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Category Archives: Journalism

Which Images Should We Be Looking At?


With all of the protests in the Middle East, we are now being offered a large number of images that we can select from to try and understand what is going on. But few, if any, become emblematic. While there is something to be said for quantity, does it really help us to comprehend, or [...]

“Blood Libel”

A few days after the horrific shootings in Tucson, Arizona, Sarah Palin, whose Political Action Committee put cross-hairs as if aiming a rifle over election districts where Democrats voted for the national health care bill (including that of Representative Gabrielle Giffords), responded:
If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate [...]

Is this what we mean by balanced coverage?

On September 11 the Portland, Maine newspaper, the Press-Herald, published on its front page this photograph of local Muslims praying as they ended the month-long observance of Ramadan. Then the newspaper’s editor and publisher, Richard L. Connor, apologized for having published the photograph and accompanying story:

.We made a news decision on Friday that offended [...]

The Times Says Sometime

The Huffington Post is headlining remarks by New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. from a speech delivered at the International Newsroom Summit in London. Reported on by the EditorsWebLog, Sulzberger responded to a question concerning the New York Times print edition’s future by acknowledging that someday it will no longer exist: “Asked about his [...]

The Post-Fact Society

Timothy Egan’s recent piece  in The New York Times asserts that “forty-six percent of Republicans believe the lie that Obama is a Muslim,” while “twenty-seven percent in the party doubt that the president of the United States is a citizen.” And those who think the president is Muslim, according to a recent Pew survey, think [...]

Traveling with Taliban

—-An extraordinary, modest short film about a group of Taliban fighters was recently shown on Australian television and now appears on the Huffington Post. Despite considerable anxiety about his own safety, Paul Refsdal, a Norwegian cameraman, traveled with a group of men and boys into the mountains of Afghanistan. His work is intimate and revealing, [...]

What is Journalism?

Somehow I don’t think that anyone really knows what journalism is anymore. We do know what the journalistic industry used to be - various institutions telling us what is happening in the world. We have, increasingly, rejected that approach, finding the system manipulative, commercial, high-handed, ethnocentric, and untrustworthy.
Many have adopted the “journal” part of journalism, [...]

A Future for Journalism Schools?

How long can journalism schools keep feeding students into an industry that is staggering? Well, the University of Colorado at Boulder announced today that it will start the process of “program discontinuance” for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Another university committee, according to an AP report, will look into what a new “information [...]

Now We Ban Journalists…

I have great respect for the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, for which I have written articles, the most recent one in the last issue of their magazine on the future of visual journalism (my piece is here). The Foundation also offers coveted residencies for mid-career journalists to study, reflect, and expand their knowledge base [...]

Of Cameras and Machine Guns

In a provocative piece called “Are Cameras the New Guns?,” Gizmodo points out a new and disquieting trend:
“In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.”
It [...]