The student paper’s
volunteer adviser, Emily Grannis, who also is a Reporter’s Committee for
Freedom of the Press fellow, talked with student editor John Vodrey on
the phone while he was in the station. That helped Vodrey cite
appropriate state statute and legal language to ask for an incident
I still object to shield laws. They are a de facto
form of licensing reporters. You are your sources are unprotected if
you’re not included in the definition of “journalist” or your work isn’t
I was covering federal courts and agencies for the
Enquirer 17 years ago during the previous lockout. One impression
remains unshakable: most federal employees told to stay home were
offended by the “non-essential” designation. They didn’t think of themselves as bureaucrats, but more
as civil service; apolitical and doing the best job they could with the
resources provided by Congress.
• Accurate reporting requires context. Why is gassing
hundreds of Syrian civilians in Damascus worse than shooting and killing
as many or more civilians about in and around Cairo? Why is the killing
and wounding of thousands in Cairo worse than endlessly raping,
wounding, mutilating and killing millions of civilians in the horribly
misnamed Democratic Republic of Congo?
• I was at UPI in London during the 1963 March on Washington. I read about it in London dailies and the Paris Herald-Tribune. Since then, all kinds of “marches” on Washington have cheapened the brand. So has the obsessive replaying of snippets from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech as if it were the event. I’m grateful to news media that went further in recalling the m...