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On Second Thought
 

Reporters Should Challenge Candidates on Creationism

3 Comments · Wednesday, December 12, 2012
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.     

Appreciating Non-Mainstream Media

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I value small publications with strong opinions or reporting. The small publications that I turn to live off subscriptions, a few ads, wealthy benefactors, foundations and/or myriad smaller donations.     

The Future and Past of Truth

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The hangover from lies, misinformation and disinformation in the presidential campaign will continue to challenge our understanding of truth.    
  

Off the Record, for the Record

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The perils of “off the record” were never clearer than when President Obama sought the Des Moines Register endorsement last week.
  

Fair & Balanced vs. Accurate and Contextualized

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 17, 2012
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.”   

Presidential Debates: Mile-High Masochism

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 3, 2012
 I dread presidential debates. Other than “gotcha!” moments, when was the last time a presidential debate was more than tired talking point responses to a so-called moderator?   

Reporters Shouldn't Dismiss Race in African Violence

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
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.
  

GOP Rape Discussion Has Cincinnati Roots

1 Comment · Wednesday, September 5, 2012
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.”    

Quote Approval? Oh No You Didn't

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Anyone who cares already knows that the contents of the “official” Congressional Record are bullshit. Members can delete things they’ve said and add things they’ve never said.  

Jon Hughes: the Man, the Myth, the Legend

2 Comments · Wednesday, August 8, 2012
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.”    

NOLA Could Offer Blueprint for Ohio Papers

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 25, 2012
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.  

Rushed Reporting is Nothing New

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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.   

Cincinnati's Hope for a Sole Surviving Daily

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 27, 2012
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 The Enquirer strong enough to provide Cincinnati with printed papers seven days a week as others print fewer daily editions to cut costs and seek elusive profits online.    

Media Ethics and Missteps 101

1 Comment · Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Journalists do stupid things. We err, eavesdrop, plagiarize, fake stories and indulge in coverups that, were anyone else doing it, would leave us roaring with pitying laughter. When we get caught, it’s our version of “stupid criminal tricks.” We also tell you about these missteps, these ethical failures and sometimes criminal acts. That’s why it’s easy to teach my “Media Ethics and Missteps” at UC’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute each autumn. Reality is my textbook.    

Paternalistic Clichés Mar Non-Western Coverage

1 Comment · Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I recognize the patronizing voice in American reporting about countries struggling to find their way out of chaos or recently overturned dictatorships. It rings of the arrogance that too often accompanied our foreign aid, when it wasn’t politically incorrect to refer to used cans of cooking oil as “appropriate technology” for Third World women fetching water.