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On The Media

Woodstein's Muse

Friday, February 24, 2006

Watching the new DVD release of All the President's Men the other night, Brooke came upon a bombshell, buried in one of the DVD's commentary tracks. It concerns the unlikely genesis of what has become the prevailing symbol of all that is fine in American journalism.

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On The Media

Ain't Gonna Cover War No More

Friday, February 24, 2006

Wall Street Journal reporter Farnaz Fassihi has just completed a three year stint reporting from Iraq. She's written front page dispatches, but may be best remembered for a 2004 personal email in which she described the near-impossible conditions for doing journalism there. When the email went public, it became a ...

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On The Media

Into the Fray

Friday, February 03, 2006

The past year has been a tumultuous one for administrators of public broadcasting, and programmers have had to fend off accusations of political bias. Into the embers of the skirmish steps Paula Kerger, who's just been chosen as the new president and CEO of the Public Broadcasting Service. Bob speaks ...

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Absolut Exhaustion

Friday, January 20, 2006

If you were watching a lot of TV this week, you might have caught the debut of a new Absolut ad. In itself, the spot is hardly revolutionary. What was revolutionary was the accompanying announcement that after 25 years and some 1,500 print ads, Absolut is moving away from the ...

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On The Media

To Swiftboat (v.)

Friday, January 20, 2006

At the start of the 2004 Campaign, John Kerry’s military experience was a political asset. Then came the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, whose smears against the candidate’s military record were picked up and reported uncritically by the media. Last week, there was another attempt at swift-boating, as the GOP-connected ...

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On The Media

Self Worth

Friday, January 13, 2006

$1.13 trillion. That's the net worth of America's 400 richest people, according to the magazine's 2005 tally. But is the Forbes 400 to be trusted? Brooke talks to New York Times business reporter Timothy O'Brien about the list's shaky underpinnings, and about the obsession it constitutes for one of its ...

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On The Media

Leakers and Plumbers

Friday, January 06, 2006

Leaks, part and parcel of the Fourth Estate, were and are a tremendous irritant to the Bush Administration. Back in the early days of the War on Terror, Bob produced this piece on the pros, cons and mechanisms of the ever-present, and indispensable, Washington leak.

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On The Media

Doing the Leak Investigation Dance

Friday, January 06, 2006

In the last days of 2005 the Justice Department announced it was launching an investigation into who leaked that the President had authorized the National Security Agency to wiretap people in the United States without court warrants. Whether the source was a leaker or a whistleblower, a traitor or a ...

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On The Media

Highlights and Lowlights

Friday, January 06, 2006

The OTM 5th anniversary celebration continues as Senior Producer Katya Rogers presents some of the very best and very worst of On the Media through the years. You'll laugh, you'll cry.

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On The Media

The Miracle That Wasn't

Friday, January 06, 2006

Bob reflects on the difficulty of covering the mining tragedy in West Virginia, where a convergence of official misinformation, tight deadlines, and desperation for good news led to incorrect reports that 12 of the 13 miners were alive.

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Aceh Rising

Friday, December 30, 2005

One year ago this week, an earthquake under the Indian Ocean triggered a massive tsunami that left huge swaths of death and destruction across South and South East Asia. In the Indonesian province of Aceh, everything was devastated, including the media. Bob talks to Kathleen Reen of Internews about how ...

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Regret the Error

Friday, December 30, 2005

2005 was a year of self-examination for the media. There were questions about journalistic accuracy and reporting styles, and about the reporting on Hurricane Katrina and the lead-up to war in Iraq. Craig Silverman tracks media mistakes on the website "Regret the Error," and joins Brooke for a recap of ...

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Stealing Books

Friday, December 23, 2005

You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but maybe you can judge a person by the books he steals. Brooke speaks with New York Observer columnist Ron Rosenbaum about the particulars of literary thievery.

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Naming Right

Friday, December 23, 2005

Fiction authors spend a lot of time contriving the perfect title for their books – efforts usually unavailing, as most novels more or less wind up on the worst-seller list. But now there’s a way to improve a novel’s chances. Lulu.com, a company that helps authors self-publish their books, has ...

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On The Media

Bye Bye, Boomers

Friday, December 16, 2005

For years, control of America's news and culture industries has been firmly in the clutches of baby boomers. But a new generation of media-makers is stretching its legs, and it won't be long before references to "The Graduate" are replaced by references to "The Breakfast Club." Slate columnist Jack Shafer ...

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Shill Game

Friday, December 16, 2005

With Christmas just a week away, every gear, gadget and gizmo company on the NASDAQ is vying for your dollars. Wondering which digital camera is best? The tech expert on your local news might be able to help. What you won't learn from these segments, however, is that some "experts" ...

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The Guessing Game

Friday, December 09, 2005

Every day, journalists turn to "experts" to predict the outcome of current political trends. How often are these professional prophets right? Psychologist Philip Tetlock, author of Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?, followed-up on the prognostications of a few hundred "experts." He tells Brooke that ...

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Go West, Young Man

Friday, December 09, 2005

In May, we spoke to the editor of the Spokane Spokesman-Review, which had just netted the city's mayor in an online sex sting. This week, Spokane voters recalled Mayor Jim West in a special election.

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Second Chance at a First Impression

Friday, December 09, 2005

In the days following Hurricane Katrina, we heard stories of chaos and violence in the streets of New Orleans. Only later did it become clear how much of that initial reporting was exaggerated and flat-out false. Bob talks to New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter Brian Thevenot about whether the myths created ...

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Poor Reporting

Friday, December 09, 2005

For tourists in Rio seeking an experience beyond Carnaval and the Copacabana, there are tours of favelas, the infamous Brazilian shantytowns. An enterprising Argentine imported the idea, offering visitors a drive though the villas miserias of Buenos Aires. Reporter Ian Mount looks at what happens when there is a "poverty ...

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