How Bob Simon, Brian Williams Present a Parable of the Digital Age (PBS MediaShift)

(Feb. 13, 2015) It’s not about you; it’s about the story. That’s what we tell TV journalism students. The tragic death of 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon reminds us that even in the video selfie culture of TV news, accurate reporting matters. Bob’s death after a lifetime of covering conflict comes against the backdrop of […]

J-School Survival Tools (Chronicle of Higher Education)

(Nov. 11, 2013) I recently learned that the publisher of a rural daily newspaper in Washington State, an alumnus of our university, was angry at me. I believe, he’d told a colleague, that print is dead. I was perplexed. Then I recalled that he had visited our college a few years ago, when we were […]

Al Jazeera America: Think NPR with pictures (and a little baggage) – CJR.com

(Aug. 26, 2013) Al Jazeera joined the American TV lineup last week with minimal damage to the republic. There was no sign of bin Laden, no call for jihad, and no ranting about the evils of the American empire—just a workmanlike recounting of the day’s events, interspersed with testimonials from fresh-scrubbed young reporters, most recently […]

Journalistic Firebombs in the Middle East: Is it our job to inflame or inform? (CJR.org)

(Sept. 27, 2012) The pen is mightier than the sword, but it is also far more lethal when manipulated irresponsibly. Consider Charb. There is a ridiculous photo circulating on the web showing the editor of Charlie Hebdo (Charlie Weekly), the French satirical magazine. He goes by the name Charb, and in one hand he holds […]

Washington State’s Rural Information Ghettos (The Seattle Times)

(June 18, 2012) In huge sections of Washington, citizens have little or no access to news about what is taking place in their own communities. The situation is particularly grim in areas populated by minorities and on some of the vast Native American reservations. By Lawrence Pintak Special to The Times THE city manager was […]

Ira Glass’s Casablanca Moment with Mike Daisey (CJR.org)

(March 20, 2012) Over the weekend, as just about anyone with electricity knows by now, the public radio program This American Life fell on its sword over its bad Apple episode. The gesture was a noble one. As CJR’s Ryan Chittum put it: With the stunning news that This American Life is retracting its episode […]

POWs, Dead Dictators, and Journalistic Ethics (CJR.org)

(Oct. 27, 2011) The young Iranian prisoner was no more than fourteen, still caked with a thick layer of dust from the battlefield. He was among thousands of old men and young boys being held in an Iraqi POW camp somewhere outside Basrah. It was September 1980, the early weeks of the Iran-Iraq War, and […]

Indonesian Journalism: Lessons for the U.S.? (CJR.org)

Published on CJR.org Feb. 4, 2011 American journalism is, as they say, “in transition.” But while the import of traditional values such as accuracy, balance, and professionalism are under question in the U.S., they remain the gold standard in places throwing off the yoke of autocratic rule and media control. That is reinforced in a […]

Borderless Journalism in Gaza: BBC, CNN-I, and Al Jazeera English offer nuanced coverage of Gaza war

CAIRO (Jan. 21, 2009) – In television terms, Gaza has been déjà vu all over again. U.S. television has been dominated by talking heads parroting Israel’s talking points, the wide shots of bombs exploding and smoke pillars that have become the white noise of Middle East conflict, and the occasional glimpse of a body bag. Here […]

America’s Media Bubble (NYT/Int’l Herald Tribune)

CAIRO (Oct. 19, 2006) — The United States no longer controls the script. That’s a reality Democratic congressional leaders must digest as they seek to recast America’s relationship with the world. There used to be a time when the U.S. media wrote the global narrative. The world saw itself through a largely American camera lens. […]