The Hottest TV Drama in 2012

The Hottest TV Drama in 2012

There’s a drama playing out on American TV screens. It features villains and heroes, as well as big bucks and political intrigue. There may even be a happy ending by the time we see the turbulent finale. But the plot is unfolding off-screen, in corporate...
The Great Local News Heist

The Great Local News Heist

If you turn on your local evening news, you may not notice anything out of the ordinary. But if you change the channel, you’ll think you’ve entered a parallel universe. The same reporter may appear on three supposedly independent stations, reading the same...
Powder in the Eyes in Algeria

Powder in the Eyes in Algeria

The endgame unfolding in Libya is having profound effects throughout North Africa and the Middle East. The revolution still rages on as Gaddafi’s relatives pour into Algeria, where the implications of the last battle in Sirte have profoundly impacted the...
Newspaper Nostalgia

Newspaper Nostalgia

It’s been a little more than 50 years since I first walked into the Des Moines Register newsroom to begin a career in journalism. It was a beat-up scruffy place filled with beat-up scruffy people, almost all men. They worked in a big room lined with gray steel...
The War against Witness

The War against Witness

Former Army Intelligence officer Adrienne Kinne has a very valuable open secret which, if told under oath, could lead to the first ever conviction of U.S. soldiers on war crimes charges. But since she told her story publicly in an interview with journalist Amy Goodman...
10 Years of 9/11 Wars is Enough

10 Years of 9/11 Wars is Enough

The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is sure to bring televised images of somber reflection. Looking back is, in some ways, easier for commentators and pundits than wrestling with the current state of Washington’s so-called “war on terror.” The...
People-Powered Media

People-Powered Media

After their state passed universal healthcare legislation this spring, Vermonters were surprised by a gaping omission in national news coverage: they weren’t in it. Despite a statewide grassroots campaign that demanded the historic legislation, most news reports...
Murdoch Gets Caught Red-Handed

Murdoch Gets Caught Red-Handed

Rupert Murdoch, the Australia-born media tycoon, finally got his you-know-what caught in the wringer. Murdoch’s unethical newspapers hacked thousands of private phone messages, including those of actors Hugh Grant and Jude Law, as well as Prince William and...
End the Annual Fluff Outbreaks

End the Annual Fluff Outbreaks

The news media didn’t even wait until summer had officially started this year to begin serving summer fare: fluffy and titillating stories, good for mindless beach readers and lazy reporters in vacation mode, but lacking the public-interest value we need from...
Tell the People about the People’s Budget

Tell the People about the People’s Budget

If you listen to the pundits and TV commentators, the federal budget problem has a simple solution: cuts, cuts, and more cuts. They cheer politicians for making “tough choices,” which usually entails taking money away from schools, stiffing public workers,...

Volunteer Writers May Be Part of Journalism’s Future

I’m a volunteer blogger for the Huffington Post. I have a job writing for other entities, but I submit my work to the popular website for free to push my writing further into the blogosphere. HuffPo relies on volunteers. It has a core staff of about 150 paid...

The Case for Spending More on Public Broadcasting

Once again, America’s public broadcasters face the real possibility that their federal funding will vanish. This time, opponents are using the results of a dubious sting operation and the federal deficit as rationales for scrapping spending. But during an...
Telling the Story of WikiLeaks

Telling the Story of WikiLeaks

“Scientific journalism.” That is the phrase WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange uses to describe what he does. By posting source documents directly on the Internet, readers no longer need to rely on the journalists’ interpretations. Instead, they...

The Media Flunks WikiLeaks 101

The truth is dear, We must profess; Just don’t seek it, In the press. Maybe we were fortunate that the U.S. press chose to print any WikiLeaks disclosures at all. Given the media’s generally supportive stance of unilateral American foreign policy, it could...