Al-Jazeera English: TV You Can’t Watch on TV

As street protests toppled dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, many Americans turned to Al-Jazeera English for the most comprehensive, informed coverage of those historic developments. But they mostly weren’t watching the channel on television. That’s...

Justice for a 9-Year-Old Girl’s Killers in the Courts and in Print

A chilling trial is underway in Tucson for the murder of 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father. According to eyewitness testimony from her mother (the attackers thought she was dead), Brisenia pleaded with anti-immigration vigilantes who had invaded her own home,...

Renovating The New York Times Op-Ed Section

The New York Times recently named Trish Hall its next op-ed editor. She’s going to call the shots regarding who gets a guest spot in the nation’s premiere opinion pages, which typically feature brilliantly written, sharply argued, and perfectly edited...

Ripping off Newspaper Websites Shortchanges Democracy

There’s a feast raging on the Internet. Websites and bloggers are helping themselves to huge servings of whatever newspapers offer online. People who run content-starved outlets steal articles from newspapers’ websites and post them on their own sites,...

Meet the New Media Monopoly

For more than a century, American law has recognized the destructive power of corporate monopolies. When one company controls an entire resource, means of production, or delivery system for products, it gets an unfair advantage over competitors. It can overcharge them...

Protect Public Media

Since NPR terminated its contract with political analyst Juan Williams, it has been open hunting season on the broadcasting network in Washington, with a handful of lawmakers and political pundits launching an all-out assault to take down public media. This...

WikiLeaks: Caveat Lector

Reading WikiLeaks cables is like eating a box of chocolates. You never know what kind you’re going to get. Some may be nutritious, but others may rot your teeth. Certainly, some of these cables revealed important issues. Yet you should view these leaks with some...

Audio-Visual Accountability

Political pundits moan that video cameras on the campaign trail stifle candidates from saying much of anything, for fear a gaffe will ruin their careers. That happened to George Allen. At a campaign stop in 2006, the former Senator (R-VA) was caught on tape repeatedly...

How about Saving all the Miners?

Remember the joy shared by millions around the world as we watched as the Chilean miners were rescued one by one? Celebrating their survival made me wish that the global mining industry could find itself in the spotlight too, with lights glaring at each aspect of its...

Responsible for his own Words

You’ve probably heard by now about the latest outrage against free speech committed by the supposedly Radical Left-Wing Mainstream Media. Juan Williams, Fox News’s house black liberal, was fired from his day job at National Public Radio because he told...
Public TV? It Would Be a Good Idea

Public TV? It Would Be a Good Idea

Asked by a reporter what he thought of Western civilization, Mahatma Gandhi supposedly replied, “I think it would be a good idea.” The same could be said about U.S. public television. Public TV was created 40 years ago because the public understood that...

Much Ado about Non-News Stories

Did you see those pictures of Michelle Obama sashaying around Europe–Spain I think it was–and staying at that fancy hotel? I mean, who does she think she is, Nancy Reagan? Isn’t she kind of getting ahead of herself, putting on airs? Whoa! Wait a...

The Gambia: A Dictator’s Anti-Media War

The disappearance of editors and journalists, destruction of property and threat of imprisonment and harm by Jammeh’s National Intelligence Agency officers mean Gambian media outlets must either praise the ruling party or close their doors. Alagi Yorro Jallow,...

Tea Party Should Attack Military Spending

Tea party activists from coast to coast are trashing big government generally, and big government spending in particular. They tick off ways that they think the government should save money. Stop the bailouts. No more earmarks. Repeal health-care reform, even though...

Comcast-NBC Merger Is a Bad Deal

When you watch the news or read the paper, it’s not hard to find evidence of the negative impact of media consolidation. As media companies get bigger, local news and in-depth reporting take a backseat to sensationalism and celebrity gossip. Now there’s a...