Appendix A. The questionnaires

With one exception, the journalists were asked the following questions:

FIRST: A quick background question. What do you do now, and what is

your past job experience?

1. What is your mission as a news provider? Has it changed?

2. Which of the following (you can pick more than one) describes your role and your company's role? Has this role changed in the past 5-15 years, and do you expect it to change in the next few years? Elaborate if necessary:

3. When you get information (from someone you've interviewed, from a public record you've read, from a story sent to you for editing or posting on the Web), is it your job to pass it on, or do you investigate it?

4. Do you have an editor? How many people see a news story or bit of information before it's published or posted?

5. Do you correct mistakes? How?

6. Which of the following tools do readers have to influence the news that you report?

7. How important is it to give background and context in your stories?

8. Through the Internet and cable television, governments and candidates are better able to broadcast their own information without going through newspapers and TV newscasts. How has this affected your job?

9. Are you striving for objectivity? If so, which of the following definitions best fits your approach?

10. Who are your competitors, and what do you see as your strengths compared to them?

11. How important is it to have the news before your competition? Do you find yourself with little time to check facts? Little time to give context?

12. Is the Internet a good tool to combat control of the media by a few conglomerates?

13. Do you have enough (newshole, programming time, space) to tell the news? Do you ever have too much?

14. How else has technology affected your work? What new pressures are affecting your work? How have you responded?

15. How do you think readers perceive you? What public perceptions of you and media in general would you like to change?

"Web C," a media reporter, was asked a slightly modified version in which a few irrelevant questions were omitted and the wording changed so that his answers would reflect journalists as a whole rather than his own experience.

The journalists then were asked three follow-up questions:

1. Compare the breadth and depth of today's news coverage to the news coverage of five years ago, before 24-hour cable news networks multiplied and the Internet became a mainstream news source.

2. With many news organizations moving toward shorter news reports, is it more difficult to establish context? What can you do to establish context in shorter stories and briefs?

3. Compared to five years ago, are you working with younger, less experienced people? If so, how has this trend affected your organization?

Only two participants, "Web A" and "Web B," were able to respond to the follow-up questions in the allotted time.