Journalism

Posted by Sheldon Rampton on February 12, 2009

"What happens when media monitors mangle journalism in ways far more severe than the work they're supposed to be appraising?" asks Eric Boehlert, analyzing a supposed critique of liberal media bias by conservative pundit Jonah Goldberg. Boehlert catches Goldberg in numerous distortions and outright falsehoods.

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Posted by Diane Farsetta on February 09, 2009

Stop Government Funded Propaganda"You want to make sure you edit it in the right way," said Major Alayne Conway, who served as a U.S. military public affairs officer in Iraq.

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Posted by Sheldon Rampton on January 30, 2009

On January 26, the New York Times examined "The Epidemic That Wasn't" -- breathless news reporting from the 1980s that predicted an epidemic of irreparable damage to inner-city children whose mothers used crack cocaine. Actually, it turns out, the so-called "crack babies" are doing fine.

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Posted by Sheldon Rampton on January 20, 2009

"In what may be a sign that we're approaching the time for last resorts, discussion of government funding for American journalism is gaining traction," writes Bill Mitchell of the Poynter Institute. "If government funding plans are among our options, let's explore them now, before the pressure's on to accept desperate measures without sufficient time to consider the consequences." In the Los Angeles Times, Geneva Overholser and Geoffrey Cowan point out that American journalism is suffering its own financial crisis, even though more people are consuming news than ever before.

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Posted by Bob Burton on January 17, 2009

There's an aphorism that journalists should "follow the money," but it is sobering to see how few do.

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Posted by Sheldon Rampton on December 30, 2008

Alan Rusbridger, who edits the British Guardian, thinks fear of libel lawsuits from big corporations may have contributed to journalists' failure to adequately report on the dangerous economic decisions that led to the recent implosion of the global financial system. In an article for the New York Review of Books, he recounts his own paper's "most recent serious brush with the British defamation laws" earlier this year when it was sued for libel by Tesco, one of the largest public companies in Britain and the fourth-largest retailer in the world.

The case centered around a report in the Guardian in which Rusbridger admits that the newspaper got some of its facts wrong. It reported correctly that Tesco was using complex financial deals to avoid paying taxes, but its reporters misunderstood the particulars of the arrangement, and "the sums avoided were much less than we had supposed."

The ensuing libel lawsuit from Tesco consumed more than a million dollars in legal fees, and threatened to go to millions more before it was settled out of court.

Posted by Sheldon Rampton on December 30, 2008

Aside from the recent shoe-tossing incident when Bush visited Iraq, there's hardly any coverage of Iraq anymore, as Megan Garber points out in the Columbia Journalism Review. "Per studies from the Project for Excellence in Journalism, the war regularly wins less than two percent of the weekly U.S. news hole," she writes. "And complacency shouldn't keep us from being fairly shocked when, after Iraq's cabinet approved a 2011 deadline for the withdrawal of all U.S.

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Posted by Sheldon Rampton on December 28, 2008

"In the usual process," writes Greg Mitchell, "the U.S. government -- and media here -- are playing down questions about whether Israel overreacted in its massive air strikes on Gaza, while the foreign press, and even Haaretz in Israel, carries more balanced accounts. The early reports on Sunday already reveal the bombing of a TV station and mosque and preparations for an invasion." Mitchell cites eyewitness accounts that describe morgues full of civilians, along with editorial stating that Israel's bombing of Gaza "within the span of a few hours ...

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