Blog Archives

LAX shooting (again) highlights the need for a slow-news approach

This week’s most visible journalism error belongs to NBC News, which reported the death of the Los Angeles airport shooter and then had to take it back. “JUST IN: LAX gunman killed by law enforcement” – posted on Twitter at

Posted in Accuracy, Bad journalism

What a 21st Century News Ombudsman Should Do: Aggregate, Curate, Debate

It’s time to change the role of the news ombudsman. Two new posts/columns from the people who are best known in this job today prove it. The most recent was a head-scratching query from the New York Times’ Public Editor

Posted in Bad journalism, Principles, Transparency Tagged with:

Political Columnist: Please Look in the Mirror

The New York Times’ Gail Collins offers some sound advice in her column about the latest presidential campaign: “Ignore Iowa.” She writes: Perhaps this would be a good time to point out that the Iowa caucuses are really ridiculous. I

Posted in Bad journalism Tagged with: , , ,

Arizona shootings: Take a slow-news approach

UPDATE Jan. 22, 2012 (Much of this article was originally published on Salon.com on January 8, 2011, and that article was modified from this section in Mediactive.). Joe Paterno died. No, he didn’t. (Ultimately, yes he did.) The false reports

Posted in Bad journalism, Principles

Politicians lie: We know it and we don’t care

This article was originally published on Salon.com on December 17, 2010. Survey: The public gets that most political ads are bogus, but people still believe things that are false A new study about media misinformation and media users’ ignorance is

Posted in Bad journalism, Principles, Trust

Some journalists stand up for WikiLeaks

This article was originally published on Salon.com on December 13, 2010. Unfortunately, they’re not American journalists It’s heartening to see some journalists standing up for principle in the WikiLeaks affair. A case in point is this letter to Australian Prime Minister Julia

Posted in Bad journalism, Freedom of Speech, Law

Progressive bloggers whiff on Obama interview

This article was originally published on Salon on October 29, 2010. When the White House invited some progressive bloggers to interview President Obama this week, a few days before the elections, the motive was surely to toss a bone to what

Posted in Bad journalism

Hewlett Packard keeps digging its hole

This article was originally published on Salon on August 16, 2010. HP has a lot more questions to answer about CEO Mark Hurd’s mysterious departure I have no idea whether the Wall Street Journal’s lurid story today about Mark Hurd’s forced

Posted in Bad journalism, Principles, Trust

Rand Paul’s anonymous accuser

This article was originally published on Salon on August 10, 2010. Without evidence, the “kidnapping” tale is an example of what media consumers should automatically disbelieve UPDATED So Rand Paul felt obliged to deny an accusation that he kidnapped a Baylor

Posted in Bad journalism, Principles, Trust

Shirley Sherrod’s revenge

This article was originally published on Salon on July 29, 2010. Andrew Breitbart should be held accountable for his deceptions, but is there a libel case here? This is no surprise: Shirley Sherrod, the Agriculture Department official who was forced out

Posted in Accuracy, Bad journalism, Law, Trust

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