The Media Biz

On The Media

Un-De-DeClassification

Friday, April 28, 2006

Two months ago, a historian in Washington discovered that intelligence operatives were secretly re-classifying documents in the National Archives. This week, an internal investigation at the Archives concluded that about a third of the records pulled from the shelves should not have been reclassified. Brooke speaks with J. William Leonard, ...

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On The Media

With All Due Respect

Friday, April 21, 2006

This week, White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters something they didn’t know. To wit: he will soon be stepping down, for good, from the podium. Reporters might have seldom gotten what they wanted from his daily briefings. But taken as a whole, his tenure speaks volumes about the ...

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On The Media

Equal Slaying Field

Friday, April 14, 2006

Even before the facts were in, few media watchers were shocked by the notion that journalistic ethics might be an afterthought when dishing about the famous. But it wasn’t always so. The architect of the modern gossip industry was Walter Winchell, who had his own keen, if unique, sense of ...

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On The Media

It’s a Dirt-y Job

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Big Apple is powered by gossip, but the electrical grid nearly overloaded last week when the best gossip was about the gossips themselves. The case continues to be fought in the court of public opinion as nearly every paper spills ink bemoaning our lurid fascination with those who live ...

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On The Media

What Happens On The Reservation …

Friday, April 07, 2006

A year ago this week, students at Red Lake Senior High School on the Ojibwa Reservation in Northern Minnesota returned to school after the most deadly school shooting since Columbine. No community can ever be prepared for a tragedy like that. But in Red Lake, the inevitable media frenzy consisted ...

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On The Media

… Stays On The Reservation

Friday, April 07, 2006

One of the few reporters who had access to the Red Lake community and its tribal leaders after the shooting was Dorreen Yellow Bird, a reporter at the Grand Forks Herald and a Native American herself. A couple of weeks ago, Yellow Bird was asked back to Red Lake for ...

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On The Media

Regrets Only

Friday, March 31, 2006

You are a White House reporter, invited for a rare sit-down meeting with the President. The only condition is that the conversation, whatever it covers, will be strictly off-the-record. Do you agree to talk with the President on the President’s terms? Knight Ridder White House correspondent Ron Hutcheson weighs the ...

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On The Media

Despots In The Dock

Friday, March 24, 2006

For countries bedeviled by war crimes, genocide and all manner of trauma it’s been described as the last resort for justice - the international war crimes trial. Part media spectacle, part history lesson, part political scorecard, part attempt at truth and reconciliation the trials have evolved into a messy media ...

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On The Media

Revolution on Ice

Friday, March 24, 2006

By the time the polls closed last weekend in Belarus, protesters had already taken to the street, alleging vote-fraud and strong-arm tactics by President Alexander Lukashenko. The so-called Denim Revolution had many of the marks of other recent resistance efforts – in Ukraine, in Georgia, and Serbia. But in the ...

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On The Media

China’s Red Pen

Friday, March 17, 2006

On Friday, the Chinese government announced it was dropping its case against jailed New York Times researcher, Zhao Yan. His imprisonment points to the essential conflict of Chinese journalism: communist leaders trying to navigate global free markets without surrendering to the free market of ideas. Bob talks to David Bandurski, ...

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On The Media

China’s Blue Pencil

Friday, March 17, 2006

A sudden flourishing of investigative journalism in China has created a Wild West atmosphere – crusading reporters and editors blazing away at the powers that be. But this is taking place in the authoritarian East, where communist party officials make examples of news organizations deemed too quick on the draw. ...

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On The Media

A New Day

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Newspaper Guild represents the interests of some 34,000 journalists and they’re preparing to bid on the 12 newspapers that McClatchy is selling. If their offer is successful the purchase will create an unprecedented chain in which employees own the majority of the stock and thus the papers themselves. Linda ...

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On The Media

Knight Shadows

Friday, March 17, 2006

Caught in the anxious middle of the Knight Ridder deal are employees of the twelve newspapers scattered around the country, which have just changed ownership and will be changing hands again sometime soon. David Hanners, general assignment reporter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, joins Bob to discuss daily journalism ...

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On The Media

Knight Moves

Friday, March 17, 2006

Knight Ridder, publisher of 32 papers across the country, was bought this week by the McClatchy Company – an outfit roughly half its size. McClatchy plans to keep only 20 of its newly-purchased properties and put the rest up for sale. Buzz Merritt was a Knight-Ridder employee for more then ...

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On The Media

News Scrap (It's On!)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC's Countdown, has a weekly segment called "the worst person in the world," and frequently awards that honor to Bill O'Reilly, of Fox's O'Reilly Factor. Recently, O'Reilly cracked. He said anyone who spoke Olbermann's name on his program would hear from Fox security and apparently, at ...

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On The Media

Smooth Operator

Friday, March 10, 2006

For years, even when it was a near monopoly, AT&T managed to do the impossible with a surprising degree of success. It managed to convince us that a huge corporation could be our friend. But despite its pioneering command of public relations, its omnipotence was never far from view. Claude ...

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On The Media

Captain Candidate

Friday, March 03, 2006

Mid-term elections are starting to heat up and the press is in hot pursuit of themes around which they can organize their coverage - for example, "Democrats in disarray" or "Republicans mired in scandal." But those seem a little tired. So the media have been quick to pounce on a ...

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On The Media

Re-musing Ourselves

Friday, March 03, 2006

The late media critic Neil Postman argued in his seminal book "Amusing Ourselves to Death," that as TV prevailed over the printed word, it impaired our ability to make sense of a world of information. Jay Rosen writes the blog, PressThink and is a professor at NYU, where Postman taught. ...

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On The Media

Live from the Briefing Room

Friday, March 03, 2006

The White House spokesperson has briefed the press live on TV regularly since 1998 when Clinton Press Secretary Mike McCurry allowed CNN's cameras go live. The result is that the public can watch as reporters do the dirty work of trying to get answers from the spokesperson. Theatrics are a ...

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On The Media

The Spoils of Oil

Friday, March 03, 2006

The American oil industry is funneling some of its massive 2005 profits into a P.R. campaign designed to play down the size of the profits, and play up the industry's good will. First, Bob talks with Red Cavaney, president of the American Petroleum Institute, the group behind the ad campaign. ...

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