TVOT LIVE! 2020 Session - How Do You Know They’ll Print (or Screen) It?

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“How Do You Know They’ll Print (or Screen) It?” at TVOT LIVE!


“How Do You Know They’ll Print (or Screen) It?” at TVOT LIVE!

ITVT is pleased to offer free of charge a session that was one of the highlights of our recent virtual conference, TVOT LIVE! (Note: you can purchase on-demand access to all TVOT LIVE! sessions here.)

The session, which was conceived and moderated by Seth Haberman, featured prominent news-industry figures and public intellectuals from across the political spectrum, engaged in a passionate debate about the factors that determine which news stories are reported and which not.
Here’s the description of the session from the TVOT LIVE! agenda:

How Do You Know They’ll Print (or Screen) It?

In the final scene of Sydney Pollack’s masterful film, “Three Days of the Condor,” Turner, the former CIA analyst, meets up with Higgins, the rogue agent who’s been plaguing him, outside the New York Times building. Turner, played by Robert Redford, has sent all the information about the plot he’s exposed to the Times:
Turner: Just look around. They've got it. That's where they ship from. They've got all of it.
Higgins: What? What did you do?
Turner: I told them a story. I told 'em a story. You play games; I told 'em a story.
Higgins: Oh, you…you poor, dumb son of a bitch. You've done more damage than you know.
Turner: I hope so.
Higgins: You're about to be a very lonely man. It didn't have to end this way.
Turner: Of course it did.
Higgins: Hey Turner! How do you know they'll print it? You can take a walk…but how far if they don't print it?
Turner: They'll print it.
Higgins: How do you know?
The question Higgins puts to the Redford character presumes that even a newspaper like the New York Times (when it prided itself on objectivity) may in some cases sit on or bury a story.
The question we hope to explore today, in an age when technology enables so many ways to publish, is: What are the sinews that prevent certain stories from surfacing? How are secrets kept? How do we find them and what can we learn about how people kept secrets in the past that reveals something about what occurs today?
Are we really more informed, and thereby freer, today than, say, 70 years ago, when there were hundreds of independent newspapers? How were stories buried and secrets preserved back then? And—at a time when public trust in media appears to be in decline, with many believing that major news outlets report in lockstep and serve agendas other than the public’s right to know—are emerging news technologies and platforms really making it easier for us to uncover the secrets that some would prefer be kept from us? Panelists include:


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