Newly-minted author Roy Santoro has been a journalist for more than 40 years.

Recently-retired Roy Santoro worked in Chicago television news for 40 years as a producer, writer and investigative journalist. “I’m the guy who decided which stories get on the air, how they’re written and what video gets used,” he explains. “When you say, ‘the news media sucks,’ I’m one of the guys you’re talking about.” Broken News: Journalism in Crisis is the result of an 18-month dive into journalism’s past, present and future. It examines issues like political bias, the way local television covers crime, why every story is “breaking news,” and how one word can change the meaning of a story.

Broken News: Journalism in Crisis

Chicago Television Producer Examines Four Decades of Troubling Media Issues, Trends


October 2018

“True journalists are not the enemies of the people, but the guardians of democracy.” This is one of the key messages of Chicago television journalist Roy Santoro’s new book, Broken News: Journalism in Crisis. It’s Santoro’s labor of love, a book that draws upon his 40 years in broadcasting and is designed to remind the American public how important a free and independent media is to democracy.

“The public needs to know there are journalists working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year in some of the most dangerous places on Earth to bring you the news and information you need,” Santoro explains. “They work long into the night digging through documents, making phone calls, knocking on doors and following the truth wherever it leads to bring you the news of the day. Many do it for little pay; others face enormous budget and time constraints. They do it because they are the Fourth Estate, the invisible branch of government created in the Constitution to watch over politicians, powerful business leaders and others. Without them citizens live in the darkness.”

Santoro continues, “The news that was once put together by 100 people at many television stations is now done by half that number. Many of the best and brightest in the industry are leaving because of low pay, brutal hours and the endless stress.  The economic model that once supported broadcast news, newspapers and even radio has changed dramatically. The advertising dollars that once supported those journalistic endeavors have now gone to social media, leading to massive budget cuts in all forms of news.” (more…)

To Vote or Not to Vote…

Reasons to Stay Home On Midterm Election Day


November 2018

Editor’s Note: As an organization that is recognized as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, The Reporters Inc. does not endorse, support or oppose any political candidate or political campaign for elected public office. However, as a journalistic organization, we do publish opinion pieces and commentaries from individual contributors. The views of these contributors are not necessarily those of The Reporters Inc. staff and Board of Directors.

 

BY TIM MUNKEBY

Everyone is always talking about the importance of voting. Civic duty, every vote counts, you can’t complain if you don’t vote — you know the drill.  So, as the 2018 midterm elections approach, why write another boring “get out the vote out” piece, right? Better yet, here’s my list of reasons NOT to vote:

 

DON’T VOTE:

* If you think things are grand in Washington D.C., just the way they are

* If you believe you’re able to trust your current congressperson to do the right thing

* If you think a divided America with people hating each other is overstated

* If you enjoy waking up to juvenile, angry, nasty, vindictive, hateful, dishonest Tweets every morning

* If you think “truth isn’t truth” and “alternative facts” are just as good as verifiable truth and actual facts

* If you think guys like Kim & Vladimir are better U.S. allies than guys like Justin & Emmanuel, and gals like Theresa & Angela

* If you travel and you’ve got good answers for people in other countries asking you, “What are you Americans thinking?”

* If you believe human beings have nothing to do with global warming

* If you think climate change is a political notion, not a scientific one

* If preserving our parks, lakes, rivers, oceans, the environment and the future of our planet isn’t a concern for you

* If you think voter suppression and gerrymandering are reasonable strategies for winning elections

* If you have a pre-existing health condition and you’re OK with your health coverage being taken away because of it

* If you think getting sick, losing all your savings and home, and being sucked into a black hole of debt because you couldn’t get or afford proper health care is something that only happens to “someone else”

* If you have a bushelful of thoughts and prayers for those shot in schools, places of worship, places of business, concerts, movie theaters, etc. but think further action is unnecessary

* If you’re fine with the current Congress’ inability/refusal to expand background checks on individuals seeking to purchase firearms

* If you want a few really rich people to become really richer, and for these same few folks to keep all of the country’s money and power in their hands

* If Social Security and Medicare get cut, that’s just fine by you (more…)