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On The Media

The Forbidden Dance

Friday, June 24, 2005

The New York Observer recently took note of an odd political flirtation developing between none other than the junior senator from New York and the News Corp. mogul from Australia. Ben Smith wrote the piece, “The Odd Couple ’08,” and joins Brooke to discuss how a Clinton/Murdoch alliance could benefit ...

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On The Media

Snap, Crackle…

Friday, June 10, 2005

A certain anxiety has been visible for some time in the headlines of the nation's hottest real estate markets. Namely, how long can housing prices keep going up? Bob talks with Slate.com columnist Daniel Gross about media coverage of what many fear to be a housing bubble, and why everyone ...

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On The Media

Seminal Influence

Friday, June 10, 2005

In 2001, Slate.com deputy editor David Plotz set out to tell the tale of a millionaire businessman turned modern eugenicist, who wanted to impregnate young women with the sperm of Nobel prize-winning men. But Plotz himself became part of the narrative when he brought together family members, helping to propel ...

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On The Media

Africa Unplugged

Friday, June 03, 2005

Five years ago, some media investors saw a big opportunity in sub-Saharan Africa. With the help of the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC), they created TV Africa, a pan-African entertainment and education network. But a mere three years later, the plug was pulled on TV Africa. Brooke talks to ...

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On The Media

[Ahem]

Friday, June 03, 2005

This week, journalism's most mysterious anonymous source, Deep Throat, revealed himself to be former G-man W. Mark Felt. Media portrayals have cast him, alternatively, as a crusader driven by affection for the Bureau or a disaffected bureaucrat with an axe to grind. Bob reflects on the media's final installment of ...

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On The Media

Hard Corps

Friday, May 27, 2005

It’s a ritual of diplomacy we’ve all come to expect - foreign dignitary visits White House, and the two leaders hold a press availability. But when Afghan president Hamid Karzai dropped in this week, many White House reporters took a pass. White House staffers reportedly scrambled to fill empty seats ...

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On The Media

When the Eddy Breaks

Friday, May 27, 2005

Circulation for the Christian Science Monitor has plummeted in recent decades, and costly broadcast ventures by the organization haven’t helped. Recently, the Monitor named a new top editor, who, incidentally, is not a practicing journalist but rather a longtime church member. Is the paper in the midst of its most ...

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On The Media

War Porn

Friday, May 27, 2005

There was a time that novelist Jim Lewis favored the wide publication of graphic war photos. Like many others, he believed that they accurately conveyed the real horrors of war. But after photographing the aftermath of a horrific atrocity in Congo, Lewis changed his mind. In the wake of the ...

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On The Media

News Weak

Friday, May 20, 2005

Newsweek lied, people died. At least that has seemed to be the shorthand adopted by many news organizations in the aftermath of Newsweek's retracted item about alleged abuses at Gitmo. Cable news pundits have gone apoplectic over what they see as the latest in a long line of media indiscretions, ...

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On The Media

Man on the Street

Friday, May 13, 2005

There's a certain kind of story that calls for a few words from "the man on the street." For over a decade, Greg Packer has been that man. A quick search for his name on the Nexis news database will turn up dozens of appearances by Packer in local and ...

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On The Media

Order from on High

Friday, May 13, 2005

Last week, the esteemed American Jesuit magazine America announced that its editor-in-chief, Thomas Reese, was being replaced. It's become clear that Reese was forced out by Vatican officials unimpressed with the magazine's discussion of debates on everything from gay marriage to the ordination of women. Bob talks to National Catholic ...

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On The Media

Mind the Credibility Gap

Friday, May 13, 2005

Last fall, a committee at the New York Times set out to examine how the paper could increase its readers' trust. This week, it released its final recommendations. With just under a week to digest the committee's findings, NYT executive editor Bill Keller joins Brooke to talk about improving accuracy, ...

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On The Media

Paper Chase

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Dallas Morning News is caught up in a circulation scandal of its own. But that paper, and its parent company Belo Corporation, have hardly embraced Newsday's model of self-examination. Jim Schutze of the weekly alternative Dallas Observer tells Bob that ignoring the problem doesn't always make it go away.

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On The Media

The Paper Boy Always Rings Twice

Friday, May 13, 2005

Last year, it was revealed that a number of prominent newspapers were exaggerating their circulation numbers to boost advertising revenue. Faced with a crisis, some of those newspapers assigned their own newsrooms to the story unfolding in their boardrooms. Others stayed mum. Bob speaks with media reporter James Madore of ...

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On The Media

Walk-on Story, Runaway Coverage

Friday, May 06, 2005

You don't have to be an obsessive TV watcher to have noticed recent runaway coverage of a certain would-be bride. When Jennifer Wilbanks got cold feet, she made tabloid headlines and left tracks all over the cable news channels, including CNN. But when Jonathan Klein took over as president of ...

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On The Media

Caught In The Balance

Friday, May 06, 2005

Conservatives have long complained about what they perceive as a left-wing tilt in public broadcasting. This week, a front-page story in the New York Times reported that Kenneth Tomlinson, chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is among the critics, and is taking steps to right the leaning ship. Tomlinson ...

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On The Media

Her Majesty's Pugilistic Press

Friday, April 29, 2005

It's election time again – in England. And fresh from watching the political strategy employed during our elections, Tony Blair is facing many of the same criticisms that Bush did. But the similarities stop there. Chief among the differences is that the kind of deference afforded to the president here ...

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On The Media

Jacko Too Icko

Friday, April 15, 2005

Michael Jackson’s trial was expected to be the white-hot celebrity trial of the season. The media are camped out by the courthouse and ready to go, but curiously enough, the public does not seem to be biting. LA Times reporter Robin Abcarian tells Brooke that the case has yielded such ...

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On The Media

Measure by Measure

Friday, April 08, 2005

As the electronic media universe becomes more fractured, and less bound by the physical confines of TVs and radios themselves, traditional methods of gauging audiences are quickly becoming defunct. Enter Arbitron, with a brand new device that will be worn by volunteers, and record every second of audible media they ...

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On The Media

The News from Lebanon

Friday, March 18, 2005

Ever since the 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon has been etched in the minds of many Americans as a dangerous mix of factions and infighting. The competing interests there have created a story that's often hard for Western media to untangle. And so we wondered how ...

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