Very interesting site about a meeting that took place recently and is aparently going to be an ongoing project for journalists. It is called Sunshine Week and involves looking at the amount of secrecy in government.
From that site there are so many places, but the one I found most interesting is a transcript. It is VERY LONG but also very interesting. I do think the people were sincere but I also think they have no clue. The public does't mistrust media because they use anonymous sources, we don't trust them because they use propaganda. Maybe they will try to do better? What do you believe our chances are?
From the transcript at:
I think a starting point is to have a dialogue with the White House, which Ron does, and when these episodes arise, whether you call it group action or not, to quickly react. For instance, Sandy has been very good when we see that a backgrounder is coming, many of us bureau chiefs will get an alert. And a lot of us get on the phone to the White House and say, "Why are we doing this?" And occasionally we've turned them. Now, on that point: I'm not at all hopeful with this White House. What we see as public interest, they see as self-interest. And they're all about spin. I don't think they have the same view of the role of the press in society as we do. I find it very disheartening. I think we can make marginal progress… (Tape change.) I do think we need unified action, but I'm intrigued by the definition of what that is. If Len and others are upset or uncomfortable with the idea of all of us signing a letter, that's OK. I think individual editors need to be able to run their papers that way. But I'm more concerned with The Times and the Post and LA Times, which are very important players in this town, in how they conduct themselves on a daily basis. And for me, unified action can be having standards and holding your ground individually, that contributes to the collective good. So I think we need to do that. I think we can get only so far with meetings at the White House. And also, it's very complicated. It's easy to say everybody get up and walk out. But it's a difficult thing for TV. In the past year we're had some print victories and we're all high-fiving each other, but you look over at the TV people. They've put somebody on the record, but they don't allow cameras in. That's no good. We haven't won anything when we do that.
...the question I think which we are wrestling with today, is to what extent are journalists complicit in that process? To what extent do we contribute to it, allow it to continue and perpetuate it in some way? What kind of a dialogue can we begin among ourselves that might change this? We might not be able to reach a formal agreement of some kind, but can we agree that we need to elevate our standards? Can we take some of these best practices and spread them more broadly through our newsrooms and enforce them in our newsrooms and create a standard that journalists who are involved in the coverage can live with? Part of the problem, I think, is that we are dealing with this a little bit like our criticism of our publishers, if I could use that analogy. We're looking at the short term. We are not looking at the long term. We're taking a very bottom line to today's story approach to it, rather than saying, "What is the long-term good for our own industry, our own profession, and what is the long-term good for our own readers and our audience? How do we work toward that in a way that still allows us to do our jobs every day?" It's a very difficult problem but I think part of it is saying, "We've got to set higher standards for ourselves if we believe that we are headed in the wrong direction."
Very interesting, very long piece.