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Ben L. Kaufman
 

Deconstructing Media Coverage of Pope Francis

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 19, 2013
After Benedict XVI quit and before cardinals began voting for his successor, daily news-free news stories left us as ignorant as the day before. Until Francis’ election, nothing really happened. That’s one reason NPR received 200-plus complaints, its ombudsman reported, mostly about 47 stories running during the four weeks between popes.      
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New 'Enquirer' Tabloid Out Today

Ben Kaufman says it looks nice, arrived on time

{CommentsCant} · Monday, March 11, 2013
Enquirer reporters and editors should be satisfied with their initial tabloid effort. Today’s inaugural edition — smaller and printed in Columbus — is a curious hybrid. It arrived on time. It feels and looks like a tabloid, but it reads like a familiar Enquirer rather than something exciting and new.  That might not be bad. Others — who haven’t spent 50-plus year...  
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Curmudgeon Notes 3.6.2013

{CommentsCant} · Wednesday, March 6, 2013
• The satirical website, The Onion, added kiddie porn to the Academy Awards. It tweeted about the 9-year-old Oscar nominee for Best Actress: “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right? #Oscars2013.” Miss Wallis was nominated for Best Actress in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Traditional and new media exploded with contempt bu...  

Something Old, Something New

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I hope the tabloid Enquirer holds current subscribers and attracts new readers, especially folks who are drawn more to the visual than the verbal. Publisher Margaret Buchanan promises its debut Monday. Trucks will bring it from Columbus, where it’ll be printed on Dispatch presses.   

The Implied Menace of the ‘Jewish Lobby’

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 20, 2013
So what is it about Jews? Not only real Jews but also fearful fantasies about Jews. I ask because so many mainstream reporters, bloggers and columnists seem fascinated and repelled by the implied menace of “the Jewish lobby.”
  
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Curmudgeon Notes 2.20.2013

Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond

{CommentsCant} · Tuesday, February 19, 2013
 • Giovanna Chirri, the veteran Vaticanista who understood the pope’s Latin, broke the news that he’d just announced his resignation. She works for the Italian news agency, ANSA. Her skill recalled Ernest Sackler at Rome’s UPI bureau when I was a photojournalist stringer during John XXIII’s papacy. Ernest truly understood Vatican Latin well enough to turn it into flowing Englis...  
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Curmudgeon Notes 2.06.2013

Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond

{CommentsCant} · Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Be suspicious of statistics that suggest a reporter doesn’t understand, doesn’t care or knowingly isn’t telling us everything the numbers do. For instance, we have tens of thousands of firearm deaths every year in our country. Uncritical reporting suggests these are homicides that buybacks or proposed federal gun controls could prevent or reduce. Nope. The Centers for Disease Control an...  

Media Slacks on Calling Out Undocumented Quotes

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Typically, invoking a Great Man to settle an argument involves Lincoln, Twain, Stalin, Churchill, Chief Seattle, etc. Hitler is a provocative new favorite. Among some gun control foes, quoting Hitler proves what will happen if Obama has his way: gun registration, confiscation and tyranny.
  

Public Records Are Such For a Reason

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 23, 2013
When a reporter uses the law to pry public records from resisting officials, readers are supposed to benefit. And when readers value that invocation of open records laws, it adds luster to the reporter’s work.
  
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Curmudgeon Notes 1.23.2013

Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond

{CommentsCant} · Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Enquirer reporter Sharon Coolidge’s use of open records law documented Cincinnati’s lax enforcement of lead paint removal orders. She told CityBeat that her coverage included positive impacts in addition to those above in my main column: The day after her story was published, Mayor Mark Mallory ordered health officials to explain why they hadn't forced problem landlord...