The Rochester broadcasting industry has seen several longtime journalists leave the business in recent weeks. WXXI’s Hélène Biandudi Hofer left the station this summer after a long career on the air to join Solutions Journalism Network. Norma Holland left WHAM-TV on August 20 after 23 years on the air at the station. She’ll begin a new career at a digital marketing company called Digital Hyve this month. 

We sit down with them to discuss how the business has changed over their careers, the successes and challenges they’ve seen, and what they think is next for the future of the industry. In studio:

When the iconic film Broadcast News was released in 1987, director James L. Brooks gave audiences a well-researched and honest look at how network news was changing. Some say it served as a warning of how an increasing emphasis on attractive anchors and entertainment-driven ideas were growing at the expense of quality journalism. Did the film predict the future of the news industry?

In a recent interview published in The Ringer, Brooks said he doesn't think his film created a lens for the future in the same way as did a film like Network. Instead, he said, with Broadcast News "the future was beginning to happen." Our guests discuss the film 30 years after its release, and if and how it rings true today. In studio:

  • Adam Chodak, anchor and managing editor for WROC-TV
  • Elissa Orlando, senior vice president of television and news for WXXI
  • Rebecca Leclair, owner of Leclair Communications, and former television news anchor and reporter

There's been a public debate about sexist language used by broadcasters and print reporters at the Olympic Games. From descriptions of gymnasts who look so calm they "could be at the mall," to deflecting credit to husbands and male coaches, journalists have been under the microscope. Critics say these Olympics demonstrate the double standards and casual sexism that exist in day-to-day life. Others argue that we're being too sensitive. Our guests discuss it:

  • Barbara LeSavoy, director and assistant professor of women and gender studies at SUNY Brockport
  • Patti Singer, clean living reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle who spent more than 10 years covering professional sports for several newspapers