Rolodex Journalism

Friday, July 13, 2012



Journalists are only as good as their sources, which is why their potency is often measured by the size of their rolodexes. Why is it then, that so few experts are called upon again and again for quotes in scores of newspaper articles and TV news appearances? Maybe it has to do with going to that Rolodex too much for the same old sources. Bob looks into the practice of Rolodex journalism.

Original Air Date - June 21, 2002


Comments [3]

Robert from NYC

Oh yes this is a good segment. I'm sick of the same ol'"talking head" (and I'm sick of that term) on these cable news programs (for me in particular those on MSNBC) who have encrusted plaque in their brains and spew the same ol'garbage about policy and people that just turn me off... and I do turn them off. C'mon guys and gals update those rolodexes! Let's see some new blood and wit.

Jul. 15 2012 10:27 AM
Paul H from Silver Spring, MD

Peter - I grant that the E-Readers story follows a WSJ story on the same topic - it even interviews the reporter - and the Journal has had great coverage of Internet privacy lately. However, the binge TV story was likely just a coincidence; the viewing had to happen before the WSJ story, as well as much of the reporting and production, since the OTM and WSJ stories appeared on the same day. You can possibly say they both got the idea from AMC, which started airing the first four seasons of Breaking Bad last month in the middle of the night, telling viewers to set the DVRs to record them for marathon watching sessions....

However, I digress from what I came here to write in the first place.

How about a little advice for journalists to help them break away from their Rolodex journalism rut? Social media offers interesting new ways to develop sources outside of the traditional Sunday talk show crowd. There are some great resources for journalists looking for ideas how to use this new medium in their work:

Jul. 14 2012 05:05 PM
Peter S from New Hampshire

Oh the irony!

On The Media follow up this story about journalistic laziness with two stories that had originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal - E-Readers reading you, and 33 Episodes in 3 Days. Talk about laziness! The Wall Street Journal has some great articles, but why not come up with some of your own original ideas too ?

Jul. 14 2012 01:44 PM

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