Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
At Point Park, our fall semester begins Monday. The simple increase in the number of bodies around our buildings made it clear that classes are about to start again.
Good luck to one and all in the 2007-08 academic year.
It replaces series after one airing with episodes of Til Death.
Thursday afternoon, Fox sent out a revised schedule noting that “Fox has pulled Anchorwoman from the schedule effective immediately. Corresponding changes have been made to the schedule on three Wednesdays.”
It’s substituting episodes of Til Death on Aug. 29, Sept. 5 and Sept. 12.
That seems to be the sentiment that many of my journalism colleagues are expressing on a listserv to which I belong. I agree with the sentiment (as if you had any doubt).
Using a real newsroom for a reality show is an embarrassment. Management that allowed such a fiasco ought to be disciplined appropriately.
One side note: A former student of mine at Texas Tech University works at the television station. I won't name her (for fear of embarrassing her). I hope her career isn't affected because of this latest example of shameless lusting for and pandering to viewers.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
How the media cover these stories is important. Journalists already have been advised by their sources that these incidents are "isolated," the available evidence suggests that these men acted alone (meaning that no other basketball referee or football player was involved). Narrowly defined, this is true; no fellow referee or football player has been charged in either case. In other words, there is no widespread rampaging flu-like virus destroying the health of these sports leagues.
But in other ways, this "isolated" argument is far from true. Making such an argument seems to defy reality.
Professional sports leagues find themselves on the crime page in frightening amounts these days. I say frightening because as a former sports journalist, long-time sports fan, and as the father of two boys who are sports fanatics, I am uncomfortable with any sports executive suggesting that athletes do anything "isolated" these days. An "isolated" incident is something that rarely happens -- natural disasters come to mind. Man-made ones seem all too frequent.
It is easy (and I think incorrect) to simply say that athletes today get in trouble because they have more money than they know what to do with, and therefore are convinced they can buy themselves out of any problem they might face. I also cannot accept the argument that athletes are spoiled and coddled and never learn the value of self-respect or respect of others.
Let's face it: all professional sports leagues survive largely because of their integrity. I watch football because I believe that the results are not scripted (say as they are in "professional" wrestling). I watch baseball, soocer, basketball, hockey and other sports because they are at their core legitimate competitions. The playing field has to be fair for the results to be valid.
No sports executive can in any way link the referee scandal, the dog fighting probe, rampant allegations of steroids or other illicit activity to the core of their sport. Doing so runs the risk of contaminating the legitimacy of that sport and the games that are played to help determine the "champion."
However, the media cannot simply brush off these (not-so) "isolated" incidents, as their sources would like them to do. Athletes are told to dig deeper every day. Doing so is supposed to make them better players and increase the chances of their teams' success. The same message holds for journalists. Dig deeper. Don't report and move on. Analyze. Study. Do more than tell us what happened.
You can. The question is will you?
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
You talk about mixed messages!
Monday, August 13, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Angie did something today that I think you need to know about -- she took a red-eye flight from Las Vegas, where she had been attending the National Association of Black Journalists convention, to take part in a panel here at the AEJMC convention in Washington.
The panel examined how the growing percentage of women as anchors impacts local news, story selection and a host of other news issues.
Think about that one more time -- she flew all night to take part in an educators' convention. Yes, I asked Angie to attend; but when I did, I had no idea she would be coming from Las Vegas.
The panelists were Steve Scully from C-Span and Rich Landesberg, a colleague, friend and assistant professor at Elon University in North Carolina. I found each man to be optimistic and a touch pessimistic about the upcoming election cycle.
I raised the question of what we as educators can do to provide a realistic classroom environment for our students, recognizing that 2008 provides for many of them their first opportunity to cover a presidential election. Scully offered an interesting suggestion -- get students involved in a campaign. Get them, in other words, to feel the energy, the enthusiasm (and although he didn't use this word, it is safe to say the tedious nature) of a campaign.
He had a second thought that many of us also can adopt: allow our students to watch an event from beginning to end and as they watch consider the following -- the candidate's body language and how well he or she answers questions that are asked. Getting our students away from staged events (i.e. press conferences) is critical, he concluded.
Landesberg said he is likely to use an actual event as an assignment. His students will be expected to watch an event from beginning to end, then take the video and audio and turn that into a news package. He then will allow his students to compare their work to that of the local and national journalists who covered that event.
A member of the audience added something that I thought was a masterful idea -- ask students what issues are critical to them in the upcoming election...then make them prepare stories on those topics. She added that the students could also compare their thoughts about that issue to what the candidates are actually saying.
Landesberg reiterated one point, and it is not a positive one. He is bothered that the horse race mentality seems to continue this year but with a twist. In year's past, the race was poll driven -- who was ahead, by how many points, has the lead increased or decreased? But this year, the race is about money -- who has raised the most, who is catching up, who is lagging? Regardless of what kind of race is being covered, it is not healthy for journalism, Landesberg said.
This was a great panel, and I say that with a bit of pride because I was one of the people who proposed the idea then organized it once it was accepted into the convention program.
Today is the last day of the convention. I hope another posting or two will follow!
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Moyers was brilliant, as he challenged journalism educators to not surrender to the corporate mentality that has its grip over major American media.
He suggested that in his role as a journalist he has often taken on powerful politicians and corporations. He told the crowd that taking on a politician is nothing compared to taking on a corporation. But he also reminded us that being a great journalist comes in part by remembering that it is "not how close you are to power, but how close you are to reality."
Moyers made multiple references to his recent documentary that challenged multiple claims made by the Bush administration in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq. He noted that the current administration combined with its many friends in the "right wing echo chamber" are seeking to convince Americans that any questioning of authority is akin to being un-American. Nonsense, according to Moyers. "Free speech as sedition?" he asked. "Tell your students silence is sedition."
Moyers used one example from CBS to identify how the corporatization of the media (as I define it to my students) has manifested itself. He said that since 1980 about 60% of all full-time staff positions have been eliminated by CBS News. Yet he stilled called upoin journalists to be at their best in these bad times, reminding us that the market will not deliver to the public the information that is needed to keep American democracy thriving.
He ended with highlighting the tragic cases of about a half dozen journalists from all over the world who have been killed in recent years. What was the unifying element to these people? For all of them, they did what they did every day "because journalism matters."
An amazingly powerful speech that ended with Moyers getting a well-deserved standing ovation.
There was a television crew from C-Span at tonight's address, which might have been covered live by the cable network. Regardless you might want to look for it at various times over the next few days. And you also might want to do what I am going to -- ask C-Span to send me a DVD copy.
What a great way to end day one of the convention -- with a legendary television journalist reminding all of us who teach journalism that what we do has relevance, that we touch the lives of young people every day, and that we cannot give up. Bravo, Bill.
Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein are the two Democrats on the commission; thus it should be no surprise that their comments were quite critical of the current political and legislative environment.
Mr. Copps suggested that the pace and tone of change vis-a-vis media regulation is not healthy. He argued that deregulation, which began in the Reagan era, and the "tsunami of consolidation" have not been beneficial to the American public. He argued that "big media" remain committed to seeing even further change enacted into law.
Mr. Adelstein said that the current efforts to deregulate and allow for fewer companies to own more media properties goes against American history. He discussed a book that I hope to get my hands on. Titled "The Creation of the Media" and written by Paul Starr, Adelstein noted that there has always been a history of a government hands-off policy involving the media. However, the trade off historically has been a media that serve the interests of the public over any self-interest. He argued that trade off is no longer considered necessary by big media, and their political associates in Washington are supporting them.
Two other quick points: Neither man sees any chance for the Fairness Doctrine to be re-enacted or in fact even discussed by the current FCC. The opposition of the commissions' Republican majority was the reason cited. They also blasted America's effort to promote and bring broadband Internet capability to the public.
The critics of these men undoubtedly will raise their opposition. It should be noted by the way that a retired member of the FCC (and a Republican) also was scheduled for the panel, but he was called away to China where he is conducting business.
Dr. Patrick Washburn is being honored with the Eleanor Blum Distinguished Service to Research Award. Pat was "roasted" by some of his former students and his colleagues today.
It was simply great to see someone whom I admire so much receive something that is so precious to him.
Bonds' feat was an above-the-fold headline in the Washington Post. There was a corresponding picture. He was not found either above the fold or with an accompanying photo in the Washington Times.
Read whatever you want into this editorial decision.
She discussed a survey she conducted wth Hong Kong residents gauging their impressions of how the image of the Olympics in general compared with the image of China as a Olympic host.
She began by noting that the Olympics are viewed in China and Hong Kong as a $40 billion facelift of image of country that is geared toward returning and recapturing the image of China as a proud and determined nation
When it came to "significance for the world, the promotion of peace and harmony are closely connected to overall Olympic image, and for Prof. Lee identified five "sports," "significance to the world", and "personal attributes" that are
Prof. Lee identified five "sports," "significance to the world", and "personal attributes" that arecritical to developing the Olympic brand. She found among those surveyed that "fair competition" is the most important sports-related image of the Olympics. The respondents also thought that "fair competition" was the most important attribute China could display, but their confidence was not as high.
Finally for "personal attributes", striving to do and be your best is considering the highest value, and striving is also the highest attritube for
About 60% of respondents think the Chinese image to the world will improve because of the Games .
Perhapsthe most interesting finding stemmed from the question of who the survey respondents thought was the most preferable person for promotion of the Games: 726 of the respondents (there were 1011 total) said Chinese athletes; fewer than 30 said the Chinese government.
And those who push the human rights agenda (meaning seek to use the Games as a means of the improving the human rights situation in China) might find the last element of this posting with a bit of disgust. The respondents were asked their thoughts about what was the most important thing the Chinese could do in advance of the Games:
Improve environment was first; followed by security; tourism; city planning; human rights and democracy were fifth and sixth.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
My kids (yes, I think of them in that regard) were at the rock-throwing range when I asked one of them if he was having a good time.
"Yes," he said, with a smile that enveloped his entire face.
It was then that he stopped me cold.
"Mr. Moretti?" he called to me. "As long as you are the Cubmaster, I'm staying in Cub Scouts."
Kids are indeed our most precious asset.