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On The Media

Pricing the Word

Friday, January 27, 2006

Newspapers around the world reprinted sections of Pope Benedict's first encyclical this week. No problem. But if you'd like to use a portion of the Pope's writing in a book you're working on - get ready to pay up. The Vatican publishing house will henceforth enforce copyright fees on the ...

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On The Media

Pay to Say

Friday, December 23, 2005

The money trail of indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff last week led reporters to a couple of prominent Washington opinion makers. It turns out that for years, Abramoff has been paying two think-tankers, Doug Bandow and Peter Ferrara, to write op-ed pieces favorable to Abramoff’s clients. Bob talks to blogger Joshua ...

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On The Media

Call & Response

Friday, December 23, 2005

While excoriating the Times for disclosing the NSA’s surveillance program, President Bush trotted out an old chestnut about the danger of leaks. He cited a 1998 newspaper story that disclosed Osama Bin Laden’s use of a satellite phone, and claimed –as many have before – that the disclosure led Bin ...

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On The Media

Watching & Waiting

Friday, December 23, 2005

In this new era of media transparency, many expected a fuller explanation from The New York Times about why it held its NSA spying scoop for more than a year. What we do know, however, is that editors routinely accede to government demands that they withhold certain information. Scott Armstrong ...

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On The Media

Echo’s Echo

Friday, December 23, 2005

Since 1928, the New York-based newspaper Irish Echo has chronicled the lives of Irish immigrants and their descendants. But as the economy of the “Celtic Tiger” booms, some Irish-Americans are returning to the motherland. And so for the first time in its history, the Irish Echo is now being printed ...

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On The Media

Go West, Young Man

Friday, December 09, 2005

In May, we spoke to the editor of the Spokane Spokesman-Review, which had just netted the city's mayor in an online sex sting. This week, Spokane voters recalled Mayor Jim West in a special election.

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On The Media

Second Chance at a First Impression

Friday, December 09, 2005

In the days following Hurricane Katrina, we heard stories of chaos and violence in the streets of New Orleans. Only later did it become clear how much of that initial reporting was exaggerated and flat-out false. Bob talks to New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter Brian Thevenot about whether the myths created ...

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On The Media

Lloyd's Sourcery

Friday, December 02, 2005

When Supreme Court Justice Scalia spoke recently at Time Warner headquarters, he insisted it be "off the record." And so gossip columnist Lloyd Grove, who attended the event, published a "hypothetical" account, describing what Scalia "might have said." Bob and Lloyd discuss his end-run around the rules.

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On The Media

Bummer Beat

Friday, November 25, 2005

There are journalism's stars, who consume most of the ink and the air time, and there are its grunts, who do most of the legwork and barely get a byline. Mark Stamey, formerly of The New York Post, was one of the latter. He walked the "bad-luck" beat, gathering facts ...

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On The Media

L.A. Story

Friday, November 25, 2005

It's been five years since the Chandler family sold the Los Angeles Times to Chicago-based media conglomerate the Tribune Company. In that time, the paper has been viewed as a test case on how to reconcile journalistic imperatives with the bottom-line pressures imposed by a parent corporation. Brooke talks to ...

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On The Media

Test of the Emergency Broadcasting System

Friday, November 18, 2005

With winter taking hold in the Himalayas, the human tragedy triggered by the October 8th earthquake is still very much a current emergency. But you wouldn't know it from looking at the American news-scape. In recent weeks, coverage of the quake's aftermath has been spotty in print and all but ...

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On The Media

Quel Revolt!

Friday, November 11, 2005

This week, as the 'auto-body-count' in France grew ever higher by night, anxiety in the press grew by day. In the U.S., headlines read “Paris is Burning” and commentary ranged from criticism of French authorities to warnings of a “clash of civilizations” that could at any moment sweep the globe. ...

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On The Media

Newspaper Clipping

Friday, October 07, 2005

Practically every week brings new stories about the terminal condition of the newspaper industry. Last month brought especially bad news for ink-stained wretches, as some of the nation's biggest dailies announced hundreds of newsroom job cuts. Bob discusses the causes of the industry's ills and its prognosis with financial analyst ...

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On The Media

Remembrance of Those Passed

Friday, September 30, 2005

After September 11th, The New York Times created "Portraits of Grief," biographical sketches containing personal anecdotes supplied by the victim's family. The full accounting of casualties from Hurricane Katrina will likely be months away, but for writers of the New Orleans Times-Picayune the process of reckoning with the dead has ...

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On The Media

Land of the Free

Friday, September 23, 2005

According to Working Today, the national freelancers' union, there are an estimated 50 million independent, self-employed workers across the country. But writer Ben Yagoda is no longer among them. Why is he leaving the ranks of freelancers? Unanswered query letters, undignified treatment by editors and an outdated pay scale, and ...

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On The Media

Exile on Main Street

Friday, September 02, 2005

Among the evacuees from the flood on Tuesday was much of the staff of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Huddled in the back of newspaper delivery trucks they quickly relocated to a temporary newsroom in Baton Rouge. Brooke speaks with Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss about how exiled reporters are covering their ...

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On The Media

Black, White & Read All Over

Friday, August 26, 2005

It might have seemed like a straightforward business proposition, triggered by demographics - a new broadsheet targeted at the sizeable black community of east Gainesville, Florida. But when news got out that the New York Times was the parent company behind the Gainesville Guardian, accusations started flying that the Times ...

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On The Media

Keeping Secrets

Friday, August 05, 2005

New York Times reporter William L. Laurence witnessed the dropping of the atomic bomb, flying with American troops over Nagasaki while the bomb was dropped. He won the Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories he subsequently published, many of which included details about the development and production of the ...

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On The Media

A Novel Approach

Friday, July 15, 2005

This week, the L.A. Times ran a five part series, telling the story of a young boxer as she fights the odds to victory. The series looks to narrative non-fiction for its structure, reading like a novel and placing the he-said, she-said of attributions in footnotes at the end. Bob ...

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On The Media

Class in Session

Friday, July 08, 2005

If our major broadsheets seem to reflect a disproportionately affluent America, it may be because reporters and editors resemble their readership - a well-heeled demographic favored by newspaper advertisers. It's not surprising that these papers rarely take on the issue of class divisions. But over the past nine months, the ...

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