Nieman Reports

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

Articles from Vol. 48, No. 4, Winter

As Ombudsmen See It
Readers' Caution Exceeds Editors' The reading public, so we are told, increasingly distrusts and dislikes the press; when it comes to credibility, journalists are right up there (or down there) with used-car salesmen, politicians and televangelists....
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A Voice for the Voiceless
Three Korean American women document the impact of the Los Angeles riots from the perspective of Korean shopkeepers, but no African Americans are interviewed. A community group in Chicago traces its efforts to expose police brutality, but no officials...
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Berlusconi and the Battle for the Italian Media
August 15, a major Italian holiday: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi unexpectedly appears on TV. Seated behind his desk, a large pack of newspapers in front of him, he touches them, then pushes them aside with disdain. He tells the interviewer,...
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Double Platooning Sports
Each employee at The Dallas Morning News is evaluated on his or her anniversary. As part of that process sports staffers are asked to evaluate the sports section. This past year, there was a constant in discussing the sports section: "We need to make...
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'Erase the Hate.' (a USA Network Program Confronting Violence) (Judgmental Journalism)
Responsible media cannot ignore the increase in violence and in tolerance in our society. As fragmentation along social, ethnic, and economic lines has fed fear and misunderstanding among people, cries have come from all sides for solutions, and calls...
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Expert Journalism
What if the crisis of confidence in the media grows not out of a paranoia about whether the media leans left or right but rather out of a rejection by the public of the detachment with which the press regards the problems of society and the concerns...
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Family Sensitive TV News
Here are excerpts from a discussion of a Twin Cities television station's experiment in eliminating pictures of violence from its 5 p.m. news show. The discussion took place June 12 on Alex Jones's program "On the Media" on Radio station WNYC in New...
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Focusing Our Values
Nieman Reports came into being as a result of a leak. It was launched on February 1, 1947, in anticipation of the publication of the final report of the commission on freedom of the press--the first national commission to systematically study the American...
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Haiti - Broader Picture Needed
It was nearly nine years ago when I stood on the corner of Delmas 29 in Port-au-prince and watched scores of exultant Haitians waving tree branches, while others ransacked two Duvalier-related businesses--all to celebrate dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier's...
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Haiti: Reporters Look Good, Not So the Pundits
Perhaps more than anything, the coverage of the Haiti intervention by U.S. troops can be considered a triumph of unbiased, competent reporting from the scene over the thumb-sucking of "worst case scenarios" constructed by some less-than-nonpartisan...
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How Poland Rejected Press Curbs (--- Cens. Law Number ---)
A Polish superspy, sentenced by an American court to years in jail and later exchanged for some American spies, may have done something much more important for his country than stealing the designs of the Patriot missile and Stealth bomber. He put...
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Judgemental Reporting
During the great Southern racial struggles of the 1960's, the late Homer Bigart filed a story in which he wrote that the courthouse at Philadelphia, Miss., where the sheriff and staff were accused in the kidnapping and murder of three civil rights...
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People's Way with People
This discussion of how People magazine handles articles and pictures on personalities was held at the Unity conference of minority journalists in Atlanta in July. LANDON Y. JONES JR. Managing Editor of People magazine Personality journalism,...
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Taking Sides on the IRA Cease-Fire
One of the funnier incidents of the post-IRA cease-fire media jamboree took place at the security entrance to the Taoiseach's office in Dublin. The press had arrived en masse to witness the historic handshake between Prime Minister Albert Reynolds...
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The Decline and Fall of Labor's Stepchildren
New England labor's stepchil dren, survivors of two World Wars, numerous recessions and the Great Depression, are dead, victims of automation, foreign competition, industrial and union mergers, lost strikes, and the decline of manufacturing. Their...
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The Lace Curtain
"One of the central accomplishments of the women's movement over the last two decades has been to draw media attention to the physical suffering and institutional victimization of women in North American society," writes gender bias researcher Adam...
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The Silence of the Editors
In 1988, after more than four de cades as a staff reporter--for twelve years at two now-defunct newspapers in St. Louis, and then for nearly thirty years at the funct Washington Post--I began a new career as a freelancer. Here's the upside: I've been...
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Too Many Crime Stories? No, Just the Wrong Emphasis
Crime in this country [has been] for the last 100 years one of the great evocative dramas in society. For better or worse, some of the best American journalism of this century has been the crime coverage of people like Herbert Bayard Swope and Damon...
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Welfare Reform in the World Economy
For non-American ears Bill Clinton's message sounds like the onset of a revolution: "To end welfare as we know it." The Democratic President has called for a "dramatic breakthrough" in changing public assistance through the complete overhaul of...
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