Was John Oliver’s take down on the Newspaper Industry real journalism?

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By Rob Lorei

On Radioactivity Thursday, we looked at the latest rant by HBO comedian John Oliver on his show Last Week Tonight, this time aimed at the failing newspaper industry. Oliver insisted that what he does is not journalism, but it relies on the work of newspapers, many of are struggling with layoffs and financial troubles, that feed the  information in the “news food chain”.  Our guest,  Poynter Institute’s media business analyst Rick Edmonds, says that whether he likes it or not, what John Oliver is doing is real journalism. Edmonds is the co-author of 10 State of the News Media reports, former reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and Philadelphia Inquirer, and was interviewed by the Oliver’s staff in research for the segment that aired on Sunday.