Segments in this Video

Hypothetical Scenario (01:53)


During a primary campaign a reporter observes a physical and verbal tirade by staffers following a major policy statement by their candidate. Should the story be on policy or the staffers' fight?

Controlling the News (03:22)

Alan Abel's campaign manager influences a reporter to write his story on the policy statement and not the fight. The reporter looks for an exclusive which trumps other news.

Consumers (02:58)

Panelist Sabato says the press has lost a connection to what Americans want to know. Gwen Ifill of PBS says people do want to know about the fight. News is consumer driven.

Airing a Story (03:58)

When the facts are right, the scuffle story is aired. Expert panelists disagree whether candidate Abel should get directly involved in a solution.

What Makes a News Story? (01:52)

Gwen Ifill wants to get independent confirmation before she writes a column about the spate. Jeff Greenfield believes that a fight between two women aides is a very big story.

Public Policy vs. Campaign Conflict (03:11)

Panelists disagree on the newsworthiness of the campaign aides' fight. Does the consumer prefer to follow stories on a fight over substance? Should the fight be a one-day story?

Another Hypothetical Candidate (02:51)

A second prominent leader ponders with his family whether he should make a campaign bid since the front runner is hurt by his aides' fight.

Craft the Message (02:23)

The panel discusses that advisors need to know everything about a potential candidate, and the campaign's message should be disciplined along with the do's and don'ts.

Stay on the Message (02:14)

Candidates need to stay on the message and have the final say on direction. However, this is often abused. Instant news quickly exposes a phony candidate according to Dan Rather.

Opposition's Ghosts (03:16)

Hypothetical Governor Chris Carson is accused of visiting a prostitute 20 years ago. Reporter Gwen Ifill would pursue the story by assigning additional reporters.

Ethical Reporting vs. Public's Interest (03:05)

Panelists discuss ethical reporting on issues such as a candidate's past affecting the present, rumors on the Internet, and the public's right to know.

Allegation is Pursued (02:57)

The allegation circulates, and the candidate is confronted about the bordello. The candidate denies the allegation and covers himself from misconduct.

Pursuing Answers (02:49)

In the face of a candidate's evasion, competitive news people often pursue the story to answer more questions.

Original Source for the Story (04:09)

Jake Tapper of believes how candidates deal with a potential scandal is relevant. Politicians on the panel accuse the media of fueling the flames even if the story is not true.

Fueling the Flames (01:38)

The standard to cover a story or not is questioned by politicians on the panel. Journalists counter that having non-scrupulous media members is the price we pay for vigorous free speech.

Credible Confirmation (03:48)

The bordello employee claims Carson frequented the establishment but did not pay. If the allegation is true, the consensus is that his candidacy is finished because he obstructed justice.

Carson Bows Out of the Race (03:02)

Reporters believe a candidate's past and personal life excludes many good people from politics; however, the press reports stories and citizens weigh the information on the candidates.

What Has To Be Changed? (02:44)

Fear is a large factor in the newsroom, both in the pressure to survive and the speed of communication. Voters need to be better educated, and media may need to be more selective.

Future of Journalism (00:51)

The media has a responsibility to make distinctions between gossip and the truth. Emphasis should be on the whole and reliable story rather than being the first to report. Voters decide what to favor.

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Disconnected: Politics, the Press, and the Public—A Fred Friendly Seminar

DVD Price: $149.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $224.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $149.95



Has America’s electoral process been hijacked by today’s overheated media marketplace? This Fred Friendly Seminar, introduced by ABC News’ Peter Jennings and moderated by Harvard Law School’s Arthur Miller, grapples with questions including: Are unsubstantiated Internet sources, tight deadlines, and a drive to boost profitability distorting journalism? Are candidates’ personal lives fair game? And will the media’s preoccupation with scandals and “horse race” coverage alienate an already disconnected public? Panelists include CBS News’ Dan Rather, CNN’s Jeff Greenfield, Gwen Ifill of Washington Week in Review, Congressman Barney Frank, political analyst Ed Rollins, activist and rapper Chuck D, and others. A Discussion Guide and other resources are located online at (57 minutes)

Length: 62 minutes

Item#: BVL10557

ISBN: 978-1-4213-1502-7

Copyright date: ©2000

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