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Ben L. Kaufman
 

Curmudgeon Notes 7.10.13

'Business Courier' redesign, Quebec rail disaster and more media musings

0 Comments · Thursday, July 11, 2013
I’m undecided about the value of the redesigned Cincinnati Business Courier print edition. Previously, the weekly was helpful to a general reader who wanted to follow corporate doings and influence in Cincinnati. Now, I’m less sure of its usefulness.   

'Enquirer' Takes Questionable Approach to Covering Meyers Ordination

Daily refuses to cover "illegal" ordination, but Gannett weekly covers it

2 Comments · Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Thirty-nine years ago, Enquirer editors agreed to cover a global story that still reverberates through some of Christianity’s oldest denominations: the acrimonious debate over whether women may be priests.    
enquirer

Curmudgeon Notes 6.26.2013

Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond

{CommentsCant} · Wednesday, June 26, 2013
• I hope Nelson Mandela is alive and healing when you read this. He’s an old man with a persistent and probably lethal lung problem born from decades in prison.  His colleagues in the ANC are preparing the country for his death and the news media are full of calls for prayer, admonitions against futile hopes for recovery, and assurances that Mandela is getting the best care possib...  

Shield Laws Create Gray Areas

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 26, 2013
 A press card means we’re special until we irritate someone who can ignore it or take it away. It doesn’t matter what level of government is involved; the power to issue a press card is the power to withhold.  
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.