Friday, November 30, 2007

Hostage situation at Clinton's NH headquarters?

First set of details here. Clinton is not involved, and according to reports is not in the state.

UPDATE: 2:54 p.m. ET -- WMUR's live coverage is accessible through The station's anchors and reporters are doing an admirable job covering this story, especially considering they cannot get a crew close to the location.

UPDATE: 2:57 p.m. -- First video now available. Live coverage from the scene appears to still be not possible. I'm not familiar enough with the geography of New Hampshire, but I have to assume that the Manchester headquarters of WMUR is not close to Rochester, where this apparent hostage situation is happening.

UPDATE: 3:02 p.m. -- Live report indicating that SWAT is attempting to make contact with the apparent hostage taker.

UPDATE: 3:05 p.m. -- Interesting teaching element: The videographer zoomed in as the reporter indicated that a woman was being led away by a SWAT team member. The station soon cut away to a graphic; an anchor then noted that the decision was made so as to not in any way compromise the investigation. That woman was one of the hostages. This now leads us to believe that only ONE hostage remains in the campaign headquarters.

UPDATE: 3:11 p.m. -- Two hostages released; this would suggest all hostages are now freed.

Katie Couric to leave CBS

This and other predictions about what the media environment will be like in 2008.

Here's why the CNN-YouTube debate format failed

Remember, I'm a proponent of the idea; but let's be honest, the format can be fixed. Of course, one person wants to do away with it altogether.

And if you want one reason why the format will not go away...check this out.

How dead is print?

Not at all, if the people identified in this story are correct.

Bacon has scrambled his eggs

How one newspaper report can sometimes go wrong.

Uh, ya' think?

CNN is doing the terrible backstep these days...because no one at the news organization failed to recognize BEFORE THIS WEEK'S GOP DEBATE that the retired, homosexual military man they brought in to the debate hall was connected to the Clinton campaign.


Hillary Clinton is doing a great job...

...of avoiding the media. And here's what some journalists think about that.

Kudos to the AP...and more about international news

While local newspapers and national news organizations have dumped their commitment to international news in favor of "stories" that are easier and cheaper to cover, the AP continues its vital role as the agency that understands there is a world out there.

Meanwhile, at least one other journalism educator shares my opinion that the future of international news coverage could be a one-man band operation. Lots of technology. And let's hope lots of experience for the person carrying that gear.

Don't go to journalism school?

For obvious reasons (like my employment!), I would encourage people not to follow the advice in this story.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A change at "The Morning Show"

Hannah Storm is on the way out. And remember my prediction -- Katie Couric will take over this program after the 2008 presidential elections.

Some presidential candidates won't cross the picket lines...

...and as a result, a presidential debate has been cancelled.

A dangerous and deadly year for journalists

One organization reports that more than 170 journalists have been killed this year...that's the highest number in a decade.

Political coverage is trivial and biased

Hey, that's not (necessarily!) my opinion...but it is the opinion of almost 2 of every 3 people who took part in a Harvard University survey. Listen up, media; this news is NOT good for you.

From Russia, With...

...Certainly not love, and apparently without much information either. This story might fit well with anyone who is going to use the CNN report titled "Czar Putin" (airing Friday night at 10:00 pm ET) in their classroom discussions.

When freedom of the press works... works well.

A license renewal challenge

This might be an interesting topic for conversation in broadcast journalism classes, especially those pertaining to management or law.

The others saw it

A very non-representative sample of media reaction to last night's debate...Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

The person's opinion

I'd characterize the GOP debate last evening as a success -- for television and (the broad, and I think overused title) new media.

The questions directed to the candidates were much more direct, much more specific, much more challenging than those usually offered by the media. My sense too often during political debates in which journalists offer the only questions is that their questions come off as fake. On one hand, they are trying to be the voice of the audience; but on the other they are often part of the inside the Beltway mentality. The public doesn't have that problem.

I'm a fan of this CNN-YouTube idea, though I think there are ways of improving the format and the concept. I recently wrote about it in another forum, and this link should take you to it. I welcome your thoughts.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tonight's the night!

Round two of the CNN-YouTube partnership...this time involving the GOP presidential candidates. Reaction and more later in the evening and tomorrow!

Should Mitt Romney defend his religion?

Washington Post reporter and columnist Howard Kurtz offers an interesting discussion about whether the media ought to press Romney on issues pertaining to Mormonism, its tenets and its history.

I'll throw my two cents in -- I could care less if a presidential candidate were Mormon, Baptist, Catholic, something else...or held no religious beliefs. His or her ability to lead, to inspire confidence, to address the critical issues of the day, and to demonstrate relevant past experiences all ought to be considered by the electorate. How he or she prays should not.

I welcome your thoughts...but I'm also curious how journalism educators are using the issue of faith and politics and the media in their classroom discussions.

We know a lot about him...

...but we don't know much about her. Which married couple am I referring to? Here's a small hint...he wants to be president. And he's a Senator from Illinois.

What journalists in Iraq think of the story they are covering

The news is not good.

Any day now...

...that's the word about how soon a decision could be announced in the proposed XM-Sirius merger. Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A well-reasoned argument...

...about the dearth of African-American head coaches in college football. This essay suggests that the process itself might be inherently flawed and therefore automatically contributing to who does (or doesn't) get hired.

Can anyone be a journalist?

I guess the answer is yes, but this article makes it clear that the standards of the industry ought not be ignored by those with a camcorder and the ability to edit.

Giving them something to talk about...

...on the radio. A former network news anchor blasts a popular radio format.

Bringing video... a newspaper's web site. The steps are slow and not often steady, but the promise for success is too good to pass up.


...on the campaign trail. You've got to admit...this is an impressive combination.


...on hold. Here's why.

Another day...another critic

Let's hope the FCC is listening...the proposed merger of XM and Sirius is a bad idea.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Musharraf turns up the heat on the media

Ah, but remember...this man is an ally in the war on terror. That eliminates all sin. Even shutting down media agencies.

Are "public interest groups" really

...anti-media activists? One reporter thinks so. Here's why.

Barry Bonds

Oh, the sports world is suffering from its occasional (uh, I mean, daily) problem -- running their opinions all over the place.

As you know, he was indicted yesterday on multiple charges. Interestingly one person who followed the story closely doubted Bonds would be indicted. Here is his story.

So, where do we stand with the Bonds story? Let's not kid ourselves -- the public generally doesn't like him, but anyone who thinks that public sentiment played a role in this is missing the boat.

Any legitimate attempt to increase international reporting...

...should be considered. Let's see how well CNN does with this venture.

Yes, but will he be called a ROVE-ing columnist?

Guess who has been hired by Newsweek magazine to write columns about the 2008 presidential elections?

Now before you get too upset about this information, I ask you this question -- if we are afraid of people for their ideas (or worse, detest them for their ideas), then what does that say about our support for free speech?

So, you want to be a dissident?

Here's one way to go about it...just remember, don't get caught!

Throw it out!

CBS asked...a court will soon decide. I'm guessing there is one person who would RATHER not have CBS' request granted.

An educator forcefully defends himself

John Merrill is a legendary educator. This has got to be a difficult time for him, as he responds to charges of plagiarism.

When political reality meets educational idealism... know which one is (almost always) going to win.

Dow Jones and the New York Times?

Could Murdoch have had both? Does he still want both? Here's the (surprising?) answer.

Leaks...leaks...and leaks

Sometimes they are planned...sometimes they are not...sometimes they are calculated. Wow, this is a fascinating look at why it's done.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

John Stossel

The ABC News anchor and reporter was in Pittsburgh today, speaking to the city's Press Club (and it was told to me that he is attending a dinner tonight that will honor Richard Scaife, the publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review).

Stossel made very clear that his libertarian political philosophy has made him more than a couple enemies. His speech was disappointing, and I say that without any regard for his political preferences. I say disappointing because he's a journalist, but he talked too little about the field. Instead, he used probably 15-20 minutes of his (very articulate) address to identify how government is to blame for many of today's ills.

I learned something about Stossel today that I didn't know -- he earned his BA in psychology from Princeton. I would have liked to have learned more about his ideas about journalism, especially in its current form. Oh well.

A new plan...

...that looks a lot like a whole bunch of recent plans -- favorable to big media.

Am I the only one who thinks that this looks like...

...a huge backtrack? If so, who could argue...the original idea was boneheaded.

A pay cut and a 21-second delay

Who's agreeing to this? Hey, if you want to get back on the air, you might too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You can go to Iraq...but you cannot blog

That's what one newspaper chain is telling its reporters. Silly. So silly.

A database about journalists

Why is it that everytime China appears to make strides indicating press freedoms, its leadership does something like this and brings about confusion?

Moving closer to another strike

Read all about it...and then get ready to not hear reports written by some of the industry's best.

Who wrote the following sentences?

If we don’t act to improve the health of the newspaper industry, we will see newspapers wither and die. Without newspapers, we would be less informed about our communities and have fewer outlets for the expression of independent thinking and a diversity of viewpoints. The challenge is to restore the viability of newspapers while preserving the core values of a diversity of voices and a commitment to localism in the media marketplace.

Here's the answer...and it might surprise you.

Poor judgment...or bias?

Read this...then you decide.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Where there is a will...

...there is a way (to defy government crackdowns of free speech).


First the group?

Well, duh...he's only realizing this now?

Makes you wonder what other bits of wisdom enter the mind of this person.

See, I told you so!

Looks like your friendly blogger isn't the only who sees the obvious when it comes to the proposed merger of XM and Sirius: One is less than two...and one doesn't deal with any competition.

Can a journalism project...

...destroy a newspaper? It's an interesting question, and it's being debated in Montana.

When a journalism educator plagiarizes...'s news (even if it appears to be an unintentional goof).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fighting through reader fatigue

Yet another issue that journalists reporting from Iraq are dealing with.

Is that a promise or a threat?

So, now the executives at Sirius are threatening to sue the FCC if its proposed merger with XM doesn't go through.

Let me see if I get this straight -- if our pro-monopoly idea isn't seen as a good thing, we'll take you to court. Great. Yes, it will be a while before I chose to buy from these people.

And where have you been?

Glad you asked. Sorry for the less than prompt postings this week. Advising for spring semester swallowed up the earlier portion of my week. Then a trip to the Journalism Education Assocation conference (more details forthcoming) took up the back half of the week.

Stay tuned!

NBC pays a lot of money for...

...perverted justice? Here are the details.

This concept continues to be debated in journalism departments. I wonder if it's time for educators to turn this into a national discussion.

It appears that things are no longer "Rosie" at MSNBC

Yup, money is the reason why.

Yes...then no

The story of how one person agreed to take over as the dean of one journalism school, then backed out.

Bush is better than Clinton or Obama... least at something? Hey, set aside whatever political opinions you have...and read this.

From Northwest(ern)... the Middle East. The reach of one powerhouse journalism school has expanded.

A news program that refuses to dumb-down

Don't watch if you expect to be entertained. That's what the anchor said. And good for him.


Kudos to Brian Lamb, who earlier this week received one of the highest honors this nation can bestow on anyone.

Creating a "Rosie" picture in primetime...

MSNBC is thinking about it. Here are some details.

More information, please

The FCC wants it...the satellite radio companies need to provide it.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Remembering one of the best

I've made no secret in this space and in other places that Peter Jennings was, to me, the pre-eminent television journalist of his era. Now here's a chance for all of us to read more about his life, his professional work and the legacy he left behind.

Some good news out of Iraq

A kidnapped journalist is freed.

The liberal voice...

...on the FCC. How Michael Copps maintains a strong, though minority, voice.

What emergency rule means to the media

You know the answer to that one. Remember, Musharraf was an American ally in the war on terror. What happens that it appears he's terrorizing his own people? (And I admit the use of the term terrorizing is liberally applied here.)

Raw data

An interesting data set here...listing the top 25 newspapers, based on circulation.

Paying to cover the news?

A Miami Herald reporter did it...and the critics are wondering why.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

On the streets of Philadelphia

Well, sort of. I spent today at the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association conference.

My presentation centered on the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and I was joined on the panel by a former colleague at Ohio University -- Dr. Anne Cooper-Chen, and James Feng, a Master's candidate at the university.

Let me know if you want a set of the slides I used in my presentation.

Friday, November 02, 2007

He's back

Who is? When? Where? Just link here.

A well-known Ohio U alum... back to his school. Of course, my question is will the newsroom be fair and balanced?

A writer gets canned...

...for stirring the "race" pot. Was the decision justified? Judge for yourself.

Institutional arrogance

Who's got it? Who says? And what can be done to get rid of it? All good questions. You've got to link here for some answers.

It's Saturday Night...

...with Brian Williams??? Is NBC's primary news anchor sacrificing his integrity by hosting SNL? Or are too many critics getting their dander up for nothing?

Oh, you want to know what I think? Host the show, pal. No problem for this (sometimes) viewer.

The public (apparently) is demanding it...

...will the Democrats deliver? This issue is sure to be one of the hot button ones in the 2008 election cycle. Based on this one article, it would appear the Democrats are going to have to swallow hard when they decide what to do.

Yes, but is the FCC getting the message?

Time after time and in place after place, the FCC is hearing from a disgruntled public about the consolidation of media properties. The latest verbal barrage happened in Washington. But are FCC members listening? Let's hope so!

Let's face one is in favor of...

...the merger of Sirius and XM (except the executives of each company). You can now add a familiar name to the list of those opposed.

An edgier, more investigative-driven Sports Illustrated

Would it be a good idea? One critic thinks so...and I'm inclined to agree. And as usual, the issues of modern technology and the almost disdain that young people have for the printed word is driving the dicussion.

The worrying and gnashing of teeth...

...are sure to follow the latest news that suggests further eroding of newspaper readership.

Style...substance...and driver's licenses

What the Democrats' debate this week told us about all three, according to one Washington Post reporter.

Snowflakes...courtesy of Donald Rumsfeld

Great story here from the Washington Post about the thougths of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.