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Ben L. Kaufman
 
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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...  
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Curmudgeon Notes 1.09.2013

Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond

{CommentsCant} · Tuesday, January 8, 2013
• Here’s a story for local health/medicine reporters: why is Christ Hospital reducing service at its outpatient cardiac rehab center? Recently, patients received this bizarre letter:  “In order to continue the highest level of care for our growing patient volume, we have adjusted our office hours. Effective January 2nd, 2013, (sic) hours of operation for Phase II cardiac reh...  

Small Daily Stunned by Years of Fakery

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Another small New England daily made news at the end of the year. Recently, the Cape Cod Times revealed how it stumbled in a way that had many journalists mumbling, “There but for the grace of God.”  

Correctly Reporting Incorrect Information

1 Comments · Thursday, December 27, 2012
Shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School once again demonstrate a troubling paradox: A news story can be accurate and wrong. The aftermath of the massacre quickly provided reporters with opportunities to put out stories that accurately reported wildly incorrect but seemingly authoritative information.   
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Curmudgeon Notes 12.26.2012

Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond

{CommentsCant} · Wednesday, December 26, 2012
• How a small weekly responds to an unimaginable disaster and scores a world scoop is a lesson in the best of journalism. Poynter online’s Julie Moos described what happened after Newtown Bee associate editor Shannon Hicks heard the initial call over her police scanner.  Hicks drove the mile and a quarter and arrived behind the first dozen police officers. She started taking photog...  

Reporters Should Challenge Candidates on Creationism

3 Comments · Wednesday, December 12, 2012
I’m grateful to the GQ magazine reporter who asked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio about the age of the earth. It raises a vital question for a country where significant numbers of Americans reject much of science from creation to evolution.