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Coming up, community leaders turn the tables on the media for a change to find out how they go about the business of gathering news and information. It's the Women and Communications 10th Annual Reverse Press Conference next on in focus. Hello and welcome to in focus. I'm Archie Chopper. Tonight we present an in focus special program Women and Communications 10th Annual Reverse Press Conference. During the next
hour some prominent community leaders will turn the tables if you will on some members of the news media and ask them questions about how they carry out their mission of gathering and reporting the news. We hope that this event will educate you about the inner workings of the news media about community concerns involving how the news is gathered and covered. The reverse press conference has become an important part of public dialogue in New Mexico and K&M is pleased to bring it to you for the third year in a row. Before we begin, here are some words of welcome from Diane Fury, President of the Albuquerque Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications. Good evening. I'm Diane Fury, President of the Association for Women in Communications. I'm so pleased that the Albuquerque Chapter is collaborating with K&M-E-TV to present our 10th annual reverse press conference. Our chapter is the resource in New Mexico for the advancement
and support of women in all communications fields through education, networking, professional development and leadership in the community. Our reverse press conference is an excellent example of that leadership. With this event, which is unique in New Mexico, we're trying to educate the public about the inner workings of the news media and to educate the media about community concerns involving how the news is gathered and reported. We hope you enjoy the reverse press conference tonight. Our thanks to K&M-E-TV for tonight's telecast, and thank you for tuning in. Thank you, Diane, and now let's begin the reverse press conference. With us today are five community leaders in true press conference style. They are here to ask the media questions
and not to engage in a discussion of the issues. We welcome Rabbi Joseph Black of Albuquerque's Congregation Albert, Dr. Wallace Ford, Executive Director of the New Mexico Conference of Churches, Mary Sue Gutierrez, Director of the New Mexico Democratic Party's Legislative Campaign Committee, Edward Lujan, Chairman of the Board of the Manuel Lujan Insurance Agency, and Chairman of the New Mexico Economic Development Commission, and Judge Wendy York, from Bernalillo County's District Court, Division 12. These community leaders will be questioning these four members of the New Mexico News Media, Tim Coder, State Editor of the Albuquerque Journal, Tana Lang, News Director, CBSTV 13, Catalina Reyes, Reporter Producer with Public Radio, KUNM FM, and Inaz Russell, City Editor, the Santa Fe, New Mexican. Thank you everybody for joining us. We'll begin with the opening statements from our news media panelist, and I think we'll
begin with you, Tim Coder. The Albuquerque Journal is a daily newspaper. Our mission, our goal is today's news and today's newspaper. We're storytellers. We tell them as accurate and fairly as possible. Our mission, our goals are to inform and to educate and to spark discussion. At times, we like to or afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, and above all, we want to be as fair and accurate and unbiased as possible. Thank you, Tim. Tana Lang. Well, that's interesting, because we have a motto at CBS 13, 10, and 6, today's news to Marl's headlines. But we like to pride ourselves in presenting news that is
interesting and relevant to our viewers, our everyday viewers and their everyday lives. We strive for fairness and accuracy at all times, and we also have a policy of presenting good news along with the bad news. And when there is bad news, we try to be solution-oriented. There's a lot said in our world today, and we try to present it to our viewers in a way that is compelling to them and relevant. Thank you, Tana. Catalina? I'm a reporter and news producer at KUNM, and as a public radio station, though we're licensed to the University of New Mexico, we really see ourselves as a community radio station, and that means since we are a volunteer driven, we try and get people from the communities who hear us onto our air. And that means any of you viewers who would like to
participate, you're invited to show up at KUNM. We'll try and get you on. The whole idea is access to the medium and being responsible to the communities and the issues in the communities, reflecting that in an accurate way. My mission, personally, as a working classwoman of color, really, there are all two few of us in the media, and I feel very committed and responsible to trying to represent underrepresented voices on KUNM. Thank you, Catalina. And we have now Ines Russell. Ines? At the New Mexican, we have a really straightforward mission. It's much like the journals, in the sense that we're a daily newspaper. We come out every day. Every day, we want people to find interesting stories to read in the newspaper. It's very important in Santa Fe that the newspaper of the town speak with authority about the community, that the people we employ at the newspaper understand Santa Fe and recognize the roots of the community and the people of the community. When someone reads the New Mexican, I want people to know that this is a
newspaper that cares about its town, that knows its town, and covers it better than anybody else. And that's what we try to do every single day. Thank you, Ines. Thank you very much. And now it's time to get questions from our community leaders, and we'll start with Rabbi Joseph Black from Congregation Albert. Thank you. I recently read an article that talked about the fact that discussion in our society is rapidly being replaced by debate that news programs in particular seem to relish placing individuals with diverging opinions and conflict with one another on camera or side by side on the page. And rather than discussing issues rationally, we're seeing more and more of a tendency to degenerate into a shouting match, one might call it the Jerry Springerization of the news. How can we combat this trend? To anybody. I think we can combat it by being rational and by being civil. There are issues in our society that need discussion from the press standpoint. We are a free press,
and for democracy to survive, they need a free press, and that's what we're about. It's civility and just rationality. Don't know you wanted to crack at that one? Well, you know, as tabloid TV has become popular. I can speak from the television side of things. It does pose problems for what we like to call the legitimate news organizations or television news organizations because you have the Sally Jessie's that are very confrontational as a Jerry Springer. So we have a responsibility, and many of the networks and local newscasts and news programs recognize that responsibility to have discussion, to be fair and accurate, to hear both sides of a story. Unfortunately, the headlines sometimes are grabbed by the more flagrant and the more controversial shows. Now, one of the problems that we face in being television is to be
interesting in compelling. The viewers are watching Jerry Springer in the last ratings book, the Jerry Springer program had a lot of viewers, and that's what television is about as getting viewers and consequently paying the bills. So we try to distinguish between the more legitimate news programs that we like to consider ourselves versus the more entertainment kinds of programs. And as more of those come online, that fine line gets finer, and people aren't making the distinction between what is entertainment program they often think of it as news. So we, as what we like to call a more legitimate, have a real obligation to continue to explore both sides of every issue in a complete way. You wanted all of them to ask the question, answer the okay, Catalina, you're next. Well, conflict is sexy, and it's good theater, and I think that's one reason why it's very attractive to have those kinds of confrontations and media venues.
I think that if we are committed to our function in terms of informing the polity, we have to take the responsibility to try and create interest by looking carefully at the issues by talking about the various sides of the story in terms of the things people care about and rely on that to deliver interest, you know, to compel the listener or the viewer, and really to trust the public. And I really feel that that's one reason why the public so greatly distrusts and dislikes the media is that we sort of assume that they're not going to watch if we don't scream at each other or get angry or do something theatrical. You know, we need to trust that they do want to hear the real story. I guess. I think one thing that's nice about a newspaper is it's sort of
hard to scream at somebody or have a fight on television. We don't do that. But I do think that in newspapers we have a real responsibility to go beyond the event that's happening and try to give some answers to people. When I got to Santa Fe four years ago, I'm from Northern New Mexico, but I lived away and I've been working in Albuquerque when I got the job as city editor of the New Mexican. We had just had a police shooting in our town that had really polarized the city. There had been a series of incidents over the last 12 months of that time where you had the community, the newcomers, the so-called Anglo-Rich people, really against the Native Hispanics, the Native Indians, and there was a lot of division in the town. And I think one of the reasons I went to work at the New Mexican is that they covered those stories and they wrote about those stories. The outcome of which is that we elected Debbie Hadamio as the mayor of Santa Fe. That was one of the direct outcomes of the shooting perhaps. But the newspaper also went beyond just writing about the stories and got together to try to have some community forums where people of different
kinds of people, different walks of lives got together to discuss what was happening in the town and to really talk about solutions and ways to bring the community together. And I don't think that the newspaper was making the news, but it was certainly going beyond the headlines to try to find out what was happening, why it was happening, and how a community that had to get along was going to learn to live together. And I think in newspapers we have a particular responsibility not to just go out and cover the news, but to really look at what's happening in our town and to look at what we've done and not to be so defensive because a lot of times someone will come in the paper and I'll say, but we were right and you can't do that when someone has a complaint. You really have to look at yourself and say, are you serving that community and are you really giving the best news to your readers? Thank you, INS. And now our next community leader is Dr. Wallace Ford. Most public opinion surveys indicate that by and large the vast majority of Americans are deeply interested in spiritual and religious matters. And even some surveys suggest that they
would like to see more extensive coverage of religious matters, spiritual matters. And yet the local and regional media don't seem to respond to that in any significant way, both in print media and on television and radio. We have people who are trained to interpret sports events and since there are more people who are really interested in what's going on in various faith communities and yet the media does not provide any consistent coverage of these events or what's going on there. Nor do they bind large-have persons who are trained or skilled in how to gather that news or to interpret the news. Certainly there are times, of course, when matters of scandalous content make the news. There are times, of course, when the special
holy days are covered. But for example, I see almost no coverage of what's going on in the Muslim community here in New Mexico. And as a consequence, most people live with the stereotypes of what Muslims or people from the Middle East are like. My question is why in the face of this interest and why in the face of a widespread acknowledgement of how spiritual matters are important to people, does the media give so little coverage to it? See, I guess you can go ahead and start. It's a tough one. We do have a religion reporter at the journal. His name is Paul Logan. We have a religion page. We do try to, we do try to give coverage to spiritual matters, those sort of things. I believe that we did stories on congregation
Albert, their 100th anniversary. We have covered extensively the sex scandal within the Catholic church. For better or for worse, that needed to be covered. We needed to have things in the open. We do the best we can. And sometimes that might fall short. We may be falling short, perhaps on the Muslim community. But it is something that we will take note of and try to do a better job of. Tana, actually this subject comes up a lot in our discussions about coverage. Right now, we try to cover some of the values of some of the religions. We try to be family-oriented, we try to. But we also cover some of the religious aspects of our community. But we're much closer,
I can tell you, we are much closer to designating a beat reporter for the religious community. And in many communities, television news, they are getting it. I'm a CBS affiliate, where was CBS? And we know that Sunday night is one of the most important nights. And that's because of touched by an angel and some of those family value programs. And as viewers come to those, that's going to encourage more and more of that kind of reporting. And I think you'll see more and more as we get down the road here. Thank you, Catalina. With K&M, I think to some degree, what happens is we don't have really the resources in terms of staff. We basically don't have a full time professional reporter at the station. A lot of our reporters either work study students or
freelancers like myself. We have one reporter in Santa Fe. So he ends up doing things like the legislature. In a funny way, it's almost related to the sort of cultural habit we have that, you know, somehow discussing religion doesn't get on the dinner table of our newsroom. Which is something we do indeed need to look at. A lot of times we tend to, I think, rely on just looking at what the faith communities are doing on various issues and having those people included in the story, for instance, on immigration. There's been significant involvement there. But it isn't something we really specifically seek out other than kind of relying on our eclectic programming schedule and the fact that there are parts of our program week like the gospel show on Sundays where folks will focus. They're not only from the faith communities, but they focus on the news. It's of interest to those
people who are tuning in at that time. But your right is something that we could do better. I miss. I think the answer is that newspapers tend to do what's easy. It's easy to go to the courthouse and get a story. It's easy to go to a city council meeting or go to the police station. And I think we are still struggling with how to cover stories that someone doesn't hold a press conference or someone doesn't have a building for us to go to where there's a document to take out and look at. And I think that at the New Mexico and we also have a religion page. Since I've been city editor, we've been working parts of different people's beats to have more religion and spiritual news because I think it's very important, especially in Santa Fe, to not necessarily be centered around a church necessarily, but around people's spirituality because there are a lot of people who seek God or make whatever you want to call it in a different way than necessarily going to church. We also work really hard at covering the Catholic Church more consistently because it's there
and the only thing that was in the news for years was the scandal. And they do a lot of other things, a lot of charity and a lot of good works. There's a lot of really interesting faith communities there at the Unitarian Church, the United Church that we've tried to cover. But I think in general, we've done a really terrible job because it's just not something that we can go to and get a story easily. It's a very hard story to cover well and we try to do better and we should do better. I've got one question for my colleague. Touch by an angel, is spiritual or is that feel good pap? Well, if it's feel good pap, a lot of people feel real good and go to it. And it's certainly max of spiritualism much more than a lot of TV in these days. And it does attract people with family values. We hear from them regularly. Thank you. And our next question is going to be coming from Mary Sue Gutierrez. Thank you. My question will be directed toward Tim Carter,
the Albuquerque Journal. The Albuquerque Journal does not allow public access in their decision making in policy, editorials, endorsements, etc. So then how does the journal defend its refusal to settle the lawsuit filed by the foundation for open government and the journal over whether the search for a new university president was done properly. It seems to me that you have put the university and our community in a very embarrassing situation. Well, first of all, my understanding is, and that's what I read in the newspapers, that the journal did attempt to settle that loss. And I know that there have been some real disparaging remarks about the journals role, in fact, the journal scuttled this whole search process. And I think that's hogwash.
The fact is, the university didn't file a consent decree. And because of that, they tried to deliberately get around that. And so it's an unfortunate situation. There were some good candidates. And now they're back to the drawing board, but it certainly wasn't the journal's decision not to do this. If the university had done it right, we wouldn't be in this position right now. Our next question is now coming from Edward Lohan. This question is for the whole panel. You know, there's a difference between news and opinion, and I'm kind of going to follow up a little bit on what my black was coming in with. We have more of that now, with all the talk shows, most of the time, and it is my belief that it's 95% opinion, and 5% news, and they try to kind of make it into that it is news, and it really is.
It also, and I guess we're all human beings, reporters, or human, as anybody else. And they do have opinions on news articles and on those events. Very difficult, I think, to separate. I do know that the print media has an opinion page, a editorial page, and very clearly says these are all opinion. But when you look at the stories, many times it's very difficult to separate the news from the opinion in the way that the stories are written. I guess my question is to all of you, what is the policy, and how do you go about working with your reporters on really delineating this, you know, what is news, and what is opinion, and keep them both separate? I'll let Tony start this one and give you a break.
Well, once again, the talk shows, we get back to that fine line, where opinion is actually wanted. In our news organization, we want to be fair and accurate, and if we have a controversial story, we always try to get both sides. Advocacy journalism is not something that we will do. It's also in the editorial process that we need to have the safeguard. When reading scripts, we edit every script before it goes on the air. We have a managing editor and executive producer and news director that edit scripts. That's also incumbent on the news management team to make sure that those kinds of opinions, people are certainly welcome to express their opinion in a story, but we do like to balance it with the other opinion, but as far as reporters getting their opinions in, we try to edit all that out, and we do not believe in advocacy journalism. I guess it sounds like you want to respond to that, or it looks like you're ready to respond.
It seems to me at a newspaper, it is very important to keep the news in the opinion separate, and sometimes people don't even realize it at editorial. You know, it says opinion at the top of the page, people don't realize that that's something that a news reporter doesn't have anything to do with. You know, many people in the Indian community have been mad at both the New Mexican and the journal for the stance on gambling that both papers have had at different times, and every time someone calls to yell at me, I have to say that's opinion, that's separate. What I try to do from a news standpoint is I make sure that the person comes back with facts, not their viewpoints, that it's edited by a person who goes through and takes out things that might be opinion. It goes through another copy desk at it, and then it has a headline written, and then you look at the page, and you try to make sure that if it's controversial, as she said, you get both sides, you ask people about it, I think the problem that newspapers can get into today is that TV has the headlines. We try to go a little bit further and give context, and give information, and give background, and I think sometimes people think that that's opinion.
And I would argue that giving context and information is not opinion, but we're doing what we're supposed to be doing. Got the lead now you want to respond to the question? Yeah, I think there definitely is elitism in newsrooms, and not only that comes not only from the level of education, people are coming from the racial background, the people are coming from, the dominates newsrooms. I think that having more diversity in newsrooms lends toward having a more balanced approach, even to knowing what the other side really is, which other side isn't getting represented, you know, asking a starting from a broader base in terms of inclusiveness. So that's one thing that we try and focus on a lot, especially at KUNM, is trying to make sure that we start from a broader place when we look at what the sides of a debate are.
But I think it's very true that we need to respect a broader spectrum of voices and the authority of working mothers and welfare, people on welfare, and people who are homeless or whatever, and understand that those are valid perspectives to include in our stories. Thank you, Catalina. Tim, you want to crack us to the question? Yeah, we try to be objective as objective as possible, but really there's no such thing as peer objectivity. We are subjective by the nature of the various stories that we choose, and we try to do the best job that we can, our reporters, our reporters, our professionals, and by and large, I think readers see if we're trying to snow in with opinions, subtle opinions, that sort of thing. We keep it on the editorial page, that's where the discussion is meant to be,
and if there is opinion on our news pages in the editing process, we try to get it out as soon as possible, and I think by and large do a reasonably good job. Thank you, Tim. Next is Judge Wendy York. Thank you. This is directed mostly to the TV and print media. When I turn on the TV at night, all I see is robberies, assaults, shootings. And similarly, when I read the newspaper, that seems to be the real focus. And my question is, how do you make a decision about what to emphasize? And is there ever any discussion about the responsibility that you have to be fair about what you emphasize? When emphasizing crime, is there discussion about the impact that that can have on the community? And it might not be a fair view of what's really happening in
Albuquerque because there's so much more happening in Albuquerque than just crime. I'll take that. All right, because TV does get hammered about this issue. When we look at covering stories, we look at the impact on the community. And because of the sensitivity of reporting crime, we've tried to be solution oriented about crime coverage. But it's very interesting, as part of our FCC requirements, we have to talk to viewers. We have to talk to people in the community. And the number one issue that they see as a problem is crime in the community. Now, if we're a reflection of our community, we can't ignore the crime that's happening. So what we try to do is to emphasize solution oriented crime. We have neighborhood watch. We're constantly doing stories on how people are attacking some of the problems that are in their communities related to crime. But on another issue sort of related,
I did a study once on how much crime coverage we actually have in a newscast versus the rest of the newscast. And oddly enough, it's very much a minority part of our entire newscast. And that's excluding weather and sports. That's excluding weather and sports. I can tell you that we concentrate more on education stories, on medical stories, on family related and family oriented stories. Those are our goals. Crime happens. And we are going to be there to cover it. Fires happen. And we're going to be there to cover it. Because if we're not, we're not a legitimate news organization. But we do try to be solution oriented. And we try to emphasize those things that are positive in our community. And by and large, our coverage is more positive than covering crime. I have a question to just to follow up. If crime is the number one concern, why have all the stories that I read in the journal from Santa Fe? Why did they say that crime
has continually been going down in Albuquerque? Because reading the papers from Santa Fe and watching the news, you get the sense that it's not safe to walk down the street sometimes. And is crime the number one concern because people are afraid of crime or because they see so much about it on TV and in the newspaper? That's a tough one to judge. We know that, well ahead of crime, really, is the emergency weather. More people are interested in weather in a newscast than anything else. That's the number one priority. But when you talk to community leaders and that's not leading, that's not a leading question, you say, what is, what are the problems? Now, whether, you know, what comes first to chicken at the egg? But if you look at the statistics of crime, it's certainly, it's certainly an eye opener if you look at the statistics. I mean, we don't create those. We don't create the, you know, the video storytelling. We're safer than we have been in 30 years according to the National FBI statistics. They've been going, I think they had less murders in
New York City since 1968 or something like that. They're fewer and even nationally. Yeah, nationally. In Albuquerque, though, too. That's what I read in the journal. So I know it's true. You've got that right. So your question is, well, are people concerned about crime because it's so horrible and the news is just following or do they think it's so horrible because when you turn on the TV news, that's what you see one, two, three, four. In Santa Fe, it's not as big of a problem because we have maybe four murders a year. And every once in a while, when we have one, it's amazing and spectacular and really horrible. And then it probably does dominate our coverage too much just because it's so awful. Like it's right in the middle of fiesta or it's a little girl, you know, killed by a crazed drug dealer or something like that. But in general, we have very little big crime like they do in Albuquerque. It's a different kind of story. I think it's how you play it also. You can't ignore it. It's out there. But we have discussions all the time. How much play, how big a headline do you give this particular crime? Or how do you treat it? How much when you
have court documents, how much do you go into the lurid details of it? And we've made conscious decisions to tone that aspect down. But you can't ignore it. It's there and as much as possible. Yeah, you do look for solutions. Thank you, Tim. You're watching an infocus special women and communications 10th annual reverse press conference where community leaders question the news media for a change. Let's begin our second round of questions with Judge Wendy York again. Everybody here was talking about accuracy and reporting and getting both sides. But both as a practicing lawyer and as a judge, what I see is this. There is a trial that has held. It's many weeks long. The testimony is long. And the reporter will come in for 15 minutes one day and write their story based on that. Now I know that you don't have the resources to have a reporter probably sit through a whole trial. But what kind of things can you do to make sure that 15 minutes
that the reporter sees the trial is not all that's reported on. And that the reporter really looks at both sides and gets a better understanding than just that 15 minutes. Who wants to crack at that one? You? Tim? Go ahead. Tim. Sure, I'll tackle that one. Some trials we do cover Gavall Gavall and then that's not part of this discussion. Some trials will decide to close, to cover openings, maybe the maybe the prosecution's opening statement. If we do that then we try to go back. Make sure that we get the defense argument on it and go to closings and verdict. It is difficult when you don't have the resources. Or maybe there's not that much public interest to do that other than the family other than the peoples who are affected, Gavall Gavall. But we try to hit it enough so that we've got both sides represented. In television we have an advantage in that we have
cameras in the courtroom and we can record most of the proceedings that we decide to attend. We don't always attend Gavall Gavall trial but we do at least have a recorded version that our reporters can get a longer, broader picture than say attending an hour or two in the morning or afternoon. Kathleen, do you want to answer that one or? Yeah, I think that it is true that we get also into the whole area of why folks don't trust the judicial system and I think part of the reason is that the news reporting does cover that 15 minutes worth of superficial information and we're going, well, how could the grand jury possibly come back with that verdict? And probably the answer would be to take a more subtle approach and to try and explain
to the listener's slash viewer, exactly what the nature of the information these folks got is, was there a certain testimony block? To kind of look at the context and phenomena of what happens in the kind of trial that we're looking at and try and explain a little bit if this seems uncomfortable to you, well, it may be because you're not getting X and Y kinds of information that the jury had. You know, I would say this television coverage of trials and I think also in newspapers has, of late, has given the average citizen a much better picture of our justice system. Even though some of it may be sensational, some of it may be somewhat superficial, I do believe that people have a better understanding of how the justice system works than they did save
in 10 years ago. What we do when we cover a trial is we kind of look at what its news value is and if you know this is going to be a really big trial, it's A1, you cover that gavel to gavel. If it's a story that's going to be in the bottom of B1 or B1, you might have fewer resources at it, but what we try to do is if we go to opening, we'll get like the prosecution's beginning case, we'll get the defenses beginning case, we'll make sure we run a little of each so that we just don't run the prosecution case or we just don't run the defense and we might go to closing and then kind of wrap it all up and if you're only going to be there for a little bit, which we try not to do very often because you're right, you don't get as full of a picture, then you talk to the lawyers afterward and just go over and say what happened, what did I miss and you also could go back and look at the transcripts. So even though you might not see the reporter that long in the actual courtroom, he or she may have gone back and checked what has happened with people who were there and with the transcripts themselves. So you do your best to give a full picture so that you're not just relying on the 10 minutes that the body was actually in the courtroom. Thank you, Inez. Now we go
to Edward Luchen. I'm going to change subject a little bit. My pet is, I guess, economic development, and economic development to me is, or rather, jobs are the lifeblood of any community in any state. The question that I have for all of you is how do you define economic development and do you think that each one of you with the vast influence that you have that the media has, do you think that the media has a responsibility in promoting economic development? Why don't you start? Promoting economic development. I suppose indirectly we do. I think we cover the forces that work. Obviously, we're part of the community, the journal's part of the community, the journal benefits from a solid economy. And what we try to do is try to cover the players, try to cover the issues that will spawn economic development. And getting
back to our editorial pages and opinion and things like that, we have people constantly coming in and talking to our editors about plans for whether it be economic development or anything else. And a lot of those times, a lot of those things translate into news stories, into ideas for projects for stories. So we do benefit from it and we need to keep an eye out for it. Our station management is very involved in economic development. We're a business. Television is a business. And we have as much interest in what's happening economically in our communities as the next business person. And our station management has been very involved in the economic forums and in the development of this state and this region. As far as promoting on our air in
a newscast, we're not really in the business of promoting much of anything other than covering the issues, which we try to do. We try to cover, particularly things that affect the everyday person as I said earlier, we like and make our decisions around the everyday person and how it affects their lives. And certainly, economics are a very strong part of that. Candelina? I think your right in that economic development is central to the health of our communities. And what it's attractive and what you see a lot in the major media is the stories about what Intel is doing and whether we have enough water for Suimitomo and things like this, which are important things to cover. But I think that we also need to look carefully at the smaller scale things, what small businesses doing, the effects that some of the say industrial
revenue bonds would have on taking money from other needs that are in the community. So we have to look at the whole thing holistically. And I think that's what we try to do. And also, at least in public radio and from my perspective, you can look at the kinds of battles that happen in terms of economic development, say, in northern New Mexico, where the environmentalists want to keep the rural, you know, he spawns from making their vigas from the firewood. But there are also other things going on that are constructive and where people are trying to work together. And I think that those things get under covered. There was a group of people up in the Carson National Forest in Tierra Maria who got an award from the Clinton administration recently for actually working together in Tierra Maria County on sustainable development. And that story was almost completely under not covered. So there are sides of it where positive things are happening that
we could really need to focus on paying more attention to and not just sort of feeling like the only kind of important economic development story is what next, you know, corporation is going to come in and change the whole character of Albuquerque or New Mexico. I miss. I would say that it always makes me nervous when someone talks about the paper promoting or boosting something. I think my job as a city editor is to make sure that we cover the issues and probably the biggest issue in northern New Mexico is the disparity in wages. And the fact there are a lot of poor people living in a really rich town. And how do you deal with that? How do you deal with a place where people can afford to buy a house in the same place their parents lived? And where everyone has to go live in a trailer south of Santa Fe or I live up in Espanola and commute and there are double whites all along the road because people can't afford housing. And of course the only way to fix that is to get good paying jobs. But northern New Mexico is such a strange beast which you know because you were up there many years of campaigning and going around and you're from
Santa Fe originally. You think about it. People don't necessarily want the same job they'd want in Albuquerque. We had the non-bay plant move from Santa Fe to Espanola because people were tired of it polluting they said and the non-bay plants said no it didn't pollute. And you have the Nike company perhaps deciding to come to Santa Fe and people saying 500 jobs is too big for the area. So we have a really tough story to cover in northern New Mexico because we need good economic development but we also need something that will sustain the community and won't ruin what's there and won't hurt the charm that's there. Okay we have about about close to 10 minutes or probably a little less than 10 minutes we want to get to the rest of our panelists so if you can answer your questions a little more quickly that would be great. Mary Sue. Thank you. The political season is upon us again and my question will be to the members of the print media. I have often been asked by candidates how much in the number of votes or in a percentage of votes an endorsement from a newspaper would bring. I have heard several different answers. Some people have told me five
percent or maybe more. Some people have told me that actually it could harm a candidate to get an endorsement from a newspaper. I would like to hear your opinion and if you do have any idea of what an endorsement can bring or not bring to a candidate. Sometimes we've heard it's the kiss of death. I don't know what it means in percentages but I know I do know that candidates do court journal very heavily seeking our endorsement and it's weighed very heavily. Our editorial our editorial people talk to the candidates interview the candidates as reporters and as an editor here. I'm out of it that's not my deal but what we try to do is to cover the campaign it's best
we can try to cover the issues as best we can so that when it comes time to make that endorsement we've made we can make or the newspaper can make an informed endorsement and we win some and we lose some. I guess Larry Delgado was just elected mayor of Santa Fe and not one newspaper in town endorsed him. Not the New Mexican not the journal north not the Santa Fe reporter so I'm not sure what could it does. All I know is that the editorial board takes that responsibility very seriously and works very hard to choose who they think is the best candidate and that's again something totally that I know nothing about and don't care too because that's on the other side of the aisle. Thank you, Anis. Now next question from Dr. Wallace Ford. For generations in America it's been clear that the media whether it's print and more recently electronic really do shape the common good of our society and that even though we hear from reporters and from
the different media that they seek to be objective and reflect back only what they see. In reality you do indeed shape what kind of society we are and what's kind of society we're going to become. People say that if I've seen it on television it's real. If I've heard it on radio I know it's real I read it in the newspaper it's real and what I would like to ask is is you try to balance the business of being in business dealing with your primary source of revenue which is advertisers over against what is the common good for the community as you understand it. How does that balance work and who wins? Anybody want to take that one first? Again I'm very lucky I work in a newspaper where we have walls we have walls between news and editorial
we have walls between news and advertising. I know that the New Mexican sells advertising it makes a lot of money it pays me a salary I have no idea how they do that or who they sell it to and none of that ever affects what I do. One of my favorite things to do is to have someone call me and say I spoke to the publisher and I want this story and for me to say you know she lets me make those news decisions and if I screw up too many times I'll get fired but I don't think it's a story and I'm not going to do it. I've never had that be a problem. I think the question about the common good is not so much about advertising but about us picking the stories that are kind of salacious that make big headlines versus us reaching a little bit harder to tell the true stories of the community and to do the stories that aren't easy to go out and get groups that aren't represented. We have a you know a lot of Hispanics in our town we have a lot of Indians in our town we don't have a diverse newsroom to the degree that we'd like to so we have to think really hard about going out and getting those stories advertising though doesn't really enter into it
at least at my level. Okay we've got five minutes left so if you could answer this very quickly so that we can have Rabbi Joseph ask the last question. Does anybody want to take a while as public radio? We don't have advertisers per se and actually more on the local level we don't and more and more nationally. Unfortunately we are getting into the pockets of big money and it's a serious problem. We thank God we are volunteer driven and as long as that continues to happen and community driven as long as that's the situation I think we are in a much better position to even have a clue what what issues are really important to people and to try and get them represented. Thank you can we go ahead and go the last question thank you okay can you ask your question? Yes recently I've had several occasions when I've had to deal with families that have had public tragedies and I found that I've had put in the very strange position of having to protect them from the press. How did it feel to have this happen to you with a microphone shoved
in their face? How do you respond to that? Where do you draw the line between the needs of individuals who are in pain and the desire to get a scoop? We don't put microphones in in grieving family spaces and with the most recent death of a respected congressman we respected the families wishes to the ninth. Could I could I respond to that because we had another incident where there was an incident in our parking lot where I had reporters calling me wanting names of people that were not put in the press can you give me these people's names so we can interview them and these people felt victimized a second time and it was from all it was the print media and it was also the television media so I respectfully disagree. Well we have a policy in our newsroom that you don't put a microphone in front of a grieving person period it's not done. Now I don't know about the name situation but we have a policy if they want to talk to us and if they contact us we will talk to them but we do not ambush. We don't amush either
but we do call people and it's one of the toughest things as a news reporter that you have to do if people don't want to talk we we don't we do not badger them. I think sometimes for certain for certain people it's a healing experience and and those circumstances sure we'll talk to them would I talk if I were in their shoes? Probably not. Catalina it's something we actually rarely confront although we did actually you know it was a rare occasion when Jim Segal recently died we we actually put some calls in and and did Tata when his family members in it and it was something we actually discussed a lot in the in the newsroom I think that you do have to exhaust every possible avenue before you go call up the life right after something like that happens so so only as a last
resort I think and and can we have a nest that we were veteran at a time thank you. Basically what we do is is I look at it as a chance for that person's life to mean something to the greater community and and to be out there because I think when you have a personal loss a lot of times it's also a loss for the community however if someone says no leave them alone I don't like to bother people at at a time of pain or to make their pain worse. Thank you INS and that's it for our reverse press conference the women in communications 10th annual reverse press conference I want to thank Tim Coder, State Editor of the Albuquerque Journal for joining us. Tana Lang, News Director, CBS TV 13, Catalina Reyes, Reporter Producer with Public Radio KUNMFM, NINES, Russell, City Editor, the Santa Fe, New Mexican. We also want to thank our community leaders for being with us this evening Rabbi Joseph Black of Albuquerque's congregation Albert Dr. Wallace Ford, Executive Director of the New Mexico Conference of Churches Mary Sue Gutierrez, Director of the New Mexico Democratic
Party's Legislative Campaign Committee Edward Lujan, Chairman of the Board of the Manuela Lujan Insurance Agency and Chairman of the New Mexico Economic Development Commission and Judge Wendy York from Bernalillo County's District Court Division 12 thank you everybody for joining us and finally thanks to the Association for Women in Communications for organizing this reverse press conference we hope you enjoyed this event as much as we did for K&M TV and in focus I'm RC Chopper thank you for watching if you would like to contact us here at Infocus you can reach us on our website at slash K&M or at our email address at Infocus at K&
In Focus
Reverse Press Conference 1998
Producing Organization
KNME-TV (Television station : Albuquerque, N.M.)
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New Mexico PBS (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
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Episode Description
Arcie Chapa hosts this 10th annual forum sponsored by Association of Women in Communications where community members and leaders get to question leaders in New Mexico media and how and why they covers stories.
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Executive Producer: Sneddon, Matthew
Host: Chapa, Arcie
Producer: Chapa, Arcie
Producing Organization: KNME-TV (Television station : Albuquerque, N.M.)
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Identifier: cpb-aacip-d2d3b1cc60e (Filename)
Format: Betacam: SP
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:56:31
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Chicago: “In Focus; Reverse Press Conference 1998,” 1998-03-17, New Mexico PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 21, 2024,
MLA: “In Focus; Reverse Press Conference 1998.” 1998-03-17. New Mexico PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 21, 2024. <>.
APA: In Focus; Reverse Press Conference 1998. Boston, MA: New Mexico PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from