Journalistic Practice

Three key rules of media behavior shape their discussions of "the 'torture' debate"

Glenn Greenwald, Salon

Karl Rove on torture prosecutions:

It is now clear that the Obama White House didn't think before it tried to appease the hard left of the Democratic Party.

Gloria Borger on Karl Rove:

When Rove speaks, the political class pays attention -- usually with good reason.

Read more.

Lack of newsroom diversity is one cause of newspaper crisis

Mark Fitzgerald, Editor and Publisher

Minority journalists warned for years that diversifying newsrooms was critical to newspapers' survival. The industry's failure to make more than the barest progress towards diversity partly explains its current crisis, the president of the umbrella group for journalists of color said Tuesday.

"We've been screaming for years that this is about survival," said Rafael Olmeda, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel assistant city editor who heads Unity: Journalists of Color Inc. "The industry failed to make changes, and now it is now reaching the audience it wanted to reach."

Read more.

From laid off Seattle reporter to accidental web entrepreneur

Renay San Miguel, TechNewsWorld, TechNewsWorld

It's been another eventful week in the continuing original drama, "The Death of Journalism As We Knew It."

Our story so far:

  • Near the beaches of San Diego, the leadership of the Associated Press drew a line in the sand Monday by announcing at its annual members meeting that it would sic its lawyers on online news aggregators that illegally use its material. It's also going to develop technology that will track its content usage. And although AP chairman Dean Singleton didn't mention its name, Google apparently was hounded enough in the Guilty Conscience department that it felt compelled to blog about its license to scrape AP content and its ability to help newspapers stay afloat with ad revenue.
  • The next day, near those same sunny Southern California beaches, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told the Newspaper Association of America that it is imperative they find a new Web business model that included mobile options -- but please don't give up on those online advertising revenues. Say, did we mention that Google can help you sell those ads and is working on mobile options?
  • On that same day in Dallas, reporters, photographers and editors at the Morning News started getting the dreaded human resources calls they were warned about in January as parent company A.H. Belo began implementing personnel cuts. The Metro section was gutted; sports also took a big hit, which can mean only one thing: The Cowboys/Mavericks/Rangers/Stars must be moving en masse to San Antonio. Dmncuts.blogspot.com gave those laid off, and those who remained, a chance to vent.
Read more.

Reporter's equipment confiscated at veterans event

Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press, Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press

A Washington D.C.-based radio reporter says his audio storage device was inappropriately confiscated Tuesday by Veterans Affairs officials after he interviewed a patient at a VA Medical Center forum.

VA officials claim they intervened after the reporter "took advantage" of the patient, who was undergoing medical treatment.

Read more.

Bail out journalism

Rosa Brooks, LA Times

This will be my last column for the L.A. Times. After four years, I'll soon be starting a stint at the Pentagon as an advisor to the undersecretary of Defense for policy.

Some might say I have a "new job," but because I'll be escaping a dying industry -- and your tax dollars will shortly be paying my salary -- I prefer to think of it as my personal government bailout.

Read more.

An open letter to journalists

Peggy Holman, Journalism That Matters

It’s time for a new compact between Journalists and the Public. We need you. Your work is vital to the well-being of us all. I can’t imagine a functional democracy without the passionate commitment journalists make to digging deeply into what matters. It is a sacred trust and I thank you for doing it on our behalf.

If I – and others –believe that, why do so many of us seem hostile to the press? Because we feel betrayed. Where were you when we needed you? Where were your warnings about the state of the economy? About the lies of weapons of mass destruction? About the many stories closer to home that affect our lives and well-being? Did you miss the clues yourself? Did you know and not help us hear your messages? How could you let us down?

If you don’t feel trusted, please understand that it is in part the corporation behind you that many of us don’t trust. When my primary identity shifted from citizen to consumer something died. You are not your corporation. I don’t need them. I need you.

If you’re frustrated or angry about the state of the media, you are not alone. We are all frustrated. It’s time to take that energy and refocus it together.

Read more.

The only way a reporter ought to look at a climate skeptic is down.

Alex Steffen, Worldchanging

Having wasted 20 years here in the U.S. on a completely non-factual "debate" about whether fossil fuels were implicated in climate change, it's a bit shocking to see this story by Azadeh Ensha, where an industry-funded spokesperson is allowed to get away with the statement, "It is beyond dispute that any connection between meat production and global warming is a false one."

Read more.

Murdoch: web papers should charge readers

Yinka Adegoke, Reuters

Rupert Murdoch, whose media company News Corp owns one of the few U.S. newspapers that makes people pay to read its news on the Web, said more papers will have to start doing the same to survive.

Murdoch, who bought The Wall Street Journal and its parent company Dow Jones & Co in 2007, said online advertising, which most U.S. publishers hope will offset ad revenue declines at their print divisions, will not cover their costs.

Read more.

Plunging economy is threatening ethnic press

Associated Press

The sinking economy is threatening the ethnic publications that immigrant communities rely upon to stay informed and navigate American life. Although the ethnic press once seemed immune to the forces hurting mainstream newspapers across the country, a growing number of publications that serve immigrant and minority communities are laying off staff, closing print editions or shutting down altogether.

Unlike mainstream newspapers, which have seen circulation decline over the decades, most ethnic publications have been retaining or expanding their print readership base, thanks to the growth of immigrant populations with strong newspaper reading habits. But a severe recession has led to a steep drop in advertising from small businesses, including many owned by immigrants, that have come to rely on the ethnic press to reach these communities.

Read more.

Huffington Post launches journalism venture

David Bauder, AP

The Huffington Post said Sunday that it will bankroll a group of investigative journalists, directing them at first to look at stories about the nation's economy.

The popular blog is collaborating with The Atlantic Philanthropies and other donors to launch the Huffington Post Investigative Fund with an initial budget of $1.75 million. That should be enough for 10 staff journalists who will primarily coordinate stories with freelancers, said Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post.

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