Natalie Jacobson on Beat the Press

On Beat the Press, host Emily Rooney is joined by a panel of media critics to take you behind the scenes of the world's biggest and most influential media outlets featuring unusual moments that capture the public's opinion.

On this special episode of Beat the Press, host Emily Rooney is joined by former WCVB anchor Natalie Jacobson to discuss her new book, the glory days of local Boston news, the future of the news, and much more.

By Matthew McGuirk

Episode 13 of Beat the Press

Natalie Jacobson Joins Beat the Press

Public trust in online information concerning for former WCVB anchor Natalie Jacobson

“I’m afraid for us that too many people accept whatever they read on the web. The standard should be, your information is only as good as your source. I urge people all the time, they’ll tell me something and I’ll say, ‘Gee, how do you know that?’ [They say,] ‘Well, I read it online.’ Well, what did you read online? Who said that? Are you sure? How do you know it’s true? Usually you get blank stares. People don’t check.” 

cameraman holding his professional camcorder in the street. Operator in social environment, filming, news outlet, motion-picture cameraman

News outlets prioritizing the wrong thing, according to former WCVB anchor Natalie Jacobson 

“We used to ask the question, ‘What is it, of all the things we could tell people today, that the people really need to know?’ That question changed to, ‘What will they watch?’” 

Good journalism hard to find, according to former WCVB anchor Natalie Jacobson

“You could argue there is not a lot of original reporting going on. There’s a lot of copying — the Post said that, the Times said that, the Journal said. You could copy it if it fits you, if it suits you, meaning if it is of your opinion. That’s a very big issue. Who cares [what] your opinion [is] if you’re a reporter? People aren’t reporters so much anymore. On cable especially, they’re personalities. We’ve seen that with Fox, we see it with CNN, and we see it with MSNBC. It’s very hard to find good journalism.”