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Ben L. Kaufman
 

Everyone Wins When a Newspaper Covers the News

0 Comments · Monday, September 27, 2010
Most Tristate households didn't buy a Sept. 19 Enquirer. Too bad. Even 10 days later, it's still a good buy. That Sunday's Local Life and Sunday Forum made it one of the best in memory and confirm Editor Tom Callinan's success at retaining a core of his best hard news reporters during brutal staff cuts. We need more of this kind of journalism from our Sole Surviving Daily because no one else has the resources.   

Teaching Media Ethics to Two Generations of News Consumers

0 Comments · Monday, September 13, 2010
Next Wednesday I'll pursue a favorite past time: introducing a class of University of Cincinnati undergraduates to the ambiguities of journalism ethics. We'll talk about virtues and vices, standards and seducers. Our first session probably will include the threatened burning of the Qur'an by a Florida pastor. And in October I'll teach a similar class for UC's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. It's freewheeling — no text, exams or grades.  

The Disappearing Science of Covering Science

0 Comments · Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Mainstream news media have trouble covering science or anything else that involves a process and lacks a winner and loser. It's worse these days since reporters covering that beat often were among the first to be fired in the search for profitability. Probably no one has fared worse from this institutional handicap in recent years than Charles Darwin, especially in the past months during the 150th anniversary of his unsettling book on evolution.   

A New Challenge for the Media: 'Unpublishing'

0 Comments · Monday, August 16, 2010
A Pennsylvania legal case opens up discussion of the perennial tensions among individual desires for privacy and the news media and old thinking versus new media. Should news stories, especially those with embarrassing details, be expunged from online media archives? Can they ever be truly "unpublished" in the digital world?  

Why Fact-Checking Is Even More Important in Today's Go-Go Media World

0 Comments · Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I'm still laughing at the credulity of the NAACP national office, the White House and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack over the firing of Shirley Sherrod. You can't make this shit up. And when I'm done laughing, I want to weep. Some of the brightest people in our public life believe anything that's on the Internet.  

News Sites Trying New Approaches to Handling Anonymous Comments

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I just don't have time for the stupidity, ignorance, anger, obscenities and racism that anonymous online commenting encourages. In a more innocent online era, many daily papers and others opened themselves to online comments. It was to be an instant Letters to the Editor, a more personal connection with the reader. But the resulting toxic stream of comments have led The Enquirer and other Gannett dailies to hire an outside company, Pluck, to intervene on reader online comments.  

Access to Important Sources Often Means Journalists Avoid Controversial Stories

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Access is everything to reporters. We want people to talk to us, to share confidences and documents, to point us to others who will do the same. But there's a price: Don't burn your sources ... which can mean ignoring a story that will prompt the subject to slam the door (figuratively or actually) in a reporter's face. That might be one reason it took Rolling Stone to reveal the contempt for the president and other civilians to whom U.S. military officials in Afghanistan report.  

FTC Studies How to 'Save' Journalism Via Federal Government Intervention

0 Comments · Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The Federal Trade Commission is sticking its nose into the future of journalism. It's not needed. The FTC has enough to do; news is not a monopoly, nor is it a fraud. That hasn't kept staff from studying what already is being studied, drafting issues and suggestions that hardly suggest novelty or media neutrality and laying the groundwork for continued employment of FTC staff while working journalists are being fired by the thousands.  

Conflicts of Interest, Transparency and the Media

0 Comments · Monday, June 7, 2010
When is disclosure of potential or real conflicts of interest sufficient? Or, put another way, when is the absence of disclosure an ethical issue for journalists? This question of transparency provoked an attack on the World Health Organization's recommendations regarding H1N1, and locally it's an issue surrounding Enquirer Publisher Margaret Buchanan's role on the 3CDC board.  

The Media's Jewish Problem

0 Comments · Tuesday, May 25, 2010
When Elena Kagan was nominated for the Supreme Court, an immediate story was that her confirmation would mean "three Jews, six Roman Catholics and no Protestants." The media still have a lingering fixation on Jews. Not Judaism, Jews. Somehow it often seems necessary to identify people by their religion when they're Jews.