WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Frenzied Coverage of Toyota Problems Short on Skepticism and Attribution

1 Comment · Monday, March 29, 2010
We're watching the meltdown of another story that was too good to be true, too vivid and contemporary to challenge: the runaway California Prius. It didn't take long before the California driver's claims were restated as facts: uncontrolled speed, inability to slow or stop and heroic cop who played a role in averting disaster. It made sense if you believed the hype about Toyota problems. It was too good a story.   

Covering the Science Beat for an Increasingly Anti-Science Audience

2 Comments · Monday, March 15, 2010
In today's cultural, intellectual and financial world, I can't imagine a media job with less potential than science reporter. When your sources become objects of public scorn and ridicule, what's to write? In a nation accustomed to seeking simple answers to complex questions and a culture increasingly driven by belief rather than evidence, scientists today often are trying to communicate with the willfully deaf.  

Local Corporations Tried to Control Health Care Costs Before, and They Failed

0 Comments · Monday, March 1, 2010
General Electric boss Jeffrey Immelt wants major businesses to create a regional cooperative to deal with major shortcomings (limited access, rising costs) of our health system. Something similar was tried in 1992, when the big four employers (P&G, Kroger, GE Aviation and Cincinnati Bell) basically sought to control costs by demanding that hospitals demonstrate cost effectiveness. Facing threats to their fees, unhappy physicians used scare tactics to predict a health care crisis as specialists left for more lucrative cities.  

Supreme Court: Let's Fight Words With Words, Not Muzzles

0 Comments · Monday, February 1, 2010
It didn't take long before I realized the true horror of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision freeing corporations to spend freely to support political campaigns. It wasn't the new potential for corruption or wealth drowning out other voices. It's the promise of more campaign ads on local TV.  

Separation Between News Reporting and Opinion Is Like Church and State

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Believe what you want, there is a difference between news and advocacy. Forget that and it's editorializing, a corrosive mixture of news and opinion in the guise of news. Exhibit A: the recent Enquirer story reporting as fact a local woman's ability to foretell the future. If that weren't enough, the paper provided contact information for anyone wanting a private "reading."  

2010 Predictions for the World of Media

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Local journalists aren't exempt from the love/hate generated by the command to compile lists of top stories at the end of each year or decade. More than anything, it's a chance to remind everyone how smart they were when they wrote the first draft of what's become history. But rather than remind you of my failings in the past year or decade, let me suggest what 2010 might hold for the news media.  

Analyzing the Media's Lazy Reporting on ACORN

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Last fall ACORN's alleged promotion of voter registration fraud and voter fraud got lots of media attention during the 2008 election campaign. The right wing's assault on ACORN and news media complicity are the subjects of an independent media study by Peter Dreier and Christopher Martin: "Manipulating the Public Agenda: Why ACORN was in the news and what the news got wrong."  

Does Free News Content on the Web Still Make Sense?

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Let's make this column local local or, as the new conventional wisdom sometimes puts it, hyperlocal: How much would you pay to read The Enquirer online if it quit being free? Or, if the main news section remains free online, which features would you pay for: Op-ed columnists? Tweets? Blogs? Moms? Are you willing to give The Enquirer your credit card and let them nick you for every article you pull from behind the pay-to-read wall? Lots of other dailies are gingerly sticking their toes in the roiled water of paid online content.  

Aug. 26-Sept. 1: Worst Week Ever!

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Today the newspaper with the funniest arrest stories in town took another step forward by posting a series of poll questions asking what fast-food places offer the best value for a poor person’s $5. Among The Enquirer's choices were the Subway $5 Footlong, the KFC $5 Fill up Box, assorted value menus and whatever amount of chili you can get for $5. Enquirer editors said they would have included spending $5 at a grocery store but that shit takes too long.  

Jim Adams and the Death of Religion Reporting

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Jim Adams set a high standard for religion reporting in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Post was strong in those days, and Jim was one of those strengths. He died recently. At important press conferences and events, Jim would be there, writing with a pencil stub on folded sheets of newsprint. If he ever had a notebook like mine with REPORTER printed on its cover, I never saw it. A pencil stub (useful for editing as well) and the paper on which his words would be printed sufficed.   

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