Journalistic Practice

The Death of News?

Benjamin Adair, Weekend America

In light of the Tribune Company bankruptcy and the massive loan the New York Times just leveraged on its own building, the future of daily journalism looks to be on life support. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Weekend America's Ben Adair debunks the top three myths of the media meltdown and tells us why reports of newspapers' demise have been severely exaggerated.

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Detroit Free Press cuts back home delivery to focus on web

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Free Press announced today a first-of-its-kind plan in the struggling U.S. newspaper industry — emphasizing more online delivery of news and information and cutting back home delivery days.

Detroit Media Partnership CEO Dave Hunke, publisher of the Free Press, said that starting in spring 2009, both the Free Press and the Detroit News — also operated by the partnership — would deliver to homes only on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, the heaviest days for advertising and the most popular papers for readers. But the newspapers will remain available seven days a week at stores, newsstands and coin boxes across Michigan.

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Campaign for journalists' rights in Mexico marks 60th anniversary of Human Rights declaration

Article 19

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ARTICLE 19 launches a campaign to protect those that are at the forefront of reporting human rights abuses and informing the public about the state of the world. Sixty years ago, Latin American countries constituted the largest bloc of the delegations responsible for drafting the first international text setting out freedoms, rights and entitlements for all humanity to claim. One such fundamental right is that to freedom of expression: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

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UW student paper refuses to apologize for anti-gay column, offensive image

Nick Perry, Seattle Times

A column that ran in the University of Washington's student newspaper decrying gay marriage — and illustrated with the image of a man standing next to a sheep — has hundreds of students up in arms. But editors of The Daily are standing behind what they say is free speech.

Organizers of the campus group "Students for a Hate Free Daily" say they expect about 300 people to show up for a campus rally today after more than 1,000 signed up with the group online. The Graduate and Professional Student Senate, meanwhile, passed a resolution this week demanding the paper apologize.

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How should journalists use Twitter?

The Editors, Columbia Journalism Review

In an article headlined, “Citizen Journalists Provided Glimpses of Mumbai Attacks,” The New York Times extolled the virtues of micro-blogging platform Twitter in a breaking-news situation like the one that played out in Mumbai:

The attacks in India served as another case study in how technology is transforming people into potential reporters, adding a new dimension to the news media.

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Washington regulators consider boundaries between journalists, bloggers, lobbyists

CURT WOODWARD, Associated Press

Blogger beware: Washington State regulators are wondering whether online political activism amounts to lobbying, which could force Web-based activists to publicly detail their finances.

In a collision of 21st-century media and 1970s political reforms, the inquiry hints at a showdown over press freedoms for bloggers, whose self-published journals can shift among news reporting, opinion writing, political organizing and campaign fundraising.

State officials are downplaying any possible media-rights conflict, pointing out that regulators have already exempted journalistic blogging from previous guidelines for online campaign activity.

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Former broadcaster sues Univision over slanting news

Meg James, LA Times

A television news director who was fired by Univision Communications Inc. last year for allegedly slanting the news fired back Monday, contending in a lawsuit that company executives shaped stories to woo advertisers.

Jorge Mettey served for five years as the influential news director of Univision's flagship KMEX-TV Channel 34, which is Los Angeles' top-rated station. He was ousted in April 2007 after the company determined that he breached ethics policies in directing news coverage.

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NYPD sued over denial of press credentials

Sewell Chan, City Room/New York Times

In the ever-shifting media landscape of 2008, who, exactly, is a journalist?

That question is at the heart of a lawsuit filed against the Police Department on Wednesday on behalf of three men — Rafael Martínez Alequin, Ralph E. Smith and David Wallis — who say that they were unfairly denied press passes because they work for online or nontraditional news outlets.

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The End of 'objectivity' in new journalism era: a good thing?

Joe Strupp, Editor and Publisher

When Michael Paulson began covering religion for The Boston Globe eight years ago, the paper had no blogs or online video, he did almost no outside speaking work, and the paper's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Catholic church sex scandal was still years away. Today, Paulson finds himself going well beyond the straight news stories of the print edition — to more analysis, public speaking and commentary, and, in just the past few months, a religion-focused blog.

He's not alone. While Paulson, 43, contends the objective approach to reporting is maintained on all fronts, he says that keeping up in so many journalistic outlets can be difficult: "There is a difference between being analytical and being opinionated. A blog is much more challenging because it is first-person. It is very fast, and in the world of blogging, most bloggers are offering opinions all the time. When newspapers add the format of blogging, I am not allowed the leeway of the traditional blogger."

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Neo-Nazis, Obama, and the real domestic terrorists

Dave Niewert, Orcinus

Has anyone else noticed how little coverage the skinhead plot to assassinate Obama has been given?

Eric Ward has noticed:

While the public, political pundits, and even some law enforcement officials have been quick to downplay the actions of Cowart and Schlesselman using words such as “unlikely,” “unsophisticated,” and “bizarre”, these individuals are making a case for who they believe is an American. I can’t help but think back to 2006 when seven men who thought they were working with al-Qaida (but in actuality an FBI informant) were arrested in a plot against Chicago’s Sears Tower.

I can’t help but to ask if Coward and Schlesselman had been self-proclaimed Muslims would these same political pundits and law enforcement officials find themselves so blasé? Would the public write it off as “stupid kids who weren’t serious?”

Doubtful.

I know the looming election has sucked all the oxygen out of the newsroom. And it's true that the plot -- they wanted to kill 102 black people, 14 of them by decapitation, before they culminated their spree with a frontal attack on Obama -- more resembled a dumb fantasy out of a bad action flick than anything likely ever to become a reality.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey