the priorities of the news outlets should be.
Public education in Cleveland has been talked about as such a critical issue and both Mayor Jackson and Governor Strickland have said education is their biggest priority.
Parent and community involvement in the schools is an important part of any school success. I believe the news outlets could play a major role in helping parents and the community be aware of community forums and other public meetings, such as open house, report card pick up, and other facilities-related meetings.
As someone who works with a community agency close to parents and neighbors, I know that the schools could use some help in getting the word out. The media can help in a very practical way in this regard reaching thousands of people.
Please connect with the communications dept. at the CMSD and work together to get the word out about open houses, parent teacher conferences and other meetings in plenty of time for parents and the community to plan to attend, and not just on the same day of the event.
I believe if increased parent and community involvement happens in our schools, it's one small step in improving our school district and region.

Ian, Cleveland

Cleveland is one of the poorest cities in the country. The 90’s saw a move to reform welfare. Major aspects of that reform were to set a time limit for receiving benefits and requirements to work. Now that we are in a serious economic slump how are these mandates affecting families in our county and state?
Len

-We seldom consider ourselves in this state as "Ohioans" -- we are Clevelanders, Akronites, Cincinnatians. Newpapers seem to foster this local view. It was only when I went to school in another state or when I visit other parts of the country do I realize I might be an Ohioan.
-The Ohio coverage seldom deals with the lobbyists and special interests that get things that are behind so much of what happens in Columbus -- name names, track the money.
Right now draconian septic tank regulations are slated to be put in place that will dramatically shape the way suburban development of farmland and forested areas takes place thanks to special Columbus-based interests. The Plain Dealer, WCPN other media other than our local suburban papers (which don't have full resources) have not fully covered this. Only time special interests came out was with the recent Casino and Payday loan issues -- special interests are behind 99% of anything coming out of Columbus.
-WCPN's Prostate Chronicles was excellent 1st step -- Prostate Cancer, a male concern, is not covered on an equal footing with Bresat Cancer which is more a female concern.
-Please cover Public Administration, Public Affairs as a profession. Cleveland State Univeristy has a good school for this. Print and broadcast journalism seldom look at the news from view of the administration and policy issues that are part of it and the expertise or non-expertise of the administrator, agency, council or board of trustees in charge.

J. Talker

There are numerous studies of the extreme lack of balance of coverage of Middle East issues, even on NPR.
Pat, East Cleveland

Here are two suggestions for shifting new coverage to what works to create a more healthy community and maximize limited resources:
1. Weight reporting on the kind of positive things you (and committed community leaders, and people) want to see more of, rather than the old way of sensationalism that gets the "bottom line" of viewer and readership but undermines community values.
2. Reporters need to take time to read outside their immediate field, and to read more deeply in their field. One suggestion: read Ecotopia Emerging, by Ernest Callenbach. There are good hints there for how one might create a more healthy culture, including news coverage.

David, Seven Hills

I've heard several discussions recently about the challenges facing news media - decreasing revenue, the internet, the economic downturn. All resulting in fewer human resources being available to cover the news.
The thought I have every time is what kinds of cooperative ventures are there that might help media cover world events or national events. Are there any sharing of resources that could be exploited in order to bolster coverage while still keeping costs in line? (Public radio is a good example of sharing or resources among member stations)

Karen, Westfield Center

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Every weekday at 9:00 AM (EST), The Sound of Ideas reports the news, explains the news, and sometimes makes news. The Cleveland Press Club awarded it “Best Radio Show” in Ohio and thousands daily find it to be an indispensable source of information about what’s most important to Northeast Ohioans.

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