Category Archives: Media and Politicians

Upcoming Events

The New Jersey Political Science Association will conduct its annual meeting on Friday, February 27, at the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University.  I will be one several speakers on the panel discussing New Jersey’s 2009 campaign for Governor.

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My research essay on media coverage during the Vietnam War era has been accepted for presentation at an academic conference in New York City (March 14 at Marymount Manhattan College).

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I will be a panelist at the New Jersey Communication Association Conference (March 28 at Kean University), discussing personal privacy on the internet.

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On April 24, I will take part in “A Fiscal Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste,” the Annual Symposium of the State Chapters of the Association of Government Accountants and American Society for Public Administration. I will be on a panel that will discuss “How the Media Crisis Affects the Government Crisis.”

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Media Bias in the Political Process

Last week, I had the honor of speaking at Ocean County College’s Fall Colloquium on the topic media Media Bias in the Political Process. In my talk, I took the position that there is no widespread bias in the media today. However, I did outline what I perceive to be a series of major problems and issues confronting the news industry.

In light of all the charges and counter-charges we’ve heard about the media over the past few days, I thought a few words from the close of my speech might be relevant to the current discussion and hopefully of some value for guidance as we move forward with this year’s historic presidential campaign:

“We have more news outlets than ever. And no one is going to sort out the good, the bad and the ugly for you. To make intelligent, informed decisions, we need to be open to all viewpoints.

“One of the downsides about all the media outlets available today is that we can choose to never read, listen or view anything with which we disagree. If you lean to the right, you can get what you want from Fox News. Lean to the left and you’re likely to have much in common with MSNBC.

“When there were fewer news outlets than we have today, we had no choice but to be exposed to different perspectives and ideologies. Today, we have to make a conscious effort to do this.

“So I leave you with a challenge of sorts.

“Watch the news on a different station tonight. Or read a different newspaper tomorrow morning.

Visit the websites for the Columbia Journalism Review, the PEW Research Center or one of the other organizations regularly producing research, analyses and critiques of the news media.

“Or just watch a few episodes of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report.

“The bottom line is that there is more information available to us than ever before. Take advantage of it to make the best decisions you possibly can.”

Outsourcing the Newsroom

When I was a reporter at The News Tribune, we hired a copy editor from Texas. Although he knew the English language well, he was not familiar with New Jersey, and sometimes made errors, such as confusing the Garden State Parkway with the New Jersey Turnpike.

This comes to mind today because CNBC is reporting that the Orange County Register is outsourcing some of its copy-editing work to a company based in India. Given the state of the newspaper industry, publications all across the nation have been cutting costs through layoffs, consolidation and other measures — but this is a new one.

Apparently, it is being done on a one-month trial basis. It will be very interesting to see how the trial goes and what direction the newspaper takes afterwards.

Why We Love Joe Torre (and Hate Politicians)

Managing a baseball team is a far different job than holding public office. Yet there are some valuable lessons that politicians can learn from the manner in which Joe Torre conducted himself with Yankee management, with his players, with the fans and with the press. To learn what they are, read my Hall Institute paper titled WHY WE LOVE JOE TORRE (AND HATE POLITICIANS).