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Ben L. Kaufman
 

Media Sloppiness Leads to Guilt by Association

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Why associate a homicide with an apparently unrelated business? A recent Enquirer story said an Over-the-Rhine shooting was "a block south of Findlay Market." The headline said it was "near Findlay Market." Nothing in the story said or indicated the victim or shooter had anything to do with Findlay Market except proximity. Would The Enquirer say "a block south of P&G" in a story that doesn't tie a homicide to the corporation? Not likely.  

Tea Party Candidates Painted Media as Enemy

1 Comments · Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Partisan campaign violence and intimidation are worrying, especially when elected leaders remain silent. It's as if Republicans know the radical fringe could turn on them. Egregious examples are Tea Party favorites. Given public perceptions of Tea Party power, that suggests the next two years will be ugly as reporters try to elicit useful information from Republican winners, candidates and operatives.  

The Media's Role in Covering All Election Candidates

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I'm troubled by the unjustifiable exclusion of minor party candidates from Ohio campaign debates sponsored by the news media. Criteria I've seen for inclusion remind me of the tests faced by blacks at some Southern election boards and polling places. They're designed to affect the elections by excluding persons who should be included. Stripped of other roles, that of informing voters is the foundation for our continued free press.  

Peeking Inside the Department of 'Corections'

0 Comments · Monday, October 11, 2010
My favorite reading includes corrections. Everyone errs. Some admit it and correct their errors. Graphs, maps and percentages figure prominently in corrections, but names of people and places most often seem to trip us up. Get a name wrong, and it becomes journalism history if not local legend. Unless it's corrected, others reporters may rely on that spelling and get into all kinds of trouble.   

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.