Although Variety‘s Andrew Stewart was unable to attend the Thursday, November 11th Los Angeles Press Club panel discussion examining the challenging future of entertainment trade reporting, that still left Gregg Kilday of The Hollywood Reporter, Bob Tourtellotte from Reuters, Andrew Hampp of Ad Age and The Wrap’s Josh Dickey(pictured), subbing for a screening-diverted Sharon Waxman.
During a 90-minute discussion moderated by NPR contributor Anthea Raymond, each panelist made fine observations about the current state of the Hollywood and Madison Ave. trade nation, touching on everything from the broad re-purposing of an Us Weekly story about Beyonce being pregnant (she wasn’t) to the Mad Hatter beats of Twitter feeds.
Without a doubt, the energetic star of the show was Wrap Deputy Editor Dickey, a former AP entertainment breaking news wizard. He peppered the evening with jokes, crowd participation entreaties and no shortage of intriguing nomenclature.
“There’s lots of airbrushed journalism today,” Dickey noted in reference to the online practice of making inaccurate things disappear rather than posting proper, print-style corrections. “We all know who does it.” Another “blood sport” observation from Dickey was the feeling, per a question from Raymond, that today’s online audience for trade reporting is definitely being responded to rather than created.
Sitting front row, middle last night was attorney Jonathan Handel, a self-described citizen journalist who prefaced his audience question by explaining that he now also covers the beat of entertainment labor law for the Reporter. As such, he was a most conveniently placed sign of these changing trade reporting times.[Podcast now available here]