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On Second Thought
 

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.
  

Lucasville Riot Coverage Demonstrated Resourceful Journalism

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 16, 2012
It hit me a few days ago. Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the bloody Easter uprising at Ohio’s crowded, racially tense maximum security prison at Lucasville. That deadly riot, the longest prison riot in American history, was The Enquirer’s finest hour.   

How Media React to Errors Is Enlightening

1 Comment · Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Given the news media’s historic reticence about admitting screw-ups, I have no idea whether we are more or less ethical than in recent decades. What has changed is the likelihood that unspeakable puffery and blatant conflicts of interest are likelier than ever to be caught and publicized.  

Addition of Wilkinson Adds Muscle to WVXU

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 17, 2012
WVXU’s decision to hire retiring Enquirer politics reporter Howard Wilkinson is the rare bright spot in the increasingly constricted world of local news gathering. Adding him to WVXU’s reporting staff scored a twofer for news director Maryanne Zeleznik. In addition to his sense of local and state politics, Howard is as passionate and knowledgable about the Reds.   

A Brit’s Hard Look at Sgt. Robert Bales

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Rarely do foreign journalists’ brutal criticism of American actions or policies get space or time in our mainstream news media. That’s too bad. What passes for comment and debate here is a pretty constipated exercise.     

Kony Video Is Manipulative But Effective

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I finally watched the 30-minute online video, Kony 2012, calling for the capture or killing of African terrorist Joseph Kony this year. With an estimated 100 million views so far, it’s an interesting example of manipulation of social media.  

Seed Catalogs a Throwback to Yesteryear

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 7, 2012
A printed news source I can’t do without comes unfailingly in the mail: seed catalogs.  Forget Hindu, Jewish, Chinese or Gregorian new years. Delivery of the first seed catalogs starts my new year before Thanksgiving.     

Article Highlights Cost-Effective Charities

1 Comment · Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Years ago, after speaking at a local Catholic high school on the students’ duty to give intelligently when they donate to charity, a student grabbed my arm en route to lunch of grilled cheese s  

Publisher’s Threat to President Tests Free Speech

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Atlanta publisher Andrew B. Adler’s “kill Obama” column challenges my “fight-words-with-words” standard response to vicious publications and speech. It never should have been published. No, he’s not a racist, anti-Semitic crank or advocate of sex among boys, clerics and coaches. Sick as they are, I wouldn’t muzzle them so long as they are willing to accept the consequences.    

Media Help Reveal the ‘True’ Ron Paul

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Dwelling on any presidential aspirant’s personal history, proposals and promises invites accusations of bias that mainstream news media fear most. That might explain reluctance to hammer Ron Paul for views he espouses now or previously published.