Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A prominent journalism school dean admits...

...he made a mistake. Funny, there are no anonymous sources in this story!

New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith...

...deserves a huge KUDOS for this. Let's hope his idea blossoms.

Meeting? There's no meeting...

...until those merger talks are finalized (or, we can hope, shot down).

42 percent of the world's people live in countries without...

...here's the answer.

There's certainly no "cold" front here...

...check out which leading news groups (or let's be more blunt -- major corporations with a news division) are lining up to purchase The Weather Channel.

A new international perspective on news?

This is an ambitious idea being proposed by two public television stations. On the surface, I like the concept...but I wonder how wise it is to get rid of what very well might be the preeminent international news agency today. Moreover, the BBC provides a non-American perspective to the news.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Roger E. Ailes Newsroom

At FOX? No, at Ohio University, where reaction has been mixed to say the least. One alum said his diploma is coming down from the wall on which it sits.

Sorry, but I strongly disagree with those who are against this decision. Ailes is a controversial figure, but let's set that aside for a moment -- he's ensuring that a generation (or more) of journalism graduates at Ohio University, home to one of the best journalism schools in the country, have the opportunity to work with some fantastic equipment and people.

Is there something wrong with that?

Am I biased here? Sure. As regular readers of this blog know, I received my Ph.D. at Ohio University. I remember the "old" newsroom that I taught in (and some of my students worked in). The new facility I understand is first-rate. That would appear to be a generous gift. Unless Ailes attached a series of conditions to his gift that have not become public, I think the angst about this decision is wrong.

Well, it's about time!

Looks like Aaron Brown is back on network television...finally!

I'll admit that I've largely not been a fan of Anderson Cooper, who replaced Brown on CNN. While Cooper's work has improved, in my opinion, and I find that I can at least watch the program...I admit that I remain convinced Brown is the superior journalist. I'm sure there were legitimate reasons for CNN making the switch more than two years ago. Perhaps someday I'll agree with the choice.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes are (almost certainly) coming to...

...network evening news. And they might be more drastic (overdue?) than you think.

Anyone who sees these (likely) changes as worrisome is stuck in a timewarp...one built in, say, the 1990s. For network news divisions to survive, they must adapt to where the targeted demographic is. And that demographic is not parking itself in front of a TV at 6:30 or 7:00 each evening to watch the nightly news.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Are the Olympics under threat?

Interpol says "yes."

No one who reads the link above should be surprised. Those people who think that Communist China is somehow immune to international terrorism is kidding themselves. The reader is reminded that state-media in China reported the government broke up a possible terrorist ring a short time ago.

Moreover, and more importantly, the symbolic power and stage of the Olympics cannot be ignored. With the exception of the 2008 presidential election in the United States, there is no other international event more inviting to terrorists -- regardless of their political or religious persuasion.

A successful Games is what everyone wants, except those who feel compelled to destroy the Olympics in order to make a political point. Rational people can hope they don't succeed.

Another "white dude" on the network news anchor desk?

TIME magazine asks a provocative question, as the rumors about Katie Couric continue to swirl.

The politicians appear to be unsuccessful...

...in stopping the merger of XM and Sirius. So does anyone think that political pressure to derail the News Corp. purchase of Newsday will be any more successful?

Of course, the politicians also are willing to take on the FCC when it comes to media ownership questions.

The cynic in me hopes that these political machinations are not some "show the voters how much we care about them as I go up for re-election" ploy.

Has the Wall Street Journal changed...

...since Rupert Murdoch took over as its owner? Sure it has. After reading this, you decide if the changes are good or bad. (Or perhaps its too early to tell?)

So this new model of operations...

...includes blowing out personnel, and then what? Check out what one Toledo television station has done. Then try answering any number of unanswered questions you will have about it.

A scapegoat?

Sounds like a leading media industry agency might have found one -- after its controversial decision to invite an actor to deliver its keynote address. Needless to say, the National Association of Broadcasters and Tim Robbins were not a good combination.

Am I the only one who is wondering...couldn't a reasonable person have seen Robbins' tirade coming?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Quite a day

Today is one of the more important days in the life of my older son. It's Take Your Child to Work Day. And today we had a great time.

Yes, I know, this blog normally is filled with information, analysis and reports about seemingly "important matters" about the media and other relevant industries. Those posts will return tomorrow.

Today, however, is about a dad and his 9-year-old son.

Our day was filled with moments and memories both big and small -- a colleague handing my son a Point Park University ballcap; lunch together in my office; his attendance at my classes; riding the bus into downtown and back home again; buying a few items at the campus bookstore; and even attending a faculty presentation. But moreso than anything else it was a day for us to spend together.

He scribbled a note just before he went to bed, highlighting the events of the day that mattered to him. He's too young to be able to write down and comprehend words such as "I got to spend today with my dad."

But for me "I got to spend today with my son" are the words that matter most to me. Yes, today might be one of the most important days in my son's life, because he gets to leave his school behind and come to work with me. But, today also is one of the most important days in my life, too.

I think he knows I had a blast.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Some enterprising students refuse to say no

What follows is the text of an e-mail forwarded to me by a colleague, who was among the original recipients of the message.



In light of this discussion of reality TV, I thought some of you might be interested in a post from the adviser to the student newspaper at Florida Atlantic University about a reality show that was filming on their campus yesterday. Good lessons to be learned that “reality” may be very distant from the truth.

This morning, Hulk Hogan's daughter Brooke visited our campus to shoot an installment of the VH1 reality show, "Hogan Knows Best." She may even enroll here as a business major.

It was supposed to be a secret. But one of the staff found out the night before, so we mobilized two writers and three photographers to follow the VH1 crew at a safe distance. The students worked in shifts throughout the day so they could still make their classes.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the VH1 producers weren't pleased. They tried to intimidate the students, at one point insisting they had to leave their own public campus. They also complained to administration -- which, to its credit, called counsel and announced the students had a right to be there.

VH1 also accused the students of interfering with their shots, but I had spoken with those staffers beforehand about not becoming the story, and about being polite but firm regarding their rights. In the end, they wrote a daily that's online (www.universitypressonline.com) and are working on a bigger print story about how fraudulent "reality" TV is (by documenting how scripted each "candid" moment was on campus).

This isn't the first time we've dealt with reality shows that don't understand the reality of the First Amendment.

In 2000, MTV's Road Rules filmed an episode here, pitting the Road Rules crew against Playboy bunnies in a synchronized swimming contest (don't ask). When MTV learned the paper was going to reveal that the results were rigged, MTV vaguely threatened to sue -- then tried to buy off the editors with promises of access to future events.

I was proud that the editors ran the story, anyway -- which described MTV's heavy-handed tactics, along with the irony that hundreds of students witnessed the same rigged results MTV didn't want to be printed.

Sometimes entertainment journalism is real journalism. I think these are those times.

Michael Koretzky
adviser, University Press
Florida Atlantic University

Now this ought to be an interesting fight...

...in one corner, a media tycoon. In the other corner, the FCC.

Where's Judge Mills Lane!

China calls for a cool down

Another report, from the Washington Post, indicating that the Chinese government wants its people to tone down the rhetoric about Tibet and the West.

This is a good strategy. The Chinese want to project an image of harmony and strength, in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics. Any involvement in a war of words, regardless of which side you think is correct, is not conducive to fulfilling that desire.

Of course, the decision to sue an American journalist won't help cool anything down.

She won...does it matter?

An interesting cross-section of media reports today, one day after Mrs. Clinton's win in the Democratic presidential primary in Pennsylavania.

The 10% margin of victory suggests she did well (and she did), and it also confirms that she will press ahead with her campaign.

But will that move bear fruit? The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Associated Press indicate that Mrs. Clinton did not make a sizable dent into Mr. Obama's delegate lead, and (perhaps more importantly) she still faces a difficult task in attempting to catch his popular vote lead.

Of course, the news is not good for Mr. Obama, either. The New York Times is among many news organizations pondering why he cannot earn that convincing victory -- despite his apparent momentum and obvious cash advantage -- that would knock Mrs. Clinton out of the race. (I would urge the reader of this post to review one post from last evening, when I noted that Karl Rove made a valid point on FOX News -- the Democratic candidates appear to be successful in holding their own bases, but they cannot seem to make a dent into the other's core group of supporters). The Philadelphia Inquirer also is asking the "why" question, noting that the recent stumbles within the Obama campaign indicate a campaign that might not be as strong as once thought.

The Washington Post adds that the Obama campaign appears to be ready to go very negative. But there's a danger to that strategy -- while it might prove effective in beating Clinton, it would suggest that Obama's earlier calls for a new language and attitude about politics was nothing more than hot air.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Now we wait to see how BIG a win it is

Mrs. Clinton got a boost tonight, no question about it. She spoke somewhat forcefully -- almost defiantly at times -- about her plans to stay in the Democratic presidential race until it ends, but I think only the most passionate of Clinton supporters would have agreed that the should have remained as a candidate had she lost tonight.

So now we await to hear from both candidates -- Obama in Evansville, Indiana; Clinton in Philadelphia -- and their messages. But we also await the final vote percentages. The larger the number, the better it is for Clinton. The more convincing her win is, the more convincing an argument she can make to her party's leaders and the superdelegates that she is the better choice.

While I agree with the argument that Mr. Obama still leads, I also think that is a somewhat dangerous one to build future success around. It doesn't seem powerful; it seems to be almost passive -- I'm ahead, therefore I win. To me, it doesn't suggest how he can beat John McCain; it doesn't discuss how he will address the economic worries that many Americans are feeling; and it doesn't recognize that in the large states, Mrs. Clinton has beaten him consistently.

It took 20 minutes...

...but CNN is now adding its call for Clinton as the winner of the Pennsylvania primary.

A moment of levity, just before CNN made its call: FOX's Major Garrett noted during his live report from Clinton's headquarters that there was no noise and celebration in the room. Why? The folks who were choosing which cable television network to pipe into the hotel hall chose "a different network" (here's a hint -- it begins with a "C" and ends with an "N") to show the crowd.

Needless to say, FOX was celebrating that it had made the call first. Not just first...but 20 minutes before CNN did. In today's oversaturated media and polling environment, that's a cavernous amount of time.

FOX gets it first...

...while CNN is in a commercial. Hillary Clinton is the projected winner of the Pennsylvania primary. The call -- 45 minutes after the polls closed -- suggest to me that her margin of victory will be somewhat comfortable.

CNN has returned from its commercial, and it is NOT making the same projection. Wolf Blitzer has announced that the numbers CNN has indicates that it is not yet possible to make a projection.

I don't often agree with Karl Rove...

...but I think he has this one pegged. When asked why Barack Obama can't deliver that so-called knock out punch to Hillary Clinton, he noted that the proportional system of parceling out delegates ensures that no one can take an insurmountable lead and carry the day.

Moreover, Rove added that the coalitions that Clinton and Obama have put together appear to be distrustful of the other. (Note for example the one exit poll blurb I saw a while ago that indicated 26% of Democrats in Pennsylvania say they won't vote for the "other" candidate.) Rove mentioned that he fully expects a majority of Democrats will in the end relent and vote for their party's candidate; but those that do hold out do give a boost to John McCain.

"The best political team on television"

Yup, he just did it...only 21 minutes into CNN's coverage and CNN's Wolf Blitzer dropped that ridiculous line mentioned above.

Everytime I hear Blitzer say this, I hope I can meet him one day and ask him if he really believes that line. It's a borderline insult to his colleagues at CNN, and its a definite slap in the face to the professionals on other networks.

A valid point by Brit Hume

I'm flipping back and forth between CNN, FOX and MSNBC, as I watch the coverage of the Pennsylvania primary. I think Brit Hume has just made an interesting and important point -- the recent gaffes by Barack Obama (especially the small towns, guns and God error) might resonate more with Republicans and Independents.

In other words, it could be in the general election that the verbal faux pas hurts him. One of Hume's colleagues, bolstering what Hume said, noted that Obama continues to hold an approximate 10% lead over Clinton among Democrats, and that figure hasn't changed since Obama's statements.

Where the candidates are tonight

I find it interesting where the two Democratic presidential candidates are tonight. Mrs. Clinton remains in Pennsylvania, specifically in Philadelphia. Mr. Obama is en route to Evansville, Indiana.

Mrs. Clinton is in a city that she needs to do very well in. She's not likely to carry Philadelphia itself, but she must be competitive there in order to create the distance she needs (presuming she wins here tonight) for a significant victory.

Mr. Obama's departure from Pennsylvania suggests to me that he doesn't expect to win here (despite the early exit polls suggesting a close finish) and so he wants to project an image of "I've already moved on."

Weak support for satellite radio subscribers

That is, if they received the service as a gift or if it came with the car they bought.

Down again

The Dow Jones? (Yes, but that's not the correct answer.) The ratings for the CBS Evening News is the answer I was looking for.

This comes as no surprise...

There is amazing turnout and interest in the Democratic presidential primary in Pennsylvania.

One interesting side note...one of my students was planning a story relating to the Republicans on primary day. She's hitting a brick wall at every turn. Perhaps her story will turn out to be...the absence of a story.

An initiative from CNN...

...to attract first-time voters to the political process. Might be worth a look.

A Russian newspaper closes down

Is the hand of Vladimir Putin behind this? Hmmm...maybe not, but the finger of Putin might be.

Is Rupert Murdoch about to own another New York newspaper? (UPDATE)

It appears the answer is...yes.

UPDATE: The Free Press Website is saying what many critics are thinking -- this deal, if it goes through, will be bad for localism. Of course, I'm not sure the FCC (or more correctly stated its Republican members) really cares about that issue.

A cool down in China?

An interesting TIME magazine report here, suggesting that the government is asking its people to tone down the rhetoric and protests.

The image of the country and its people are behind the move, according to TIME. The government wants to portray a sense of strong-willed people focused on building a stronger, better China.

Add the Belo stations to the list...

...of those media companies offering free air time to candidates in the lead up to the November general elections.

It's Primary Day in P-A!

Pennsylvania couldn't have been blessed with better weather today...beautiful sunny skies and temperatures expected to be right at 70. You talk about perfect for voting! I'm going to attempt multiple postings on the evetns throughout the state, though I acknowledge that being in only one location does restrict much, if not all, original reporting that I might be able to do.

Two important questions, as I see them, that need to be answered today:
1. If Sen. Clinton wins (as expected), how big a win does she enjoy? Remember, Democratic delegates are based on the proportion of the vote; it is not a winner-take-all approach. Pennsylvania is the last big delegate haul, so Mrs. Clinton needs to do well here in order to give credibility to her message of staying in the race until the end.

2. How much attention will Sen. McCain receive? I'm not referring to attention from the media...I'm referring to attention from Republicans. With the Republican race already locked up, it would do McCain well to continue to do very well (meaning large turnouts, not wins) in the remaining states. Let's see if Pennsylvania is that kind of state for him.

Of course, if two questions aren't enough...you are encouraged to access this Washington Post report, which adds eight more to your q-and-a day!

Stay tuned...there should be more to come from this blog later today.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I see this as a good example of ethical journalism

The Chicago Tribune is staying out of any discussion surrounding what is next for Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs. Why? A conflict of interest...perceived or real...comes into play if the Tribune does get involved.

NBC...as a teaching organization?

Seems far-fetched, until you read this. I agree with the criticisms in here -- a bit too much worry about technology over content.

Ethics and politics (come on, now...leave your jokes to yourself!)

Here's an interesting story in the New York Times, detailing the sometimes tenuous relationship between these ideals.

Can (should) a line be drawn between...

...sports journalists and sports bloggers?

If you say yes, then I ask...where?

With only four and one-half months to go...

...there is work to be done in China to get ready for the Olympics.

Flying home yesterday from my academic convention, I had a chance to read an excellent Wall Street Journal supplement about China and the amazing transformation taking place in the country. I encourage readers of this blog to access WSJ and to determine if they can download the special section, which ran during the weekend of April 12-13.

Make no mistake, Chinese society has made amazing strides in 30 years. Critics (with justification) note the human rights, air pollution and overall lack of freedoms in China; however, there is much happening there that make the government and the Chinese people proud. They should be, and the Olympics, setting aside their political nature (even though the International Olympic Committee might assert there ought to be no linkage between international sports and the Olympics), can be China's "see, we've arrived" party.

Let's see how the situation plays out over the final four months of preparation.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The 2009 BEA Convention

That's not a typo. I've spent most of my time here at the 2008 BEA Convention talking to my colleagues and others about next year's event. Why? I'm the convention programming chair one year from now.

We've instituted some new initiatives this year (and are adding more next year) with the intention of moving the program forward. If you access the BEA Web site, you'll learn more about Rapid-Fire Research, which was unveiled today. The attendance wasn't what I had hoped for, but many presenters and attendees mentioned that my goal of bringing about more interaction between these groups was a success.

In 2009, a new plan, a 'program focus,' comes into play. It's purpose is to encourage all divisions to be more engaged in the planning process. My focus for next year is "Ethics and..." with the divisions receiving strong encouragement to complete that title in any way they see fit. It's been a whirlwind couple of days presenting this plan to the attendees. The feedback I've received so far has been positive.

Now the hard work begins...putting the plan into action.

One legacy of the Bush administration

A tattered presidential/media relationship. So says one critic.

When a news organization is the story...

...the story is usually not good. And this appears to continue to be the case with ABC News, which is getting consistent negative coverage of how it handled this week's Democratic presidential debate.

A story in today's New York Times suggests that one debate moderator seems surprised by the amount of negative attention he and his colleague are receiving. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports there are a few (but not many) voices offering support for ABC.

And it's got to be especially troubling for ABC that one of the candidates also is bugged by the questions posed by the moderators.

Now this is not the way to treat the media!

Shame on the Cuyahoga County board for this.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes...

...are coming to the Tribune Company. Wonder what Harry Caray would think about one of them?

Support for Couric?

Anyone who's a sports fan knows that when a manager gets a "vote of confidence" from the general manager or owner that his days are almost certainly numbered. Is this also true for network news anchors?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A group of lawmakers tells the FCC...

...that it shouldn't be too radical in its approach to supporting localism.

10.7 million viewers

What were they watching? Here's your answer.

It's a headline such as this one...

...that provides fodder for people who dislike select media they refer to as "liberal" and/or "elite." The theme to this story is a relevant one, but I think it gets lost in what I see as an unnecessary headline.

A new Chinese museum...

...is rankling sentiments within Tibet.

It's curious to me that the Chinese government would open such a museum this close to the upcoming Olympic Games. The museum seems to reinforce in Western minds the idea that the government is doing nothing more than providing lip service to the notions of free speech and supporting Olympic ideals.

One problem with being away... (UPDATED)

...is having missed last night's debate between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama. A variety of media reports is what I have to go on this morning, and they seem to project a similar theme: Clinton played offense, and Obama played defense last night.

You can find additional reports and comments from Politico.com, Wall Street Journal, and TheAtlantic.com.

UPDATE: There also appears to universal agreement about ABC's debate hosts -- they were awful. First, an editorial from Tom Shales of the Washington Post. The Philadelphia Inquirer also is critical.

A compund? A ranch? A cult?

I've been interested to see how the media have described the "Yearning for Zion" story, in recent days. I've heard terms such as "polygamist sect," "cult," "branch of Mormonism," and sundry other terms.

I'm not sure any accurately describe this group, but I also confess I can't come up wih one. The one term that more than any other disturbed me was "cult."

The point to this message is that each word the media use carries a connotation (or baggage). It is essential that precision and care be used when determing how we define someone. To borrow an old phrase...someone's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Torch Relay...

...and the accompanying protests continue. Today it was Delhi, where the Torch will be on display tomorrow.

Clinton adds her support to a federal shield law

Let's hope that Mrs. Clinton and her fellow presidential aspirants are not doing this in an attempt to curry favor with the media. A federal shield law for journalists is absolutely necessary.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette...

...has endorsed Barack Obama.

The Chinese government demands an apology...

...from CNN and commentator Jack Cafferty, who made critical remarks of the government.

Funny, but isn't this what free press is all about? Criticize government?

It won't help the consumer!

That's the message leading cable networks are espousing, as they press FCC chair Kevin Martin to abandon his attempts at bringing about a la carte programming.

How angry are these networks? In their filing with the FCC, they warned that Martin's proposal could have "perverse" results for the public.

I've made no secret of my support of this idea. I see it as a benefit to the consumer, who would be able to opt in (or out, depending upon your viewpoint) to the cable programming he or she wants.

ABC is making a mistake

The network has announced that it will allow only 30-second clips from tonight's Obama-Clinton debate from Philadelphia to be aired by its competitors. Cable networks are justifiably upset.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A 2-hour television special

ESPN is devoting 2 hours tonight to discussing the just-released NFL schedule. Are you kidding me? Two hours to talk about a bunch of games that won't be played for almost five months at the earliest?

I've passed on many a television program in my life. Tonight, I added to that list. Two hours to talk about a schedule. Gadzooks.

McCain-Rice?

You can "fuhgetaboudit."

Two journalists are freed in Iraq...but one is back in jail in Iran

The circumstances are much different, but it is important to note that both are free today.

Unfortunately, the news from Iran is not as promising for anyone who cares about a free press (not to mention free journalists).

I think all three presidential candidates agree on something!

Of course, it is the somewhat symbolic issue of whether President Bush ought to attend this summer's Olympic Games. Sen. Barack Obama chose his words carefully, but he, too, believes that Mr. Bush ought to consider skipping the Opening Ceremonies, if China doesn't show improvements in certain areas.

Now, here's the reality -- President Bush IS going to Beijing this summer, unless the Chinese government does something that can only be described as immensely dumb. Whether you agree with him on this issue is irrelevant...it is his opinion that the international political situation taking place in Tibet (not to mention the dubious record of the Chinese with human rights) should not be linked to his (or any other world leaders') attendance at the Olympic Games.

Kudos to John McCain

He, unlike the current presidential administration, recognizes the importance of a shield law, which would protect journalists from being forced to reveal their sources.

Greetings from BEA

Hello from Las Vegas! I arrived in the windy "Lost Wages" this morning, and I'll be here for the remainder of the week attending the Broadcast Education Association national convention. The usual number of posts associated with this blog likely won't be forthcoming this week, but I'll try to provide periodic updates from the convention.

One funny (I think) moment... I was walking through one of the casinos today (nope, didn't play anything!) and happened to catch someone at a $1 slot machine. He had 968 credits in the machine. You do the math.

Monday, April 14, 2008

At least they are talking

This story provides what I think is the first piece of "good" news in the on-going rhetoric between the Chinese government...the Dalai Lama...and the situation in Tibet.

Mind you, the crisis isn't over, and the protesters that have been following the Olympic Torch relay aren't going away; but perhaps the rhetoric can start cooling off.

10,854

What does that number represent? Here's your answer.

Some people just don't get it

Please explain to me why a prominent journalist would receive death threats?

Katie Couric update

It's a given that she's on the way out. But here are a few interesting questions: Where does she go next?

And perhaps more importantly...is her demise partially of her own doing?

Are people getting the news they need?

A provocative question. Who's asking it? Find out here.

They got him!

Great news to report out of Iraq -- a kidnapped journalist has been found...alive.

No mincing words here

Actor Tim Robbins used the pulpit standing in front of a group of professional journalists and industry insiders to blast the current state of the media. This link will take you to a story summary...and provides a link allowing you to listen to the entire speech.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Have we entered a new phase of the Clinton-Obama campaign?

Media coverage is rampant today of Barack Obama's small town America comments, which suggest that residents of such places are willing to blame almost anyone for their "frustrations."

As you might expect, Sen Hillary Clinton pounced. Sen. John McCain isn't that far behind. And the media "what does it mean/how will it affect his campaign?" questions are grabbing the headlines.

Is this an opening for Mrs. Clinton? Is this another opportunity for the Republicans to begin firing up its attack machine? Is this story a big deal?

Yes. Yes. I don't think so.

At this point, Sen. Clinton needs any and all chances she can to derail Obama, who has a delegate lead, poll numbers suggesting victories in North Carolina and Indiana, and superdelegates who are slowing turning to his side. Moreover, she needs to build momentum if she is to create enthusiasm for her campaign after her expected Apr. 22 win in Pennsylvania.

Not much needs to be said about the Republican attack machine, which is fully ready to paste labels such as "out of touch," "liberal," and a host of others on Obama. I was attending an academic seminar yesterday, and on my way home I heard Bill O'Reilly attempt to link former President Jimmy Carter's planned meeting with Hamas to the Obama campaign. (Sorry, I had to hit my radio's "scan" button as quickly as I could while driving down the freeway.) In other words, anything is fair game.

But just how big a story will this be? For Obama, it's another example of timing. Because the story broke late in the week, it will have an opportunity to fester on network news, local and national newspapers, editorial pages, blogs and other communications methods for a couple of days. Obama's mea culpa statement likely will be a minor theme to media coverage that prefers the conflict, the dramatic, the "wow" moment. Obama (however inadvertently it might have been) provided the media what they needed...a story, whether it be real or perceived.

So now we wait to see what flows from this. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright story (which in my opinion is the more controversial of the two) had a short shelf life, in part because of the effective response Obama made to it. If he can make such a response again, perhaps during Wednesday night's debate with Mrs. Clinton in Philadelphia, he can blunt any real damage to this latest controversy.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Olympics at the end of the week

What a terrible week for the International Olympic Committee and the host nation, China.

The on-going protests (sometimes very disruptive) as the Olympic Torch relay continues have cast the Olympics in a light not seen since the mid-1980s, when the Games were sabotaged by back-to-back boycotts led by the United States in 1980 and the Soviet Union in 1984. Then the issues were East-West in nature, as the U.S. stood on the sidelines as a protest of the Soviet military invasion of Afghanistan. Almost 60 nations followed the Americans' lead. Four years later, the Soviets, citing concerns for the safety of their athletes, skipped the Los Angeles Games. About a dozen of its allies did the same.

Now, the angst within the Olympic Movement is more domestic in nature. The Chinese have received chronic negative coverage in the West for its response to the unrest in Tibet, even though there remains general consensus that the protests were staged by Tibetans. The Chinese media have sounded the alarm that the groups behind the protests were determined to sew unrest within Tibet and disrupt the Olympics. No one in the West seems prepared to accept that notion.

The lingering Torch relay protests gained momentum because of what happened in Tibet, which (re-)confirmed in the minds of many that the Chinese will do whatever it takes to maintain order. Would there have been protests if the Tibet crisis had not happened? I doubt it. And even if they had, the media coverage of them would have been significantly reduced. However, once Tibet combined with images of protesters being manhandled or unfairly intruding upon the Olympics, depending upon one's opinion, the media fervor was on. It will not let up.

There also are conflicting media reports emanating from China and within Western media organizations. The Chinese are quick to point out comments made by IOC leaders or others that indicate support for China as it moves closer to hosting the Olympics. But nothing is reported within that media relating to IOC calls for freedoms of various kinds. On the other hand, the West seems determined to spotlight the calls for freedom while ignoring the statements endorsing Olympic values.

In short, this is an unsettled period for the Olympic Movement. I maintain, as I have in many places, that the IOC cannot hold onto antiquated notions of politics and sports not mixing. Let's face it, the IOC is, by itself, a political organization, and it has used the Games to advance its agenda for openness and bringing together the world. But more germane to what is happening now, the IOC has few options available to it, and that reality demonstrates its weakness as a political body. It can (and should) insist that the freedoms it holds important are on display this summer in Beijing and throughout China. However, it lacks a sanctioning mechanism that can assist it in enforcing what it wants.

The Chinese, on the other hand, have the power to enforce what they want -- order. But they also have to be cognizant of supporting the IOC values it promised to uphold when it was named the Games' host in 2001.

Tension indeed. It's increasing. And there appears to be no place to vent it, at least for now.

Goodbye high-priced anchors...

...hello reality? A well-written Los Angeles Times report indicates that the departure of two high-profile KCBS anchors might be a sign that the days of the high-priced news anchor for local television are winding down.

She criticized Clinton...

...and now she's gone. Justified? Read this and decide.

A staged threat?

China announced yesterday that it arrested many people involved in a plan to disrupt this summer's Olympics. Check out the various media reports about this news...

TIME magazine notes that several experts are skeptical of the news, which comes just one month after the country announced it broke up another ring that planned to take over a passenger jet. The Washington Post also notes that accusations of rough treatment are dogging the Chinese who run with and are there to protect the torch during the relay.

Meanwhile, state-run CCTV notes that IOC President Jacques Rogge is committed to continuing the Olympic Torch relay, which today was in Buenos Aires. (U.S. media reports are noting that Rogge also is insisting that freedom of speech be on display this summer -- freedom for the athletes and the media who are covering the Games.) CCTV also has picked up an editorial from China Daily that blasts the Torch relay disruptions in Paris. It also is keeping the spotlight on the Tibet situation, calling a group it says is responsible for the attacks a pure terror organization.

Finally, President Bush reiterated that he's not listening to those who say he should skip the Opening Ceremonies.

If Katie is kaput...then who's next?

This Washington Post report suggests the Tiffany Network might have to go out of house (again) to find a new Evening News anchor.

Another report indicates Couric's departure might be desirable...to her. And it might happen before you think.

How about these names as possible replacements?
1. Anderson Cooper -- would certainly cement the CBS-CNN news partnership that was discussed earlier in the week.
2. Scott Pelley -- he should have been a finalist 2 years ago, when the fateful decision to bring in Couric was made.
3. Bob Schieffer -- might be the best news anchor CBS currently has

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Acknowledging reality

The president of the International Olympic Committee believes his organization is in "crisis," because of the recent disruptions of and protests surrounding the Torch Relay.

Justice Scalia...

...seems to like the media...when he's trying to promote a book he wrote. Funny, he has a rather consistent disdain for the media at other times. Makes you wonder if any media organization would have the courage to return the favor now.

Cable "a la carte"

I'm not a fan of FCC Chair Kevin Martin (no secret about that!), but I maintain that when it comes to a la carte cable programming...he's spot on.

Katie Couric to leave CBS?

The answer to that could be yes...or it could be no.

I believe the answer will be "yes." Couric is simply not suited for that position, and that statement in no way is designed to suggest she lacks talent. However, she is an interviewer, a person who thrives when her natural charisma can shine. That cannot happen at an anchor desk.

That being said, I stand by my prediction made a long time ago...and it has been posted on this blog a couple of times: Couric will take over the CBS Early Show after the 2008 elections.

China arrests almost 3 dozen people... (UPDATED)

...who the government says were part of a plot to disrupt this summer's Games.

Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama tells the world that no one should tell the Tibetan protesters (or any other kind, for that matter) to remain silent. China used his statement as another rationale to question his integrity.

UPDATE: Here is an interesting TIME magazine report about the Torch relay controversy...as it is viewed by the Chinese.

Finally, a report from CCTV highlighting a man who reportedly saved more than 100 people when the initial Tibetan riots broke out last month.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

First Clinton...now Obama

Both Democratic presidential candidates agree on something -- that President Bush ought to leave open the possibility that he will not attend the upcoming Summer Olympics.

As I've mentioned in other postings because of my academic research into and personal affinity for the Olympics, I've spent considerable time reading the various media reports connected to how domestic and international political leaders are responding to the ongoing situation in Tibet (and how it relates to China and whether it 'deserves' to host the Games).

Let me elaborate on some points that have been made/not made up to now:
1. No country deserves to host the Games; however, once the International Olympic Committee chooses a host, it is not going to reverse course...unless the local organizing committee shows it cannot deliver the kind of Olympics that the world has come to expect.
2. There remains no chance that China will not host this summer's Games. Anyone holding out any hope for this ought to go home; it's not going to happen.
3. The IOC is embarrassed by what is taking place with the Torch Relay, in part because the protests and corresponding media coverage damage the credibility of the Olympics and in part because these protests call into question the wisdom of the IOC's decision to award the Games to Beijing.
4. The IOC can push China -- but only so far -- to amend its domestic policies. This is because the organization lacks any real power. It cannot impose economic, political or other sanctions against a country; it cannot use the auspices of the United Nations or another international organization to strengthen itself; and it relies upon goodwill, a positive international image, and the symbolic importance of sports to assist it in all it does.
5. China appears committed to delivering a peaceful Games, and one that will symbolically demonstrate that the nation enjoys international prestige. Attendance by the world's political leaders will only enhance this idea. Thus any talk about a world leader not coming to Beijing is a real problem.

Continue to pay attention to this story, as it develops over the remaining weeks and months before the Games. The linkage of international politics and international sports is on display more clearly than it has since 1984, when the Soviet Union led an Eastern bloc boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics.

A national look at our university

Today, a crew from PBS' The News Hour with Jim Lehrer visited Point Park University. It was the second of a two-day visit to Pittsburgh by reporter Jeffrey Brown, a producer and two local freelancers.

Brown's report, which is expected to air late next week, is examining how young people gather their news...and how their newsgathering differs from previous generations. Brown asked a group of journalism students what was their primary source of news -- for almost all of them, the Internet was the answer. (The broadcast journalist in me cringed...so did our department chair, who is a product of the newspaper world.) One student made a particularly telling comment -- with the 'Net there is convenience; the audience can access the news at any point. Another student noted that the 'Net provided so many more choices to the public.

The News Hour crew also spent time yesterday at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and KDKA television. This morning, they talked to two students who work at The Globe, the Point Park student newspaper. After leaving our television studio, they wrapped up their day at KDKA radio.

A national look at the local mayor

Check out today's Washington Post story on Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. The story is rather well done.

Are they serious?

CBS executives say the elimination of a variety of positions at their local owned-and-operated stations will not affect the quality of local news. Yeah, right.

Olympic protests...and advertisers (UPDATE)

Today it was San Francisco, the latest location at which the Olympic Torch relay was shortened and its route altered.

However, one good sign (at least for NBC, which has the broadcast rights to this summer's Games is that advertisers are showing no sign of backing away from their sponsorship commitments.

Meanwhile, state-run CCTV is reporting that Chinese citizens are outraged by the disruptions to the Torch relay. At the same time, they are having a difficult time telling its people the full story behind the protests. And in Washington, the House has passed a resolution calling upon China to do away with its harsh response to Tibetan protests.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Well, now...isn't this interesting (UPDATE)

The White House announced late today that President Bush might skip the Beijing Opening Ceremonies. If the president is serious about this option, then consider the pressure that will be applied to China in advance of the Games.

UPDATE: And speaking of pressure, the International Olympic Committee at this point seems willing to resist it...and not alter the Torch Relay.

Do you want to increase listenership of your radio station?

A solution might be a "click" away.

Which is the more important story today?

Is it: The report and testimony from Gen. Petraeus, who is appearing before the Senate and discussing Iraq? Or is the comments and reactions from the three presidential candidates, all of whom will be speaking about the situation and questioning the general?

How each journalist and news organization answers that question will determine what kind of story you read and see over the next 12-24 hours.

The political map in 2008...

...might look different from years past.

The challenges to Sen. McCain and the Democratic nominee will be to hold onto what has been traditional areas of success (not that easy this year) while building new areas of success (perhaps easier than you might think).

CBSNN?

Confused? Check this out.

It's amazing to me...

...to read that the International Olympic Committee is thinking about junking the international leg of the Olympic Torch relay.

The discussion, of course, centers on the protests that have dogged the Torch relay from the moment the Olympic Flame was lit. The Flame arrived in San Francisco today, and at this point signs point to that portion of the relay continuing.

The admission by the IOC that it is mulling a cancellation of anything associated with the Games is almost unprecedented. Yes, the Games were canceled during the world wars, but there was no other option at those times. But the "war," if that word is appropriate today, involves a dogged group of protesters (and at this point I have no way of knowing how organized they are) seeking to inject a clear political statement into the Olympics. And as of now, they are apparently winning. Amazing.

Monday, April 07, 2008

This is asinine

Ridiculous antics such as this one are one reason the publc has such disdain for local television news.

Considering the (possible) depression (but likely recession)...the inflation

...the tempest in Tibet...and other calamities, sometimes you just need to let it out!

He's not the first to notice...

...nor the first to comment on the often dreadful scores posted by students on current events quizzes. Needless to say, many of my colleagues and I share the concern about the disinterest too many students have about the world around them.

Looking tougher all the time

A New York Times video report here, which indicates the math for Hillary Clinton becomes a tougher obstacle all the time as she pursues the Democratic presidential nomination.

This time, the protesters got it UPDATED TWICE

In Paris, protesters again disrupted the Olympic Torch relay, but this time the Olympic Flame was snuffed out for a short time. UPDATE -- Here is a New York Times report that offers a bit more analysis.

You can find additional coverage from the English-language service of CCTV. It is offering more complete (and angry) reporting of today's events in Paris.

Let me make clear, as someone who has researched the Olympics, seen them in person, watches them regularly, believes in their ideals and firmly accepts the important place they have in the world, I also understand that their symbolic and real power makes them viable targets for protesters.

Do I support what the protesters are doing? Yes. I say that because I support the notion of free speech and expression, provided it is not done in a way that could injure another (i.e. yelling fire in a crowded theatre). The problem is not the protesters and whether they are attempting to "sabotage" the Olympic ideals. The problem is in China, where the government is not supporting the freedoms that I -- and hundreds of millions of others -- hold as important.

LATE MONDAY UPDATE -- You can now add Hillary Clinton to the list of those who think that President Bush ought to boycott the Games' Opening Ceremonies. To date, Mr. Bush has said just the opposite -- he plans to be in Beijing on August 8.

Why China is facing difficult odds...

...in staging the kind of Olympics it wants. I offered a few thoughts on this matter yesterday, but you are encouraged to read this TIME magazine report for additional assessments.

A primer on Pittsburgh's television markets...

...can be accessed here.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Affirmative action...for boys?

Sounds peculiar...and I bet your reaction will be a bit different once you read where it's being practiced.

Another city...another Olympic protest

My sense at this point is that the media are not fully connecting the dots, when discussing the on-going series of protests related to China and this summer's Olympics.

You might already have seen or read reports of the latest protest, which happened today in London. You also might be aware of the comments made today by the Dalai Lama about Tibet.

Here are some of the links that I see:
1. Tibet is merely an excuse (almost an afterthought) to those who are protesting China and the Olympics; those protests were going to happen no matter what
2. China remains an easy target for protesters; it "talks the talk" about espousing Olympic ideals, but it so far has shows it can't "walk the walk"
3. These protests will continue to build, and their number and intensity ultimately will prevent the International Olympic Committee from continuing to suggest that politics and sports don't mix
4. There will be protests in China during the Games, and the restrictions that normally are placed upon Western-media organizations will be severely tested

It is my opinion that the Games will not be affected by a boycott, which I generally speaking think falls into the symbolic category; in the end, the athletes who are barred from competing suffer, but the people who are truly suffering do not. However, the Games will not be protest-free. The pressure on the IOC, the Chinese government and other non- and actual-governmental agencies will be intense.

Continue following the threads in this blog and in Western media organizations. And, as always, you are encouraged to compare those reports to other news agencies anywhere in the world.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Renewed clashes in China...

...lead to 8 deaths.

And here's another Washington Post story, which highlights how the Communist Party is working hard to keep Tibet's monasteries from becoming hotbeds of unrest. Meanwhile, don't forget the full court press that state-run media in China are putting on Western media organizations to acknowledge any errors in their coverage of the crisis in Tibet.

Friday, April 04, 2008

April 4

This date is etched into the history of this country. It was on April 4, 1968 that Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis. Over the past few days, I've seen plenty of stories reflecting upon King's legacy (and television specials are appearing tonight on a variety of cable networks). I was curious to see what, if any, events, commemorating King's life (and death) were being held in Washington today.

Perhaps I was in the wrong part of town (most of my day was spent in the city's northwest quadrant and then late in the day I was in Arlington, VA), but I was surprised to see nothing associated with this event. I saw no rallies, marches, or anything here in the city. I've not had the chance to see any local television coverage, so I don't know if the following statement is true...I wonder if the King-related events were held in Lafayette Park and/or closer to The White House.

Ed Tobias of the Associated Press (see Washington, today part 2) told the 14 broadcast journalism students and two faculty he met with this morning that the AP prepared a series of reports about King that aired this morning on radio and television stations that receive AP material. He suggested that one story particularly struck him -- it involved an interview conducted with Jesse Jackson at the Lorraine Motel, where King was fatally shot. Anyone who has seen Jackson in person or on television would agree that his charisma, personality and passion come through almost instantly. Yet, Tobias noted, in the interview Jackson did a week or so ago from Memphis, those characteristics were missing. Tobias told our group that at one point Jackson said "I don't come here often." No explanation why was offered...but then again none was needed. I can only imagine what Jackson's full and complete thoughts about that day are.

Washington, today (part 3)

Our final professional stop of the day was at Politico.com and WJLA-TV. We spent about an hour with Jim VandeHei, the executive editor for Politico.

Jim said something about midway through his discussion with our group that particularly resonated with me; "We want to be a Web site that happens to have a newspaper." The statement, to me, provided one of the most striking examples of how the print media are changing -- its online presence and offerings are becoming as (if not more) relevant than its hard copy.

He also noted that in his opinion one of the more important changes in the media world over the past few years is the journalist becoming more important than the organization. In other words, the power of the Washington Post or any reputable news agency used to be the journalist's calling card, and the news organization -- because of its reach, image and prestige -- was the reason behind the public's decision for accessing news. Now, however, it is VandeHei's opinion, the journalist is more important than the organization he or she works with.

If this is true, and I have no other evidence to suggest whether it is, then the journalist could become more powerful than the ever-present technology.

VandeHei provided an important message for the students in the room -- you had better be able to master the many skill sets that are out there, but you also had better be something more than just a journalist. VandeHei suggested that students need to understand politics or some other non-journalism field if they seek to truly succeed in the industry. Considering that I am a proponent of students double majoring (or at least having a major and a minor), his comments brought a smile to my face.

I confess to being disappointed by one theme that resonated through VandeHei's presentation -- he peppered so much of what he said with terms such as "monetize," "profit," and "make money." I don't want anyone to misunderstand me -- I fully appreciate why any and all news organizations need to be profitable. But I was perplexed that our group, interested more in learning how they could improve their chances to enter the business, would have been exposed to a significant economics discussion.

The Politico staff provided us with a copy of Thursday's newspaper, and it was the initial exposure to the hard copy. I usually see Politico.com, not the Politico. My initial assessment is that it is very complete. I do like the Web site, but the traditional news consumer in me, which likes to hold and touch a newspaper, appreciated having something in my hands.

Washington, today (part 2)

Our group made its second stop at the Associated Press, and we were fortunate to have a super host: Assistant Managing Editor Ed Tobias. I know Ed through one professional and one academic organization, and he is one of the "great guys" in the radio.

Ed provided our students with a terrific outline of how the AP has changed over the years and what the future of the organization could be. He mentioned that the AP through its broadcast wire serves more than 6,500 radio and television stations. He told our students that writing for the broadcast wire would be a young journalist's entry way into the AP. He added that writing well was critical, in fact essential to anyone hoping to join the AP. One of the important ways to demonstrate writing well is to "use a nickel word instead of a $5 word," Tobias said.

Ed noted that he's seen more changes in the past 3 years at the AP then he did in his first 25 years with the company. The AP's new (as of December) location includes a huge newsroom, in which the print, broadcast and online operations all work in concert. Ed joked as we walked past a television studio that he never believed the AP would have such a prominent place in the television world, but that is the nature of today's rapidly growing and converging media world.

As I looked around the newsroom, I was reminded of just how much respect I've always had for the AP. I also reminded myself that almost 11 years ago Ed called me and asked me to come to Washington to interview for a spot there. I was close to getting married and also was considering a position at a Columbus television station. While I don't regret the decision, I was thinking a few times today 'what might have been.'

Washington, today (part 1)

Our journalism faculty and a group of students make a trip to Washington each year. We arrived last night, and today we spent a super day with a variety of industry professionals.

For the 14 broadcast journalism majors and two faculty our day began at the Newseum. The official opening of the Newseum is next Friday, but today the names of many journalists who have lost their lives while reporting were read.

It was a moving ceremony, which began around 8:00 a.m. I'm not sure when it ended, but when our group left around 9:45 (after spending almost 35 minutes there) the list had only reached 1994.

Each name was followed by a chime, and the well-lit room overlooking 6th Street is a beautiful location. There is a "Images of the Fallen" section of the room, and it contains photos of many journalists. What was chilling to me was that the space is about 1/3 populated. I was left to wonder how long would it take to fill the rest of the wall? On the one hand, you don't want to see another photograph ever placed on the wall; on the other hand, you know it is inevitable that others will.

There were dozen of media there this morning, and my students especially were interested in watching a Phoenix-based ABC reporter as she provided live reports from the Newseum.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Serendipity

The local chapter fo the League of Women Voters' holds its bi-annual luncheon at Point Park University. Today was the day. I found out a few days ago that I was able to invite a few of my broadcast students as guests.

At the time, who knew there would be news! But today the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County political leaders announced that they will push ahead with plans to merge the entities. There is still much work to be done, and the end goal will be a referendum. Nevertheless, a luncheon that seemed to be an opportunity to relax became one in which real news was taking place. Why? Because the mayor (of Pittsburgh) and the chief executive (of Allegheny County) committed to attending the luncheon and to being the guest speakers long before anyone knew that today would be the day that the commission investigating the idea of merging the governmental entitities would issue its report of findings.

As the late Mel Allen would have said: "How 'bout that!"

Journalism and blogs

One study -- just released -- from Ball State University suggests that journalists acting as bloggers in the lead up to the 2006 elections didn't lead to increased political dialogue.

Remember Ron Paul?

He's going to be in Pittsburgh today.

Solid analysis here

Be prepared...this link will take you to a long report. But I think it is worth reading. It highlights why some Democratic voters can't seem to get comfortable with both of their presidential candidates. More importantly, consider the implications for a general election matchup.

Obama...getting it wrong, and getting it right

Kudos to the Washington Post for highlighting that Barack Obama is playing fast and loose with John McCain's claims about how long U.S. troops might need to remain in Iraq.

Set aside whatever feelings you have about the U.S. military presence in Iraq...the facts are that Sen. McCain NEVER suggested that American military forces would be fighting there for another century.

And on the subject of controversial issues...kudos to Sen. Obama for letting it be known that global warming would be an important issue to his administration.

When students get it...

...they get it. One student in my "newscast class" relayed to me a conversation she had with a fellow student who was interested in taking the class at some point in the 2008-09 academic year.

The conversation, as told to me, went something like this:

Student 1: "Should I take Moretti's class. I hear it's a lot of work."
Student 2: "Do you want to take it? No. It's a lot of work. Should you take it? Yes."

The current student went on to say that there is no better option for learning how to do television news and to get a resume tape together.

A third student, also currently in the class, then jumped in. He noted that he took a look at his resume tape prepared before this semester began, and he wanted to laugh. "It's so much better now," he said.

I smiled. They were right.

A rationale for the CBS bloodletting?

The Baltimore Sun notes this morning that the (unfortunate?) decision made by a variety of CBS owned-and-operated stations to cut newsroom and support staff might be a sign that the traditional notion of the local news outlet as the cash cow no longer applies.

Of course, it also could be a sign that profit margins can be increased by gutting high-priced, veteran talent. But that would be cynical of me, wouldn't it?

Another part of the world...another protest...

...and a peculiar media reaction.

Another region...another protest

Any chance the Chinese government will attempt to pin this one on the Dalai Lama?

Setting aside that poor attempt at humor and rich attempt at sarcasm, the recent unrest in China (regardless of who is to blame) suggests that the impending glare of the Olympic spotlight is indeed allowing for groups unhappy with the Communist leadership to rise up.

I couldn't agree more

The cable industry is simply biding its time, waiting (somewhat impatiently) for January 2009, when Kevin Martin will be out as FCC chair.

I have agreed in some areas with Mr. Martin (most especially with his call for a la carte programming), but for the most part his leadership of the FCC has been disappointing, in my opinion, with this decisions too often simply reflecting what was good for business and bad for the consumer.

A new look presidential primary calendar?

Might happen...and the GOP is proposing it. Check out various media reports here, including from the AP, the Des Moines Register, and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

As you might guess, while the traditional kickoff states of Iowa and New Hampshire are happy...the reaction is not as positive in all big states. Michigan is one of them.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

More CBS news cuts

This post highlights the cuts in Los Angeles, which I called home for almost two decades. The anchors who are out are two that I remember watching when I was growing up.

When the Olympic Torch arrives in San Francisco...

...there will remain an on-going debate about how protesters and others will react.

Out with the old...

...in with the young? Sounds "ageist," and it might be happening at one Washington newspaper.

Here come the ads!

This report notes that the Pennsylvania airwaves are about to be saturated with political ads. The ads are beginning later than expected.

Kudos to WTAE in Pittsburgh

It was one of four television stations to win a Peabody Award. Here are details.

$20

That's what it's apparently going to cost you to enter the Newseum. If this is true, the folks there had better count on small attendance figures.

When a politician is in trouble...

...hey, blame the media for distorting the story!! The mayor of Detroit is the latest to play this game.

Is there a link between the riots in Tibet...

...and the Dalai Lama? Media reports that began in China and being picked up by U.S. news agencies suggest the answer is "yes."

Meanwhile, state-run media are keeping up the pressure on CNN, accusing it of distorting images and stories from Tibet.

They're not just white men any longer

Who are "they"? Here's the answer.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

McCain wins Pennsylvania

Is this some kind of April Fool's joke, you ask? Am I trying to pull a fast one on you today, which is April 1. Or is there substance to this post? For the answers, you need to link here.

Suicide bombers in...

...Tibet? The Chinese authorities are making the claim. Here's one somewhat short report from CNN.com. On the English-language version of CCTV, China's state-run television network, the reports are more numerous and complex.

The Iraq War -- through the eyes of a young Iraqi male

Ironically, just today in one of my classes, as we continue to examine Jackie Spinner's excellent book 'Tell Them I Didn't Cry,' my students and I discussed what is truth, how do journalists pursue it, what challenges stand in their way, and, ultimately, how truth and objectivity mix (or perhaps don't!).

Then I go online and find...this.

A change to the message

How well will this resonate with an important group of voters who, to this point, seem a bit concerned about Barack Obama?

A Chicago television station cuts 17...A Pittsburgh television station cuts 10...a New York television station cuts two

Signs of the times? Or bad decisions? You decide. Perhaps the biggest difference is that the cuts in New York were "on-air" talent, while the Pittsburgh cuts affected more departments. In Chicago, it was also all over the place.

Additional cuts were made at other CBS stations throughout the country. What a terrible day for journalism.

What John McCain is doing...

...and what a select number of Republican strategists think he should be doing.

Al Gore...

...no, a story that has nothing to do with (what I think are a media-sponsored, controversy-driven, ill-considered) ideas of him being the brokered presidential candidate. Instead, this has to do with Al Gore, the man determined to make us talk about the environment and global warming.

Political campaigning, the media and the Internet world

It's a fascinating combination, with each bringing to bear skills and values (perhaps thre are better terms to use) that compliment and challenge the others.

From the athletes' perspective

This is a fantastic article -- it gets to the heart of what many potential U.S. Olympic athletes are thinking: How to separate their about-to-be realized goal of being an Olympian with Chinese policies in Darfur, Tibet and elsewhere.