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special report

Feeding the Beast

February 20, 2013 06:53:57 am

By David J. Krajicek and Debora H. Wenger

Breaking-news journalism, linked inextricably to criminal justice beats, is changing—driven by unrelenting micro-deadlines and financial pressures that have whittled staffs and forced editors and producers to rethink their newsroom structures and news-gathering processes.

In a special paper prepared for last week’s  8th annual John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America, David Krajicek and Debora Wenger analyze the impact of the industry’s transformations on criminal justice coverage.

Krajicek and Wenger, veteran journalists and members of Criminal Justice Journalists, interviewed more than a dozen reporters and editors—many of whom gave a sobering assessment of the new realities of covering crime in an era when audiences are increasingly turning to the Web—and to social media—for their primary source of news.

“We no longer work for the next show,” commented Amanda Lamb, a 20-year crime reporting veteran at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, NC.  “We work for the next five minutes on the Web.”

To read the full study, “Feeding the Beast,” please click HERE.

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