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Ben L. Kaufman
 

Considering Confirmation Bias at CBS News

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 31, 2013
We can learn from CBS News’ retreat from another major story after fiercely defending its veracity. The primary lesson is the havoc that “confirmation bias” can inflict on news gathering.  

Curmudgeon Notes 12.31.13

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 31, 2013
CBS’ 60 Minutes broadcast an uncritical presentation of National Security Agency’s justifications for its constitutionally suspect surveillance of Americans.   

Curmudgeon Notes 12.11.13

0 Comments · Thursday, December 12, 2013
In all of the remembrances of Nelson Mandela after his death, few stood out as clearly as AP’s interview with his former jailer, Christo Brand.  

Covering Mandela in '63

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Listening to BBC after Nelson Mandela died left me sleep deprived. It was virtually nonstop from midnight to 5 a.m. on WVXU, and BBC demonstrated how a first-class news organization covers a major story.  

Curmudgeon Notes 11.27.13

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Patrick J. Sloyan reconstructed Merriman Smith’s Pulitzer-winning UPI reporting of JFK’s assassination for the May, 1997, American Journalism Review. He also retold how UPI handled the story minute by minute.  

The Macabre Entertainment of JFK Assassination Commemorations

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Fifty years after JFK was killed, I still don’t get the popular fascination with him. And until someone convinces me that it matters to our public policy today, I really don’t care who killed him or what was behind those fatal shots in Dallas.  

Remembering Cairo in 1979

0 Comments · Monday, November 18, 2013
Today, from every news medium I read or hear, Cairo and much of Egypt outside the capital are suffering a nasty hangover from a soured “Arab Spring.”
  

Curmudgeon Notes 11.13.13

0 Comments · Monday, November 18, 2013
With all of the talk about “doing more with less,” it’s time to seriously, thoughtfully resurrect and reconsider the dreaded M Word. It’s not MuthaFuckah.
  

Curmudgeon Notes 11.06.2013

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 6, 2013
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 report.  

Suggesting Ingredients in a Federal Shield Law

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 30, 2013
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 considered “journalism.”