Sep
04
2009

Papers Still Deem Reality of War 'in Poor Taste'

Editor & Publisher's Joe Strupp (9/4/09) has an update on U.S. papers' "mixed reaction to the controversial Associated Press photo distributed today of a Marine who died in combat in Afghanistan last month." The picture's inclusion in "a group of images taken by AP photographer Julie Jacobson" predictably was "blasted" by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, whose censure came via "a formal letter of complaint." Strupp reports that the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times ran the photo on its website with an AP story about the images, while the Commercial Appeal in Memphis provided an online photo gallery of all of […]

Aug
07
2009

AP Responds to 'Hit-Us-Over-the-Head Bluntness'

As news comes of "yet another horrific mass shooting by yet another disaffected man armed with ammo and a deep hatred of women"–this time "killing three women and injuring nine more" at a Pennsylvania health club–Jennifer Pozner (Women In Media & News, 8/5/09) notices that "the gunman's stated intention to target only women is eerily similar to the Montreal Massacre of 1989, in which a man opened fire on students after screaming: 'You're women, you're going to be engineers. You're all a bunch of feminists. I hate feminists'": Perhaps it takes this level of hit-us-over-the-head bluntness for media to notice […]

Aug
07
2009

Breaking 60 Years of Hiroshima, Nagasaki Censorship

Hiroshima in America author Greg Mitchell (Editor & Publisher, 8/6/09) has taken a hard look at "the suppression of film and photographic evidence of the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki" that "would play a key role as America embarked on a nuclear era with severe impact still with us today." He gives us a history of how, "in the weeks following the atomic attacks on Japan 64 years ago and then for decades afterward, the United States engaged in airtight suppression of all film shot in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the bombings": This included footage shot by U.S. military […]

Jul
23
2009

'Strength in Bargaining' Still, When Deals 'Done Fairly'

Joe Strupp of Editor & Publisher (7/21/09) is reporting that newspaper union representatives claim a victory of sorts in the Boston Newspaper Guild's refusal to accept a deal that "called for smaller benefit cuts and a furlough, but a higher 8.3 percent salary reduction." The Boston Globe eventually agreed instead to "a 5.94 percent salary cut, a one-week furlough, a pension freeze and healthcare cost increase." Strupp quotes Guild president Bernie Lunzer saying the result "does demonstrate that there is strength in bargaining," that "people can push back" and they "are correct now to question what management is doing, to […]

Jul
17
2009

Va. Daily Confesses Racist Role in 'Dreadful Doctrine'

Editor & Publisher is running a wire item (Associated Press, 7/16/09) on the Richmond Times-Dispatch's recent front-page editorial and website video "expressing regret for supporting the state's fight to maintain separate schools for blacks and whites in the 1950s." The paper's confession of its "central role in the 'dreadful doctrine' of Massive Resistance–a systematic campaign by Virginia's white political leaders to block school desegregation"–functions as testament to both their current integrity and one of the darkest episodes of U.S. journalism. Here's an except: Fifty years ago Virginia had a rendezvous with destiny and came up wanting. It scorned human rights […]

Jun
30
2009

A Massive 'Press Blackout' for a Massive Press Outlet

Calling the six months of unanimous news media silence on New York Times reporter David Rohde's kidnapping "the most amazing press blackout on a major event that I have ever seen," Greg Mitchell (Editor & Publisher, 6/23/09) now wonders if a great debate will break out over media ethics in not reporting a story involving one of their own when they so eagerly rush out piece about nearly everything else. I imagine some may claim that the blackout would not have held if a smaller paper, not the mighty New York Times, had been involved. Or is saving this life […]

May
20
2009

On Bill O'Reilly's (Latest) Ignorant Gloating

Taking note of Bill O'Reilly's "cheerleading the downfall" of newspapers–"he reacted with glee when the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was forced to go Web-only. More recently in his column, O'Reilly similarly wisecracked about the New York Times' financial woes"–MediaWeek editor Mike Shields (Editor & Publisher, 5/18/09) challenges "O'Reilly's theory for why these publications are in such deep trouble": Because they have suddenly shifted radically left in their coverage, and readers are rejecting it. That's why he's happy. That theory doesn't sync with the thinking of most sensible people in the media who understand the industry is going through massive macro changes, and […]

May
06
2009

Economic Misreporting Matches Iraq War Failures

Eyeing a new poll that "revealed that one in four Americans now believe that the 'faux' news delivered by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert is replacing 'real' news sources as viable outlets," Greg Mitchell (Editor & Publisher, 5/5/09) has to wonder "if the remaining (if relatively low) public respect for the press is gone for good": Yes, the delivery platform of the future will change–the Kindle, iPhone apps or rubbery plastic may replace paper everywhere–but the content still has to be credible. And now it must be said: The media blew both of the major catastrophes of our time. I […]

May
05
2009

Greg Mitchell on Fox's 'Grassrootsy' Astroturf

Just one highlight in Brad Jacobson's wide-ranging interview of Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell (Media Bloodhound, 5/5/09) is Mitchell's scorn for "media coverage of the anti-tax tea parties": Greg Mitchell: Most amazing was that they tended to treat it like protests in the past. There have been national abortion rights protests and immigration rights protests and of course anti-war protests and everything spread out around the country. But never, that I'm aware of, has there ever been protests like this that were essentially promoted by a major news organization, that is Fox, who were actually promoting it, not just saying […]

Mar
18
2009

ABC Touts Good News From Iraqi Poll, Downplays Bad News for U.S.

The ABC network, in conjunction with the BBC and Japan's NHK, has repeatedly polled Iraqis about the state of their country and the U.S. occupation. On Monday night (3/16/09) they aired a report that featured findings from the latest poll. Anchor Charles Gibson reported: Every year we have taken an extensive look at where things stand. Polling Iraqis and sending reporters across the country, both at times dangerous undertakings. But this year, extraordinary change, real optimism. 59 percent of Iraqis now say they feel very safe in their communities. And 65 percent say things are going well in their own […]