Shorenstein Center Paper Calls for Journalists to Rebuild Trust with Disengaged Audience

Contact: Doug Gavel
Phone: 617-495-1115
Date: July 11, 2011

CAMBRIDGE, MA. — Tracing the cultural, political and demographic roots of audience disengagement and mistrust of the media, Bob Caloexamines the role of journalists in a new paper, “Disengaged: Elite Media in a Vernacular Nation.” Calo researched and wrote the paper while a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.
According to Calo, the decline in the journalism business “started well before technology began to shred the conventions of the media.” He warns fellow journalists: “If we fail to examine our part in the collapse of trust, no amount of digital re-imagining or niche marketing is going to restore our desired place in the public conversation.”
Bob Calo is a Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. He co-directs the video storytelling and reporting program there and is currently the executive editor of Richmond Confidential, one of three hyper-local news sites run by the school. In the 20 years before joining the faculty at Berkeley in 2001, Calo was a broadcast producer for NBC News in New York, a producer for the ABC News program “Prime Time Live” and a news and documentary producer at KQED-TV in San Francisco. In 2008, while on leave from Berkeley, he served as national coordinator for News21, the 12-university collaboration for innovative digital journalism sponsored by the Knight Foundation and Carnegie Corporation. He is currently the senior producer for “Sound Tracks,” a PBS series in development about the intersection of music, culture and politics.

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