As fires rage in southern California, the U.S. media devoted extensive coverage to the refugees displaced by the disaster and even to the fate of horses and other farm animals.
"In the early months of the 2008 presidential campaign, the media had already winnowed the race to mostly five candidates and offered Americans relatively little information about their records or what they would do if elected," concludes a new study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Buffeted by bad press from recalls of dangerous drugs and public bitterness over high drug prices, the drug industry has decided to cure its ailing image by sponsoring its own TV talk show, hosted by Billy Tauzin, the former GOP congressman who now heads the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
As the internet becomes an increasingly important source of information for the public, government repression is shifting from traditional journalists to bloggers, according to the latest Worldwide Press Freedom Index issued by
A new non-profit group called Pro Publica wants to counter the decrease in real investigative journalism. "The plan is to do long-term projects, uncovering misdeeds in government, business and organizations." Pro Publica will be led by Paul E. Steiger, who served as the top editor of The Wall Street Journal for 16 years. It is the creation of Californians Herbert M.
"I love Red Cross, but I don't trust them completely when they're the ones shooting the video," explained journalism professor and Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) ethics committee member Jerry Dunklee.
Dunklee was speaking at SPJ's recent convention, on a panel titled "Paid and Played: The Ethics of Using Video News Releases." His remarks focused on the ethical issues raised by VNRs. Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) executive director John Stauber and Jim Bayse of the firm Wiley Rein, which represents the Radio-Television News Directors Association, were also on the panel.
Much of the VNR debate is currently focused on legal and policy issues: speculation over what the Federal Communications Commission really meant by fining Comcast for five undisclosed VNRs, and what the agency is likely to do next. But it's also important to address the ethical implications of VNRs. Dunklee did so by relating sometimes abstract guidelines to real-world situations he faced as a reporter and news director in cable and broadcast television.