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Ben L. Kaufman
 
enquirer

Curmudgeon Notes 6.12.2013

Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond

{CommentsCant} · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
• The Enquirer’s MasonBuzz.com wasn’t honest with readers about the source of its story promoting “National Heimlich Maneuver Day.” It was posted by a reporter but carried the byline of Melinda Zemper. She’s not a reporter and she wasn’t identified as a “contributor.” Zemper is public relations professional whose clients include Hei...  

Much Ado About Court Packing

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Language abuse — as opposed to abusive language — is as old as language itself. After 50-plus years of reporting and editing, I should be used to it, but I’m increasingly irritated by its deliberate, partisan misuse.
  

The Unjustified Contempt for Watchdog Journalism

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 29, 2013
 If sources begin to think twice about contacting us in any fashion other than midnight meetings in darkened parking garages, public service reporting will become an endangered species.
  

The Ethics of Intrusion

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Intruding is something reporters do. Intrusions can be personal, professional, financial or commercial. Or more than one of the above. And, yes, despite inexplicably loud cell phone conversations, awareness of omnipresent smartphone cameras and overly revealing Facebook posts, many Americans still assert their right to privacy.   
enquirer

Curmudgeon Notes 5.15.2013

Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond

{CommentsCant} · Tuesday, May 14, 2013
• Some Cincinnati IRS employees violated IRS rules and maybe the law by harassing scores of Tea Party and similar conservative groups seeking vital nonprofit status.   As an example of IRS intrusiveness, the Enquirer reports that the Liberty Township Tea Party received a questionnaire demanding information the IRS is not allowed to seek. “The letter was signed by a local IRS...  

Media Misses Opportunity with West, Texas, Coverage

0 Comments · Thursday, May 2, 2013
You want news of a real weapon of mass destruction? Try ammonium nitrate fertilizer stored in tanks in the tiny town of West, Texas. At least 14 dead. Hundreds wounded. High school and nursing home blitzed. Dozens of homes destroyed.
  
enquirer

Curmudgeon Notes 5.1.2013

Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond

{CommentsCant} · Wednesday, May 1, 2013
• In a disturbing decision, public radio’s Radiolab (WVXU-FM 8 p.m. Sundays) gave Cincinnatian Phil Heimlich critical control over its March 5 program on Phil’s dad, Henry Heimlich.  Phil arranged the interview with the aging physician, for whom the Heimlich Maneuver is named. However, producer Pat Walters had to promise to exclude the voice of Phil’s estranged younger brother,...  
enquirer

Curmudgeon Notes 4.17.2013

Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond

{CommentsCant} · Wednesday, April 17, 2013
• Tuesday’s Enquirer abandoned its traditional timidity and published bloody color images of victims of Boston Marathon bombings. Good. I’m sure also there were images too ghastly for the breakfast table, but the shift is welcome. The inside image of an elderly runner knocked down by the blast and framed by Boston cops running toward the explosion was another good decision. He co...  

Online Sourcing Implores Healthy Skepticism

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I began this column wondering, “With so many search engines and online sources available, how much is enough?” Before the Internet, phone calls and checking clippings often sufficed.
  

Blurring the Lines on April Fools' Day

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 3, 2013
I’ve written about mindless political correctness, but there was an eye-popping example on HuffingtonPost.com the other day.