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News Director Shory Stands Up For Press Freedom

An interesting clip is making the rounds of the people who think and write about the media. WBIR Knoxville news director Bill Shory spoke up before a press conference for departing U. Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin and said the whole shebang should be on camera–not a mere part of it on camera after Kiffin did a “pre-presser.”

A news director scrapping with a media relations type over the rules of engagement regarding a high-profile get is not surprising, but watch how Shory has to defend freedom of the press against his fellow journalists who are more than happy to play by the media relations guy’s rules and settle for spoon-fed soundbites.

RTNDA has the clip and some commentary here. The video is on YouTube as well.

“We news directors, executive producers, assignment editors, reporters, photographers–all of us are the ones who let it get this bad, the ones who let the Lane Kiffins of the world think they can dictate the terms under which they’ll squirm out from under the public microscope,” writes RTNDA chairman Stacey Woelfel, himself a news director. “I say, if we follow the example Bill Shory set last week, we can be the ones who make it better. ”

For the record, all of Kiffin’s address ended up being on camera. He spoke for a minute and then bolted.

Michael Malone
Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.