Archive for August, 2009

Freelance Journalists Can Face Considerable Risks and News Organizations Need to Do More to Protect Them

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Writing in light of the Iranian detaining of New America Media Journalist Shane Bauer and his friends, NAM editor Andrew Lam, author of “Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora,” pens this:


CNN Needs to Do Better Profiling of Blithering Birthers & Their Naysaying Cousins

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

I was watching CNN’s broadcast last night, August 12, of the town hall meetings turned into ranting cages for “those people” barking about topics and subjects that have nothing to do with health care. A smart strategy by organizers, brain trusts – clearly extreme right – who came up with this plan to use the news media for their agenda.

Smart strategy – I have to say that one more time.

CNN, however, needs to do a better job of telling its viewers who these people are, to put things into context.


Former WORD Writer Pens Piece for Huffington Post

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Click here for Aida Alami’s Is There Life After New York.


“Who told you I was running for Mayor?” New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. Said in Jest to a WORD Senior Editor a Few Years Ago

Monday, August 10th, 2009
WORD Senior Editor Jonathan Mena, far left. Former WORD Senior Editor Daniel Allen, sitting to right of Thompson.

WORD Senior Editor Jonathan Mena, far left. Former WORD Senior Editor Daniel Allen, sitting to right of Thompson.

From a November 1, 2007, WORD article: When asked by WORD senior editor and senior producer Jonathan Mena if his motivation for convening with young reporters was linked to a mayoral bid, Thompson replied, jokingly, “Who told you I was running for mayor?” Articles in several news/magazine publications, however, described him as a strong contender for the 2009 mayoral contest.

So, Thompson’s office was recently emailed a request for another meeting with the WORD.


Coming This Semester – More Journalism Ethics and News Responsibility Posts …

Monday, August 10th, 2009

… because I’m revising and upgrading my courses as well as teaching a journalism and news responsibility course. That means more posts and links and connection, like the following from RTNDA, The Association of Electronic Journalists (formerly the Radio, Television News Directors Association which revised its name because of the rapid changes taking place in journalism*): Newsroom Diversity.


Update: Missing New American Media Journalist & Friends — From The Muckraker, Center for Investigative Reporting

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

Friend of Three American Hikers Detained by Iranian Authorities Speaks Out

Three Americans, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, have been missing since July 31 after hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan and are reportedly being held by Iranian authorities. The Center for Investigative Reporting has published and supported Bauer’s work in the past. He was not on assignment for CIR when he went missing. A fourth member of their party, Shon Meckfessel, did not join them that day and has now offered his statement on events, which is published below.

“I’m writing this statement to help people understand what happened to my three friends, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, who went missing by the Iran/Iraq border.” Read the rest here.

FAIR: Did Parent Company General Electric Stifle MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann?

Friday, August 7th, 2009

August 7 – In the wake of an August 1 expose in the New York Times, an agreement reportedly reached by executives at the parent companies of Fox News Channel and MSNBC to rein in the networks’ two stars’ criticism of each other seems to have fallen apart. The behind-the-scenes deal-making, though, still illustrates the corrosive effect on media of corporate ownership.


Did CNN Newscaster Ann Curry’s Twitter Today Mislead Her Followers That Unemployment in the Country Was “9.4 percent”?

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Her stats, from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, don’t take into account people who have given up hope and are no longer looking.


CNN Quashes Watchdog Group’s Ad Campaign

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

CNN announced on Tuesday that it would not air ads produced by the media watchdog group, Media Matters. The group’s ads pressure CNN to direct Lou Dobbs away from further questioning the legitimacy of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

The host’s now infamous “birther conspiracy” broadcasts struck a chord with racist paranoiacs around the country when he insisted that Obama produce his original birth certificate for the sake of what Dobbs terms “transparency.” (more…)

Statement by Sandy Close, Executive Director of Pacific New Service/New America Media, on the Iranian Detainment of NAM Journalist Shane Bauer, His Girlfriend and Another Friend

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

I first met Shane Bauer in the Fall of 2008 when he visited the office of New America Media before leaving for the Middle East. Shane planned to travel there with his girlfriend Sarah, where the two of them would study Arabic and deepen their understanding of the cultures of the region.

As a student, artist-photographer and linguist, Shane proposed writing for New America Media and Pacific News Service, its mothership, and sending us photographs while traveling. We expressed strong interest and have posted more than a dozen well-written articles by Shane, often accompanied by photographs.

Shane’s dispatches have been enlightening and follow in the long tradition of American travelers developing into accomplished correspondents. His fluency in Arabic and his writing and photography skills enable him to provide a valuable lens into what ordinary people are thinking and saying in the Arab world. We consider Shane to be a gifted young correspondent.

Shane emailed me in late July to say that he planned a one-week trip to Iraqi Kurdistan in order to get a feel for the region. He was interested in observing and covering the Kurdish elections and proposed writing an article for us about them. We were awaiting his coverage when we learned that he, his girlfriend and another friend had been detained by Iranian authorities in northern Iraq while reportedly on a hiking trip.

We support Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s call for information about the three missing Americans, and look forward to a positive resolution of the situation and their safe return.

“Unemployed Woman Sues College For Tuition” — AP Story

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Woman Sues College
…. over her inability to get a job after graduation.The reader comments on this piece are interesting.
How do Hunter students feel about this?
Posted on Hunter-L, the College listserv, by the Chair of the anthropology department.

I posted a response:


Keith Olbermann & Bill O’Reilly Nose-to-Nose

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009


Honestly This Time: The Final WORD on Obama-Gates-Crowley

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Two sentences provide clarity about the driving forces of this particular race drama: If there was a teachable moment in this incident, it could be found in how some powerful white people well beyond Cambridge responded to it. That reaction is merely the latest example of how the inexorable transformation of America into a white-minority country in some 30 years — by 2042 in the latest Census Bureau estimate — is causing serious jitters, if not panic, in some white establishments.”

— Frank Rich, New York Times, Column, August 2, 2009
Click here for his column