Shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School once again demonstrate a troubling paradox: A news story can be accurate and wrong. The aftermath of the massacre quickly
provided reporters with opportunities to put out stories that accurately
reported wildly incorrect but seemingly authoritative information.
I’m grateful to the GQ magazine reporter who asked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio about the age of the earth. It raises a vital question for a country
where significant numbers of Americans reject much of science from
creation to evolution.
If this presidential campaign hasn’t been sufficiently enervating, here’s more dispiriting news. Gallup reports that “Americans’ distrust in the media hit a new high
this year, with 60 percent saying they have little or no trust in the
mass media to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.”
It’s time for Western news media to abandon post-colonial guilt when we write and talk about sub-Saharan Africa. I’m talking about the double standard that gives a pass to bloody black
regimes when former white rulers were damned for similar acts.
As surely as the sun revolves around Earth, the gaffe
that keeps giving has its origins in Cincinnati. I’m talking about
Republican Todd Akin, the Missouri anti-abortion senatorial candidate
who stupidly asserted that some rapes are “legitimate.”
Next Wednesday, Jon Hughes steps aside as the central figure in four decades of journalism education at the University of Cincinnati. “Am I going to be able to let go? Watch!” And he laughed at the thought of being “an era.”
The Good and Great of New Orleans have risen up to demand better from Times-Picayune owners and executives. Their
ad hoc citizens group is spitting into the wind. Trying to shame a
newspaper owner is futile. It’s an alien emotion. Economics might humble
owners and executives, but that pain can be passed on to employees.
No one likes to recall his failures. But rushed, wrong CNN/Fox News stories on the Supreme Court’s Obamacare
ruling reminded me of my descent into rushed, botched reporting. My first inkling of trouble at CNN and Fox News came
minutes after the Supreme Court decision. NPR’s Diane Rehm apologized
for saying the court struck down the law. She blamed unnamed news
sources. Others said it was CNN.
I am a pessimist by nature and experience. My inclination still is to trouble-shoot rather than to jump on passing bandwagons. So it is with deep reservations that I admit that maybe, just maybe, Gannett’s years of bloodletting might have left TheEnquirer
strong enough to provide Cincinnati with printed papers seven days a
week as others print fewer daily editions to cut costs and seek elusive