Monday, December 31, 2007

See, I told you so

If you're not in Pakistan, you're going to have a hard time reporting about the country and the Bhutto assassination. Kudos to ABC and CNN for being there. Shame on those who weren't.

This story relates well with an earlier post I made ("The death of Benazir Bhutto -- a familiar media story") about the absence of on-the-ground reporting in the first hours and days after her assassination.

Journalism education in China

This is a fascinating story, as it outlines the challenges that journalism educators, journalism students, and the Chinese political structure (among other groups) are dealing with as China continues its relentless pursuit of economic might and its zeal for tight control of society.

An interesting format for the next political debates

Check out what ABC's Charles Gibson is planning. I think this just might work...and it likely will allow for more free-flowing discussion.

The situation in Kenya...

...appears to deteriorate.

Here are additional details about the media and the job they are trying to do in this unsettled environment.

There are important teaching lessons available to those of us in education, as we look at the crises in Kenya and Pakistan. We could consider, for example:

1. Identifying the amount of media freedom in each country; and
2. Compare media coverage of domestic news organizations to that of international news companies;
3. Review which sources help to frame this coverage (recognizing that the U.S. will have a vested interest in how both events turn out).

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dramatic new video of Bhutto assassination

This video places into question the government's argument that Bhutto had no bullet wounds. Follow the reporter's narration, but pay special attention to Bhutto's head.

Another crisis, another country

It will be worth evaluating how the U.S. media cover this story -- post-election violence and the suspension of live media coverage. All of this happening in Kenya, where the incumbent president is believed to have won a close race.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Another Bhutto to take control of the PPP Party?

TIME magazine is reporting that the 19-year-old son of Benazir Bhutto might replace his late mother as head of the PPP Party.

This story, which I saw on CNN during the 10:00 p.m. ET hour included a series of reports from Pakistan, something which I commented had been missing from U.S. media coverage in the immediate aftermath of her death.

One of the more perplexing moments was a story by Matthew Chance, who was standing at the spot where Bhutto was shot/felled by an explosion/cracked her head (depending upon whom you believe). He correctly noted that the location should be considered a crime scene. Yet as he spoke, he and several people who were remembering Bhutto were walking around the area. I noticed the same thing earlier in the evening as I watched a BBC report, also from the scene. In that report, I didn't see the reporter walk to the spot, but there were people either walking nearby or riding bikes.

CNN's 10 p.m. news show (so far!) has had several strong stories about Bhutto's assassination. Considering this is a Saturday night, the relevant reports are very much appreciated.

The death of Benazir Bhutto -- a familiar media story

The images over the past couple of days are all too familiar -- an engaging political figure is assassinated in a volatile part of the world. Violent protests follow.

Extremists are blamed (whether they indeed are responsible this time is something we will learn only if the Pakistani government allows a full and international investigation) for the killing.

The United States and various other Western democracies urge calm. They then pledge to offer whatever support they can.

The U.S. media soon engage in the speculation game -- and too often the same set of talking heads are brought out to answer the overused questions. These "think tank" representatives, former politicians, and sundry others replace the journalist who has not been stationed in that part of the world. Their analysis, and it is valid and important, cannot equal the experiences of the journalist who is in the country and tapping into the pulse of the people, the government, the culture, and the nation.

I hope you've noticed over the past few days that reporting from Pakistan has not been the method through which the American media regularly have told the story of the death of Benazir Bhutto. Why? The simple (but incomplete) answer is that the corporations that own the national media have cut back so much (in an effort to increase their profit margins) that international reporting has suffered.

I believe there are other factors: public disinterest about world events ("Dude, like check out my new iPod"); a dismissive attitude toward this part of the world ("Nothing happens there except murder and mayhem, so why should I care?"), and the apparent war fatigue that permeates through a large part of this country.

None of these explanations should be accepted. It remains our duty as American citizens to demand more of our media. We should expect them to be where we cannot be. We should expect them to tell the stories that we need to know.

Does this make me idealistic? If it does, fine. But I know what happens in Pakistan, Iran, Israel, Russia, or anywhere else in the world matters more to this nation than which celebrity is getting divorced, drunk or pregnant.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Send journalism school deans back to school?

As students? See what you think after reading this.

Way to go, kids!

Alright, perhaps high school students aren't kids, but about this group of students at one Massachusetts high school!

Throw a flag on the NFL?

It appears that some members of Congress were willing to do much more. Why? And what did the NFL do about it? Here are the answers.

Video of shots being fired at Bhutto

Video -- with audible sound -- of one man firing three shots at Benazir Bhutto. There is a voice (presumably a Pakistani official) describing what is on the video.

And here's an interesting report about why the cause of Bhutto's death continues to change.

Newspaper reports following Bhutto's death

A variety of perspectives and analysis detailing the death of Benazir Bhutto. These stories are from the Washington Post... the Los Angeles Times... the Chicago Tribune... and the New York Times.

Of course, the assassination of Bhutto will be evalauted through the prism of the 2008 presidential elections. Here's one interpretation.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

UPDATE -- FOX News covering up a Huckabee goof?

Check out this story and note the mistake that Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee made today.

Tonight, I was flipping between CNN and Fox. At the time I got to FOX (perhaps 8:11 or 8:12 p.m. ET), it was providing soundbite snippets from a few presidential candidates, each of whom was commenting on the death of Benazir Bhutto. The soundbite from Huckabee was cut short, meaning the "martial law" words that he uttered never appeared on the air.


At the top of the 9:00 p.m. ET hour, the FOX News program Hannity and Colmes began its program with two interviews (with a commercial break sandwiched in between). The first interview was with GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson; the second with GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Couple this information with my recent comments on another post (see "General thoughts..."), and the politicalization of this story becomes even clearer. This bothers me.

Stu Nahan -- longtime sportscaster -- passes away

Stu Nahan will likely be remembered by many people as the announcer during the Rocky fights. However, growing up in Los Angeles (and working there, too) I got to know Stu, albeit peripherally. I was saddened to read of his death.

UPDATED! General thoughts on media coverage of Bhutto's assassination (continued)

A few general impressions (and this is in no way a comprehensive summary; as mentioned in a previous post, I had sporadic media availability for most of today) of the media's coverage of the Bhutto assassination...

1. The pictures from Pakistan's national media networks (Geo and PTV) have been quite good. I've watched segments of the coverage -- the language barrier prevented me from watching more -- as a link from, and I've liked what I've seen. I don't know anything about either network, so I leave myself open at this point for criticism for perhaps endorsing a state-controlled operation.

2. The most eerie video I've seen is that of the casket containing Bhutto's body leaving the hospital. The apparent short walk that had to be taken by the perhaps dozen men who were delivering it to an ambulance (or some other kind of vehicle; I couldn't tell for sure from the video I saw) was slowed by the many people who were chanting and attempting to touch the casket.

3. has an interview with a photographer who took what might be the final photos of Bhutto. He describes his surprise at seeing her pop her head out of her car so that she could wave to the crowd. That decision might very well have led to her death. Over the next days or weeks, we'll likely learn whether the shots or the bomb killed her, but I have to think at this point that the car's open roof contributed in some form to her death.

Now that I've returned home from a short Christmas vacation (see comment in an earlier posting from today), I hope to spend time with U.S. over-the-air and cable networks tonight, in an effort to better assess how they are covering this terrible event. And here's a small hint at what I might see.

Another post tonight? Perhaps. If not, tomorrow.

The 8:00 p.m. ET hour was an interesting one for those who beleive that media have an agenda. My general impressions...

1. The analysis on FOX suggests that there is no doubt that Al Qaeda is behind the attack, and that a strong leader with experience in military and political affairs (hmmm, would John McCain be on someone's mind??) is critical for the United States as it moves forward.

2. The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer was too much about what he knows and what he's learned. It sounded a bit too self-serving for me. And I don't need to hear one more time that CNN has the "best" or "most experienced" or whatever label he wishes to place on the network's reporters.

3. Keith Olbermann on MSNBC left no doubt that regardless of whether Al Qaeda was behind the attack, the general failure that he believes exists in U.S. policy throughout the Middle East and South Asia is an overarching issue.

In short, keep America in Republican hands (FOX), keep watching me (CNN), and blame Bush (MSNBC). And away we go! coverage of Bhutto's death

It is at times of international crisis -- and today's death of Benazir Bhutto -- definitely qualifies that I particularly miss the steady hand that Peter Jennings always offered at the anchor desk.

I've been thinking about Jennings as I watch's coverage of her death (I am currently enjoying some time with my wife and her family for Christmas and don't have access to cable), and the coverage I've seen has not been bad. The principal anchor (I don't know her name) has avoided injecting opinions or dropping into that tacky emotional ramblings that anchors too often engage in. also has switched effeciently to a variety of networks, including some within Pakistan, to offer the latest news. So far, so good.

Oh, really?

Don't offer your opinions. Don't inject yourself into the story.

Lessons all of us offer on day one of journalism school. So you can imagine my utter disgust this morning when I heard a reporter on's live feed of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto agree with a guest.

The reporter said that she agreed "there was no question about it" that security forces within Pakistan were complicit (or perhaps worse) in the death of Bhutto.

No question about it?

Thanks for offering your opinion. I really needed to hear it.

How long will the "interim" tag hold?

Hard to say. But needless to say UC Berkeley's graduaet school of journalism needs some person is prepared to help provide it.

An interesting argument about...

...the FCC/ownership debate. There are some valid points here to consider.

So, if you had some free time on your hands...

...and you were a programming executive...what would you do? Apparently the "reality" of ratings trumps the "value" of news.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Romney gets roasted... a newspaper!

There is periodic discussion within academia about whether newspapers ought to endorse political candidates. (For what it's worth...I'm not bothered by the tradition of endorsements.) But what happens when a newspaper tells you the candidate you shouldn't vote for? One newspaper in New Hampshire left no doubt today where it stands on the Mitt Romney candidacy.

What to make of the poll?

My poll, in this case. Kind of a mixed real coalescing around one option. The voters appear to still be fluid.

Hmmm...kind of makes me feel good to know that my poll resembles the political electorate :-)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ho Ho Ho

To the regular and casual readers of,

Just want to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

During this holiday season, rest up, savor the laughter and love of those around you, and enjoy the things that are important to you.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Interesting story about power...politics...

...and how one university might be stuck in the middle.

There are a variety of teaching opportunities resulting from this story, especially for those of you who deal with public relations courses.

One down, 11 to go

This report indicates just how (not!) easy it is to do journalism in Iran.

A Boston newspaper has endorsed...

...a Republican for the White House. If you think it is the one from Massachusetts...well, you are 100 percent wrong.

Maybe they want to be academics!!

How else to explain why Stewart and Colbert are returning in January!!

A possible successor to Kevin Martin?

Maybe, maybe not...but current (Republican member of the) FCC commissioner Robert McDowell thinks there is no need to make radical changes to the agency. Spoken like someone who might be interested in running the place???

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Is it extortion...or is it a penalty for investigative reporting?

That's the question at the heart of a trial involving a reporter in Bangladesh. Another good example of the dangers journalists face all over the world.

Two more stories about the lack of safety for Iraqi reporters

These people have fascinating stories to tell...both about the changes taking place in their country and the their personal safety.

This story reminds us of the worst price that some are paying.

Do you have a question for Al Qaeda?

Believe it or not, you now have a chance to ask it.

I use stories such as this one to demonstrate to my students that the rise of technology has indeed made the wide, wide world seem a lot smaller.

First the Congress?

Or maybe the Statehouse? Plenty of interesting information out there about what FCC chair Kevin Martin might do when he's done with that job.

Small market TV station owners...

...appear to not like the FCC's ownership rulings either.

Attacking Alycia

Now that Philadelphia anchor/reporter Alycia Lane is dealing with some legal issues...we're learning that this woman is a paradox of sorts.

The real Mike Huckabee?

Reporters in Arkansas say he's not necessarily the guy you might think he is.

Here's my question -- is this kind of reporting really news? I'm not sure, although we see stories similar to these about all political candidates.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So, whom is your candidate?

Oh, come on...have some fun and take the quiz. (I'll admit, the responses are incomplete to many of the questions, but this should give you some pause to consider whom you are currently supporting.)

Two conservative voices are out at...

...a prominent news magazine. Which one? Uh, what "time" is it, by the way?

Is the news all bad, from Iraq?

No, though critics of American media coverage might think so. Here's an important story about the content of recent reports, and what U.S. journalists in the country think.

When a prominent news bureau closes...

...the wounds are rather obvious. Check out the final story filed by a Baltimore Sun reporter from Moscow. Note also how the story was sent.

Bob Schieffer

Is he planning to take a reduced role on CBS, after the 2008 presidential election? Looks that way.

The fallout from and analysis of the FCC's ownership vote

Needless to say the reaction is all over the map, with some optimistic about the FCC's vote and others convinced it was a terrible decision.

The dissenting opinion of one FCC member is highlighted here.

Here is a solid story and analysis from NewsHour.

Finally, the White House has indicated its support of the FCC decision.

TIME's Person of the Year is...

...a political leader...popular at home...scorned by many in the international community...often no friend of the media...committed to making his country strong and proud...and fighting a war that has polarized his country.

He is...not who you might think.

Saudi TV on Live feed

As I write this, I'm watching a live feed from as Muslim pilgrims perform a ritual stoning of the devil on the fourth day of the Hajj.

Of course, because this is an international news feed (coming from Saudi TV), there are no analysts or commentators explaning in English what is happening, the significance of the event, the prayers that are being offered, etc.

I couldn't possibly estimate the number of people I'm seeing, but whatever the figure is it is an impressive one. Does anyone have information about recommended links to go to in order to learn more about this event (not counting the link)?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hang in there, Robin

Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts says she needs a short break from work, as her efforts to beat cancer continue.

Now that's a win everyone will be able to celebrate.

The police say she hit one of their own...

...and now her bosses have sent her on an early vacation. Uh, oh.

And it turns out one of the first people she called was...the governor of Pennsylvania?

Setting aside the legal issues that are in play here, this is an important teaching moment for those of us in education; this story demonstrates at least two things to me:

1. How do you handle the spotlight when it is shining on you (especially if you've done something wrong, or are accused of doing something wrong)?

2. How do the media cover a story like this, recognizing it involves one of their own?

Lastly, perhaps the most important point here is that journalists, and in particular broadcast journalists, are always on, meaning that their behavior is considered fair play just as it would for an actor, an athlete or any other well-known person. Act accordingly.

The worst since 1994

Read here to find out what I'm referring to.

The softer side of Hillary

No jokes from people who doubts she has one! (You know who you are...and you know I was thinking the same thing as you.)

Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz is the latest to report on why she's showing it, and how voters might respond to it.

Meanwhile, another Post columnist argues that Hillary Clinton's once dominant lead in Iowa is gone, and the notion of her invincibility also is slip-sliding away.

Cracks in the strike?

Doubtful, but NBC's two top nighttime entertainment show hosts say it's time for them to get back to work.

The FCC...or is it FCC chair Kevin Martin?...gets its (his?) way

Ownership rules have been relaxed, to the surprise of no one and it likely will be the consumer who will suffer. A variety of reactions can be accessed here...and there will continue to be responses to this shortsided decision. Here is the FCC's justification for this decision (via a pdf).

What can you do about it? Go to and find its link to a letter to Congress.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Keep the writers' strike going!

Alright, perhaps that's a bit over the top...but you couldn't blame ABC News people if they're thinking that these days.

Good ol' Vladimir is at it again

His Kremlin is denying re-entry into the country to a woman who has written critical articles about corruption in Russia.

Way to go, Putin. You're a champion of press freedom.

And while that is going on, there is this.

Well, now...isn't this getting a wee-bit interesting?

Looks like at least two U.S. Senators are prepared to ask that Congress cut funding to the FCC, if it (and its at times bullheaded chairman) press ahead with a vote to alter media ownership rules.

Is this a legitimate use of political power? Is it political grandstanding?

Just how reliant are Americans on...

...Iraqis to help tell the story in that country? This article, in part, answers that question.

When does criticism go too far?

Read this...and then make up your mind.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Uh, come you've not posted anything about the Mitchell Report and baseball's steroids scandal?

Good question. Why? Simple.

I long ago lost faith in MLB and the Players' Union. On one hand, the powers that be claim to have the best interests of the game in mind...but how well did they police steroids (oops!), and what was their plan for getting the financial picture of the game back into order (uh, let's kill two teams)? These are my two biggest frustrations. You might have others.

On the other hand...the other (muscle-bound) powers that claim to have the fans' best interest in mind, but they stonewall management at every turn, wrap themselves around the threats of strikes and refuse almost every attempt to establish a more orderly process.

In short, Sen. Mitchell was right -- both sides are to blame for the mess that became steroids. It's a shame both can't be suspended (or worse) for their sins in all areas.

One thing does bother me about the bits and pieces of talk radio I've heard over the past 24 hours: why are some talk hosts willing to accept the "I didn't do it" claims being sent out by Roger Clemens and his agents? Why cut Clemens any slack? The media seemed unwilling to do that to Barry Bonds. Seems like a bit of a double-standard to me.

But in the end, here's where I think the conversation ends -- consider that even Sen. Mitchell acknowledged that punishment for any of these players might very well be futile. I quote an Associated Press article:

Mitchell equivocated on whether he thought players should be punished.
"I urge the commissioner to forgo imposing discipline on players for past violations of baseball's rules on performance-enhancing substances, including players named in this report," he said.

And then he backtracked, adding, "except in those cases where he determines that the conduct is so serious that discipline is necessary to maintain the integrity of the game."
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig left open the possibility of penalties.

"I'm going to review his findings and the factual support for those findings, and punishment will then be determined on a case-by-case basis," he said. "I will take action when I believe it's appropriate."

Democrats are afraid of appearing on FOX News because...

...well, you'll need to link here for the answer and the reaction to the argument.

And now for the other side of the story...

...a recent post highlighted the comments of one person who says it's time to rein in citizen journalists. Here's the counter-argument...and it's as reasoned as the initial commentary.

Can 2 outvote 3?

The math doesn't seem to be in their favor, but the two Democratic members of the FCC say they will do everything possible to prevent a media cross-ownership vote in less than one week.

Of course, when the "defiant" head of the FCC says it won't happen...well, things ought to be awfully interesting next week!

What's the rush?

That's the question some in Congress are asking as the push to merge XM and Sirius moves forward.

Probably a good question to ask...if you ask me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oops. Goofs. Mistakes. Errors.

Just how many media errors were found and highlighted in 2007? Wow, you'd be surprised.

For example, did you know that on TWO occasions presidential candidate Barack OBAMA was referred to as OSAMA? (You talk about BS!)

Freedom of the press around the world

An excellent program from the BBC (sounds familiar, doesn't it?) about the freedom of the press around the world. This is a radio program streamed to the Web. Here's the home page.

Perhaps the most interesting element of Part 1 of this four-part series (be sure to regularly check back with the BBC for details about future stories) was that the Kremlin is attempting an 80-20 principle when it comes to Russian media. It seeks to control 80% of the media, but leaves the remaining 20% alone. Of course, the 80% includes the most important national media.

The terrible conditions for media that exist in Zimbabwe also are highlighted in this first section. Finally, an interesting discussion about how everyday Iraqis who are helping American and other media often face terrible crises. Jackie Spinner's recent book, Tell Them I Didn't Cry, which details her experiences as a Washington Post reporter in the country, also discusses this topic in good depth.

The wonderful upright and honest world of big-time sports

Bobby Petrino is the poster child -- and perhaps permanent resident -- of the sleaze club. Arkansas' new football coach pulled one of the all-time "great" moves yesterday...resigning as an NFL head coach less than one year after he signed a 10-year, $25-million contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

He left for Arkansas, claiming his heart has always been in college football. Check out the brilliantly written piece by ESPN's Pat Forde, who (to borrow a phrase) cuts Petrino a new (and deserved) one.

Another ESPN columnist suggests that perhaps Petrino was "in over his head," in his attempt to transfer his college attitude to the NFL.

So, Pig've got your guy. For now. Good luck.

Oh, come're a sucker for a good poll, too!

And even if you're this story to learn about a growing interest in someone from Arkansas. (If you think it's THAT family from Arkansas, well...sorry.)

Of course, if that Arkansan did indeed get the party's nomination...the news is not good.

Meanwhile, a prominent conservative news magazine has endorsed another former governor.

We're not forgetting about the Democrats, this morning. The two leading contenders are hoping that a Nebraska billionaire will join their team.

Pakistan, part 2

Looks like the Pakistani media will not back down. They will continue to protest against media curbs established by Pervez Musharraf, who remember is our ally in the war on terror.

Next week

That's D-Day for ownership rules. Care to take a guess how the FCC is going to vote?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

223 million

That's the answer. Here's the question.

Well, isn't that a surprise?

Imus is back...and his new radio station is generating strong ratings. Hmmm...where does integrity fit into this discussion?

Our ally in the war on terror...

...appears to be doing a good job of terrorizing the media in his country. With friends like these...

And for another example of how the media are not free, check out the latest from North Korea, another nation (and leader) clearly committed to journalistic integrity.

A syndication giant passes away

Various media reports can be accessed here stemming from the death of Roger King.

Shhhh. No one is talking. Except the president. (UPDATED)

I mentioned the other day that it would be interesting to see how the media would cover the fallout from the CIA-destroyed tapes fiasco. Well, the White House has adopted its strategy -- say nothing. And what do the media think of this? Here's one opinion.

UPDATE: President Bush tells ABC News he knew nothing about the destruction of CIA tapes until just a few days ago.

Oprah and Obama follow-up

Leave it to the print media to offer a solid critical assessment of the Oprah-Obama (or should it be the other way around?) campaign tour.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The new dean at Nevada's journalism school... a former powerhouse figure within Knight-Ridder.

Oprah and Obama

The one thing that concerns me about the media's almost non-stop coverage over the weekend of Oprah Winfrey campaigning with and for Sen. Barack Obama was my sense that too often the celebrity overshadowed the substance.

Oprah Winfrey's credibility cannot be ignored, and anyone who thinks that she's simply an entertainer trying to push a political agenda is missing an important point. Consider the powerful image that Winfrey projects among varying pockets of the population -- women, African-Americans, inner-city young and old -- and the realization that she's not simply the equivalent of a rock star throwing support behind someone is apparent.

However, she's not the candidate. And the bits and pieces of what I read and saw over the weekend gave me the uncomfortable feeling that the media were focusing too much on them being together and not enough on his message. Let's face it, we are three weeks away from the primary and caucus season. Voters are still determining which candidates they will support in 2008. I'm all for Oprah Winfrey or anyone else providing additional interest in the presidential campaign; I just don't want them becoming the story.

And speaking of the candidate, there is a fantastic piece about Obama in the December issue of The Atlantic. Regardless of your opinion of Obama and whether he should have run now...should have waited...doesn't have enough experience, etc., you will want to check out this article by Andrew Sullivan. It is sure to challenge whatever assumptions you have of him.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is defending its story about the importance of diversity in the upcoming election.

No, we won't...uh, yes, we will

Come on NBC...take a firm stand and stick to it.

Was it "interrogation"..."harsh interrogation"...

...or "torture."

It appears as though news organizations are struggling with the word(s) necessary to describe the "destroyed tapes" fiasco. And this is an important discussion; it is not simply a matter of semantics.

Without a doubt, there are significant segments of the population that already have their minds made up about the CIA and whether it interrogated/tortured prisoners at Guantanamo and elsewhere. This news story is probably not form them. But it is relevant because journalism is not about throwing around labels or terms; it's about being absolutely correct.

The repackaged CBS Evening News

But will more people watch? If not, what's the next step?

The reward for a great story...unemployment

Hard to believe...but true.

Of course, the newspaper also could be free

That would solve this problem.

Too radical, you say? Probably, but I'll also listen to other well-thought out arguments.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Apparently the Russian government is satisfied...

...that this journalist has sufficiently had his head examined. Funny (or maybe not so), but it took 9 months to come to that conclusion.

Stop making lunatics celebrities

Do you agree with this man (not me) who's making that argument?

And along the same lines, should pictures and/or video of the gunman entering the Omaha mall be news?

Two interesting questions we can discuss in our journalism classrooms.

Baba Wawa says she's tired...

...of a particular type of interview. Too bad it took this long.

The FCC, the Democratic-controlled Congress and media diversity

So guess which one is promoting diversity in ownership? The one doing the promoting is in favor of tax incentives. Are you sure of that answer?

$4.5 billion

What will that buy you in 2008? Keep the year in mind...and you'll probably figure it out.

Conspiracy theorists unite!

You have a new entity to point a finger at -- the NFL! Here's the reason why.

Let me see if I get this straight: the NFL might (ahem) look the other way as one of their teams seeks perfection. I see. And the NBA lottery back in the 1980s was rigged so that Patrick Ewing could end up with the New York Knicks. Uh, wait a minute...I think that one was rigged. Hmmmm.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The media reaction... some ways might be more interesting than the actual story. Follow the reporting over the next few days to see what reaction there is (and you know there will be) to the CIA announcement today that it destroyed the videotaped interrogations of some of those believed linked to international terrorism.

And down the stretch they come!!

Well, not really. Actually the latest horse race as it applies to journalism and network television news ratings is now ready for your perusal.

I'd be curious to see if the public actually cares about ratings winners.

Oops...looks like CNN might have goofed again

This has not been the best week or so for the world's news behemoth. First there was the network's mishap at the GOP Debate (remember the gay, retired military man and the question about homosexuals in the military?). Now the network is not airing a planned program about Iran's nuclear ambitions.

It will be interesting to see if CNN plans to blame the Bush administration for this. Will it have the courage (hmm, Dan Rather weaves his way into the conversation) to blame itself for its own faulty reporting?


What does that number represent? Here's the troubling answer. I maintain that issues such as this require us as educators to be vigiliant on teaching about the importance of a free press.

Michael Savage and Islam

The vitriol between the radio talk show host and a leading Islamic-American relations group continues to grow.

A victory for journalism...

...and another example of why strong and legitimate shield laws on the federal and state level are needed more than ever.

Holy ...

...Rupert Murdoch has purchased one of the largest religious-based websites in the world.

The end of banning cross-ownership?

Could be coming...and the Tribune could be the impetus to making it happen.

The issue of localism is critical here, and my opinion always has been that localism is critical to news coverage. Let's see if the FCC cares about that.

On the chopping block

Job cuts are coming to a major news organization.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Missing the story on a presidential candidate?

One Arkansas journalist (who defines himself by an unusual nickname) says the answer is yes.

Working for CCTV...and endorsing the Communist line...

...can be a tricky thing for a journalist. This is a really interesting story, and one that I think can be incorporated into a variety of classroom situations.

And where's Bob?

Carl Bernstein (and if you are asking "who's he?" then I strongly encourage you to re-read your journalism history notes!) is joining CNN, as the network gears up for election 2008.

Meanwhile in Idaho...

...U.S. Senator Larry Craig remains defiant, as a number of men are beginning to step forward to discuss their sexual encounters with him.

Here's my question -- is this really a news story? (Certainly the newspaper's editor thinks so.) Or does this smack of the kind of disgust that the public showed with the Clinton impeachment issues relating to Monica Lewinsky?

Uh, oh...some of the worst words a news organization can utter...

...are being uttered: "We can no longer stand by our story." Here's the scoop.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Vladimir Putin

His party's overwhelming victory in Sunday's elections cannot be good news for those who are promoting a free press concept in Russia.

Another poll!

Breathlessly, the media await the news of who is (might be?) winning in Iowa. Here is that report.

A Democrat gets an endorsement from the White House

Who is he? Here's the answer.

Who is going to win on Election Night 2008?

The answer might surprise you.

Rudy and the "liberal media"

What's got the former mayor of New York City and current GOP presidential candidate upset? Here's the deal.

Imus is back; here's what to expect

Will he back off his usual in-your-face and controversial attitude? Read more here.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Don't Give Up, Don't Ever Give Up!

I came across the memorable speech delivered by the late Jim Valvano, when he was awarded the 1993 Arthur Ashe Award, and as he was in the final stretch of his battle with cancer.

It's hard to believe it was 14 years ago that Valvano reminded all of us that cancer can take our bodies (and ultimately our lives), but it could never rob us of our souls. Rest in peace, Jim. A great basketball coach. A better person.

Doesn't this sound familiar?

Various public interest groups are opposed to a proposed media merger...but it appears that the government is prepared to let it happen. This time it's the satellite radio merger of XM and Sirius.

AIDS fatigue?

As World AIDS Day is recognized, an interesting assessment about the disease from a leading U.S. health official.

The hostage crisis ends peacefully

Here are the details...and more about the man behind it.

MSNBC is (almost) number two...

...and why is that bad news for CNN? Here's the answer.