Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Jill Carroll update


Should Woodruff have been in Iraq?

One TV news critic says NO...


Monday, January 30, 2006

Dan "Rather" Likes His Opinions

Here are some of the latest...


Pay for DeLay?

The Austin American-Statesman says FOX did...


Woodruff injuries

Monday story (from the New York Times)...


Thursday, January 26, 2006

First Glenn Beck...now William Bennett

Is CNN going conservative...to rattle the ratings edge FOX enjoys?


Vargas and Woodruff...

...haven't done much for ratings (at least not yet???)


Weird science?

Not necessarily...but nevertheless there are critics of FOX News' science correspondent


PBS and religious programming

The critics are being heard...


A vote for Diane Sawyer


Criticism of freelancers

Justified or not?


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

First-person account of Sago mine tragedy

New York Daily News reporter Derek Rose offers a geat first-person account, which appeared on his blog. He also responded to my commentary and my concerns about the media's actions during the 2-3 hour period in which we were told that 12 miners had survived.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

U.S. v New York Times?

The Bush administration is considering taking on the New York Times, according to one report.


Perhaps Ronald Reagan said it best...

Remember "Doveryay, no proveryay"? Perhaps the media covering the mining tragedy in West Virginia would have been wise to recall the Russian proverb cited by one of America's former presidents. The English translation? "Trust, but verify."


Aw, come on BBC...

...let us Yanks have the same access.


Washington D.C. radio shakeup


Anderson Cooper -- 'Blame mining officials'


Blogs...bigger than sex?

Apparently so, according to this newspaper article.


STOP the Presses

How many newspapers across the country did that in the overnight hours of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning as news of the rescue of 12 West Virginia miners proved to be wrong.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

One favorable review...

...for the new ABC WNT anchor team of Woodruff and Vargas.


A deadly year for journalists

An annual report by RSF tells the story...


Mining tragedy, part 2

The word seemed so out place -- miscommunication. But it was the word being used to describe how the best news would in fact turn out to be the worst news.

Miscommunication is something that is not done in the media. It's the equivalent of a doctor operating on the wrong person, or a lawyer representing the wrong client.

Miscommunication is meaning to tell your wife you'll be home at 7, but because there is too much "stuff" on your desk you inadvertently say 5. Miscommunication is not what leads multiple newspapers, and radio and television outlets to report that 12 miners had been found alive, when in fact 12 had been found dead.

'Wait a minute,' someone is undoubtedly thinking. 'It wasn't the media that were responsible for the miscommunication. It was a rescue worker, or maybe a mining official.'

My response? Okay, and does that mean that the doctor who operates on the wrong person is exempt from blame because he didn't physically wheel in the patient to the operating room?

I was amazed when I first heard that the men trapped far below the Sago Mine had been found alive. It had been the news I had wanted to hear. Who didn't? And I watched (without commercials or potty breaks) CNN and FOX gush about the great news, and I really wanted to see the miners be reacquainted with their families, as had been promised by at least one CNN reporter.

However, at 2:18 am I gave up. I went to bed. One ambulance had come down from the mine entrance, but it was taking a seriously injured miner to the hospital. No other ambulances and no other miners had appeared. CNN (which I watched more than FOX) was doing the typical "fill" -- interviews with friends, residents, volunteers, and others who had traveled to the mine site to offer help, prayers or to experience the moment -- during the approximate 2 1/2 hours that had elapsed from the initial announcement of survival until I clicked off my television.

At no time as I watched did CNN release its reporter to help get official confirmation of what happened. Never did she leave her post at the base of the driveway or dirt road that led to the church to seek out someone -- the governor, a mining company executive, a rescue official -- who could state on the record that 12 men were coming out of their personal 41 hours of hell alive. In retrospect, that might have been a good idea.

At no time as I watched did CNN release Anderson Cooper from his post to track down someone who could provide the absolutely essential confirmation that the men had lived. Yes, Cooper did state early on that the news of the miners' survival had not been confirmed. But never did he take the necessary step back and search it out. I have no doubt that a field producer was attempting to do that, but in retrospect perhaps something different should have been done.

A former CNN anchor, Bill Hemmer, who is now at FOX, flashed a glorious smile sometime around 1:55 am and said that there was no bigger story and no better story than the one that was unfolding in West Virginia. Oh, there was no bigger story, that's for sure. But it was a horrible one.

Blaming it on miscommunication isn't accurate.

Mine accident in West Virginia

The blame game is going to run rampant over the next few days.