American Journalism Review

Trade journal reporting on broadcast and print journalism. For Trade and Professional audiences.

Articles from Vol. 26, No. 4, August-September

After the Hurricane: What's Up with the Reporter Who Took Down Jayson Blair?
"I'm just a brown girl down here in the valley, trying to figure things out and make sense of them," Macarena Hernandez says. It's mid-afternoon on a sweltering summer day in Edinburg, Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley brown girl and unsweetened iced-tea...
Campaign Lifesaver
During the Democratic primaries last winter, I was one of about a dozen journalists covering retired Gen. Wesley Clark's presidential campaign. Clark's traveling press corps prided ourselves on our high standard of kvetching: We regularly complained...
Fade-Out: Ronald Reagan's Death Brought out the Best and the Worst of the American News Media
In the harsh slanting light of the setting sun, Nancy Reagan bent to her husband's casket. She caressed it, as if it were fine porcelain, then lay her head upon it. Stoic all through a difficult week, she finally yielded to her emotions and quivered...
Follow the Money: The Campaign Finance Beat Is Important-And Challenging. the Tangled Web of Rules That Govern Fundraising and Spending Can Be Hard to Penetrate, and Doesn't Necessarily Make for Sparkling Copy. How Are the News Media Doing This Time Around?
HUNDREDS OF MONEYED REPUBLICANS converged at the refined Ritz-Carlton Lodge on Lake Oconee near Greensboro, Georgia, joined by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and a couple of uninvited journalists. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] On Friday night,...
Going It Alone: Accolades Now Come to Knight Ridder for Its Prescient Reports Expressing Skepticism about Claims That Iraq Had Weapons of Mass Destruction
When the New York Times apologized to readers May 26 for not being "more aggressive" in examining the administration's decision to invade Iraq, editors couldn't help but give a nod to a less-vaunted news organization that had been beating the Times...
Hyping the Numbers: The Chicago Sun-Times and Some Tribune Co. Properties Acknowledge Reporting Inflated Circulation Totals
Audited, paid circulation is the financial backbone of the daily newspaper business. It is why newspapers have continued to prosper despite the advent of other media seeking advertising--first magazines, then radio, television in all its forms and...
Indecent Oversight: Unless the Rules for News Organizations Are Clearly Defined, the FCC's Crackdown on Profanity Could Lead to Censorship
A reporter is on the air live at an antiwar demonstration when the crowd behind her begins to chant obscenities. True or false: The station broadcasting the story can be fined for its coverage. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The latest ruling by the...
Lagging Behind: Fewer Than 10.5 Percent of the Reporters and Editors in Daily Newspaper Washington Bureaus Are Minorities, a New UNITY/University of Maryland Survey Finds. That's a Lower Percentage Than the Much-Maligned Newspaper Industry Figure. Minority Staffers Give the D.C. Press Corps Low Marks for Its Coverage of Race-Related Issues-And Most Hope to Be out of the Nation's Capital in Five Years
When Jessica Lynch catapulted onto the media landscape as America's poster girl for the Iraq War, it was thanks in large part to editors, reporters, producers and commentators around the country who could see in the pretty, young, white Army private...
Low Marks: The Public Takes a Jaundiced View of the Nation's News Media, a First Amendment Center/AJR Poll Finds. More Than 60 Percent Believes Making Up Stories Is a Widespread Problem, and Just 39 Percent Thinks News Organizations Try to Report without Bias
The latest State of the First Amendment survey lands on the front porch of the nation's journalism community bristling with harsh headlines for the news media. The 2004 edition of the poll, conducted by the First Amendment Center in collaboration...
Missed Signals: Why Did It Take So Long for the News Media to Break the Story of Prisoner Abuse at Abu Ghraib?
Donald H. Rumsfeld could not pass up a chance to gloat. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] During a town hall-style meeting with Pentagon workers on May 11, the defense secretary smugly noted that it was "the military, not the media"...
Q & A
In the beginning, CableNewser was a mystery. Cable industry players and TV news junkies logged on to the Web site cablenewser.com for insight and dish, never knowing who exactly was behind it all--or with any idea that they were often being scooped...
Risky Business: The Dangers in Iraq Have Led Western Journalists to Alter Their Appearances, Rely More Heavily on Iraqi Staffers and, Simply, to Not Venture Too Far from the Hotel
As we left the hotel one morning, my translator, Nassi, lifted his shirt and quietly gestured to the silver chrome glinting at his waistband. Tucked beside his new mobile phone was his Czech-made 9 mm pistol, bought for $200 in one of Baghdad's many...
Security Check: The Long List of What You Won't Learn from the Transportation Security Administration
The 9/11 Commission reports issued this summer offer the public a tantalizing glimpse into the complicated and often secretive world of airline security. They reveal sobering details about communication and other systemic failures that contributed...
The Story Behind the Story: How a 30-Year Secret Involving One of Oregon's Most Powerful Figures Finally Came to Light. How a Feisty Alt-Weekly Made It Happen. and How the State's Dominant Newspaper Stumbled along the Way
Though other Portland media outlets were onto the story, in May Willamette Week reporter Nigel Jaquiss broke the news of a sex scandal involving former Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt and a 14-year-old girl. ********** On Friday May 7, a troubled...
The Web's Campaign Contributions: News Sites May Have Offered Fewer Original Stories during the Primaries, but They're Now Flush with Multimedia Extras and Interactivity
When the Project for Excellence in Journalism released "ePolitics", a review of early Internet coverage of the 2004 presidential campaign, the study's authors made an intriguing observation: Although more people are getting political news from the...
Toothless Watchdogs: The News Media, WMD and Abu Ghraib
The Senate's take on the CIA's performance in the run-up to the war in Iraq was devastating. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's report "refutes every major weapons assessment laid out in a key 2002 intelligence...
Trademark Law Pays Its Respects: The Names of Deceased Presidents Are Protected from Being Used as Trademarks, Sometimes Long after Death
President Reagan, who was protected in life by Secret Service agents, is now, after death, being protected from trademark infringement in ways that common citizens of the United States will never be. Tucked deep within the many paragraphs of the...
Watergate Revisited: Thirty Years after President Nixon's Resignation, There's Little Agreement over Just How Important a Role Journalism Played in Bringing Him Down. but There's No Doubt the Episode Had a Significant Impact on the Profession
Thirty years ago, on August 9, 1974, the Washington Post ran what was then the largest front-page headline in its history: "Nixon Resigns." That date marked both the end of Richard Nixon's presidency and the beginning of three decades of debate...
What Works? Burlington, North Carolina's Times-News and Colorado's Greeley Tribune Have Similar Circulations and Hometown Demographics. Yet While the Staff in Burlington's Newsroom Is Practically All White, Greeley's Is Diverse. What Does Greeley Do That Burlington Doesn't?
In his two stints at the Times-News in Burlington, North Carolina, Editor Lee Barnes has hired two black journalists. It's a small number that makes up a large percentage of the African American journalists who have worked there in the past 25 years....
Who's Taking Care of Business? Editors Have a Hard Time Finding Qualified Applicants for Business Desk Jobs
This spring, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette listed openings on JournalismJobs.com for city desk and business reporters. "The city desk was immediately swamped with about 40 applicants," says Assistant Managing Editor/Business Roger Hedges. And how...