Nieman Reports

A journal presenting information concerning media issues for the academic audience.

Articles from Vol. 49, No. 1, Spring

7 Principles of On-Line Publishing
In his recent article for Wired Magazine, "On-line or Not, Newspapers Still Suck," New York media critic Jon Katz attacks newspapers for backward thinking, lack of imagination, and a fearful attitude toward change of any kind. To top things off, he says...
Read preview Overview
A Constant Conversation with the People
The Daily Tribune of Ames, Iowa We talk to people. We wander around town. We go to meetings. We go out to coffee. We read our mail. We invite folks in. We answer our own phones. And we report and report and report. That's how we know what's going on...
Read preview Overview
Another Link with Readers
On February 24, 1993, Brian Mulroney, the Prime Minister of Canada, announced his resignation. Within hours, The Ottawa Citizen had jumped into an interactive electronic link with readers that continues to expand. The link gives the newspaper new ways...
Read preview Overview
Civic Journalism - Growing and Evolving
In Edgar, Wisconsin, three women who used to hunker down to watch their afternoon TV soap operas now have become C-SPAN junkies, converts to a new cause of cite engagement. In Charlotte, N.C., citizens recently opened their newspapers to read a list...
Read preview Overview
Coming to Terms with Your Fear
FROM DAVID BRAUCHLI DATE 22-JAN-95 SUBJECT GROZNY'S BURNING I left Grozny yesterday. I'm sitting in a Moscow hotel, having showered (extensively) and shaved, reflecting on my time in Grozny. I had more close encounters in the last three days than I...
Read preview Overview
Empathy - Path to a Different World
The least celebrated quality of the best reporters may turn out to be a skill that is rarely taught. It may even be impossible to learn except from life itself. The quality is empathy, the ability to step into the shoes of another person and see the...
Read preview Overview
Eyeballing Works in Texas
The Dallas Morning News There we were, a half-dozen senior editors of The Dallas Morning News, chatting with 40 or so members of the Asian-American Chamber of Commerce. They were telling us they were unhappy that we hadn't been covering one of their...
Read preview Overview
Fair's Fair ... or Is It?
Reassessing the Need for a Doctrine to Insure Minority Representation on the Airwaves Over the last few years, as I've witnessed my three nieces grow from toddlers to teens, I've noticed a definite evolution in the term "fairness." At the pre-kindergarten...
Read preview Overview
How Technology Spoils Reporters
During one of our periodic discussions on solving the world's sports problems and to talk about our fast love, journalism, a reporter who covers New York City professional teams was lamenting pack journalism. His point was that in his own work he tries...
Read preview Overview
Islam and the Dangers Facing Journalists
Last December 7 the Nieman Foundation presented the 1994 Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism to Abdelhamid Benzine, editor of Alger Republicain, a newspaper that was closed earlier in the year by combined pressure from the...
Read preview Overview
Kurt Cobain, School Prayer and 1,557 Chili Recipes
The Louisville Courier-Journal When Kurt Cobain died we carried a little photo on page A-1, which referred to a 16-paragraph story on page A-9. Big mistake. I was confronted on the matter by Morgan McGarvey, age 14, who lives down the street from...
Read preview Overview
Lots of Information, Not Enough Analysis
The Chicago Tribune Reading our readers is something The Chicago Tribune does in a rather scattershot fashion that can often produce accurate results. The success of recent niche feature sections for women, children and certain lifestyle areas, and...
Read preview Overview
Newspaper Profits: A Delicate Balance
When entered the newspaper business some sixteen years ago, a wise old Boston Globe executive took me aside and said, "Newspaper economics are simple. Circulation revenue covers the cost of newsprint. Advertising pays for everything else and delivers...
Read preview Overview
Press Suppression in Indonesia
The government of Indonesia, long known for its controls on foreign correspondents trying to visit the country, last summer closed three weekly magazines, issued official warnings against three other publications and placed tlree more "under watch."...
Read preview Overview
Printing Reporters' Phone Numbers
The Portland Oregonian In Oregon, my adopted state, you would have to work at it not to be in touch with citizen views. Oregonians have a history of speaking out and doing it loudly, if not always with a unified voice. One of the many differences between...
Read preview Overview
Public Opinion and the Mid-Term Elections
Without much argument, the 1994 mid-term election was historic event. The Republicans swept to power in the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years despite a Democrat in the White House. But the outcome should have come as no surprise...
Read preview Overview
Reading the Public from the Arts Pages
Through the Sixties and Seventies, when I was juggling two berets as the arts editor and also the principal film critic of The Los Angeles Times, a question thrown at me frequently was, "Do the movies shape us or reflect us?" When the question was asked...
Read preview Overview
Shoe Leather, Shoe Leather, Shoe Leather
Newt Gingrich has his New Wave - pardon me, Third Wave, or some such Toffler wave - that carries us irresistibly into the cyberspace of our electronically interconnected future. There, we'll all find ourselves linked, wired as it were, enabling us to...
Read preview Overview
Shu - a Paradox of Chinese Journalism
My favorite journalist is a citizen of the People's Republic of China, an idealist, a crusader and a true investigative reporter, the finest I've encountered in 15 years of studying mainland Chinese journalism. I believe he is worthy of acclaim and emulation,...
Read preview Overview
Surveys, Polls, but above All - Dialogue
The San Diego Union-Tribune Right around spring training time a few years ago, we ran a saying the oldest Little League in our county was dying. The league was in an impoverished area; it had no sponsors; there was little parent involvement. Worst of...
Read preview Overview
Talk Radio: Finding a Different Public
It feels like a different democracy out here in talk radio territory. I am a rookie in the region, an old hand trying to learn a new game, but I am in love with the differences. Talk radio can be different, first, from the towel-snapping adolescent "guy"...
Read preview Overview
The Media, They Say, Helped Chase Them Out
Or Why So Many Lawmakers Chose Not to Run That is a description of the kind of job professionals covet in an era when high-quality white collar opportunities are shrinking. Yet, last year dozens of members of the United States House of Representatives...
Read preview Overview
The Stepford Anchors
The Importance of Appearance on the Nightly News Why do so many television reporters and anchors have the same hairstyle or, at least, variations on the same theme? More importantly, why should this question be posed in a publication that deals with...
Read preview Overview
Turning to Readers to Cover Big Stories
The Richmond Times-Dispatch Virginians do their best to keep newspaper editors on their toes. In 1989 they voted the nation's first elected black governor, a Democrat, into power, but no Democratic presidential candidate has carried the state since...
Read preview Overview
When English Was More Fluent Than Spanish
As the peso crisis deepened, Mexicans woke up one day re Christmas to learn that the central bank would tighten credit. There was nothing else. Meantime, North Americans were told much more. American correspondents in Mexico City reported that the Mexican...
Read preview Overview