Category Archives: news media

Is it time to consider new standards for news?

Investigate. Verify. Publish. Journalism used to seem so much simpler. As a graduate student at the University of Missouri in the mid-1970s, I memorized the somewhat lofty language of the Hutchins Commission, which in 1947 urged American journalists to “provide a … Continue reading

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Media need to establish clear ethics codes on using, posting tweets

Don’t retweet this yet. Don’t post it on your news site. Not until you check to see if I am who I claim to be. That I’m a professor and not a charlatan. That my links are real. That I didn’t make up this … Continue reading

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Can the Red scares of the ’50s mount a comeback?

Nothing in politics should surprise me anymore.  This, after all, is a country in which, polls suggest, millions of Americans still believe our president was born in another country and practices the Muslim faith. That said, I was nonetheless surprised … Continue reading

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In Trayvon Martin case, news media need to examine their own role

Last spring, the Association of News Editors (ASNE) announced that the percentage of minority news employees at American newspapers and news websites had declined for the third consecutive year, even as the overall percentage of non-white Americans continued to rise rapidly. It … Continue reading

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Why do 99 percent of journalists cover 1 percent of the news?

In 2006, Columbia University professor and New York Times columnist Samuel Freedman published “letters to a young journalist,” an inspirational entreaty that among other things calls on would-be reporters to “accept the burden of independent thought.” It is as if … Continue reading

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Are journalists supposed to look for the truth?

It’s bad enough that so much 24-7 cable television deteriorates into an unfinished food fight between Tweedledee and Tweedledum, typically moderated by a “journalist” lacking the interest or will to  figure out whose facts are right.  But when the public … Continue reading

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The words used in news can report — or distort: Part II

The lead headline in at washingtonpost.com this afternoon reads: “‘Occupy’ demonstrations turn violent, go global.” To me that implies that the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States turned violent today.  From what I read, it did not. The … Continue reading

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NYTimes skirts — or crosses — boundary of staging a story

News organizations frequently “humanize” the news to draw readers, listeners and viewers.  They tell the story of one person to serve as a microcosm of a bigger issue, giving a “face” to an abstract idea. At other times, news media … Continue reading

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‘Occupy’s’ crystal clear message: Quit ripping us off

In just the last week, the Occupy Wall Street movement, shortened in some places to simply “Occupy,” has swept across this country, staging protests in 45 states. Writes London’s Guardian newspaper, “From Seattle and Los Angeles on the west coast to … Continue reading

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A case of double vision at The New York Times

Perhaps all the top editors were partying in the Hamptons, too. It is the end of August. Whatever the reason, someone at The New York Times seems to have forgotten to read all the Sunday paper’s section fronts before rolling … Continue reading

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