A great crowd at the Midwest Theater Thursday night as an estimated 175 people took part in a conversation about democracy and the future of journalism.
A three person panel of noted journalists answered questions from the audience for 90 minutes, many of them centering around the national news and the emphasis on news as entertainment and with a certain agenda.
Panelist Charlie Brogan with KFOR Radio in Lincoln weighed in on the frustration of the audience, telling them “we need to hold them accountable for their work. ” Brogan said the reason there is so much attention on national TV news because it is the one factor that unites us. Brogan added, “It obviously unites us by attention because there are so many people who are aware of it, upset by it, or swear by it.”
Brogan says the public needs to be better consumers of the news and search for the sources of news that provide them the most accurate information.
Clark Kauffman, investigative reporter for the Des Moines Register, said the audience could access the print media for more “fact-based” information. But he was also the one person among the panelists that did not have a positive belief on the future of journalism, citing the many cutbacks currently in the newspaper industry,
Denver Post political reporter Anna Staver told the audience she wants her stories to not only inform readers but be something of interest that will have an impact on them when they read it. Staver believes her readers have to trust her that she is presenting a fair report that looks at all sides and forums like the one Thursday night help build that trust .