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Posts from ‘February, 2007’

Rethinking Media Education

(This posting first appeared as a guest column in PR Week.) The university where I’m co-teaching a course this semester is one of several in the nation currently engaged in a ritual that comes around to all such institutions from time to time: finding and hiring a new journalism dean. These searches will, I hope, […]

Investigating Congressional Websites

The Sunlight Foundation’s Congressional Web Site Investigation Project is under way: Though no law requires them to do so, members of Congress maintain official Web sites at taxpayer expense to provide their constituents and the general public with relevant information about their work in Washington on our behalf. Do these Web sites cut through the […]

Beyond Broadcast: Future of Public Access TV

(On Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Beyond Broadcast conference in Cambridge, Mass., I’m helping to put together a workshop about the future of public-access television — the channels on local cable systems that carry locally generated programming, generally by non-professionals. Jason Crow, access coordinator at Cambridge Community Television, is co-leader of the workshop. I think […]

Wrapped in First Amendment, Protecting a Sleazebag

Slate’s Jack Shafer tries to unravel “The BALCO mess or travels in the gray areas of confidential source arrangement,” and writes of the San Francisco Chronicle reporters whose source for grand-jury minutes turned out to be a defense attorney: Having found their leaker, the feds dropped the subpoena against the reporters. But a number of […]

JetBlue's CEO, on the Web, Finally

I criticized JetBlue yesterday for missing an opportunity in its customer-relations debacle of recent days. The company’s failure to use its website smartly, I said, was a missed opportunity. Today, JetBlue has posted a video by its CEO, David Neeleman, apologizing again for the mess — and offering a “Customer Bill of Rights” that will […]

Defending Journalists from a Newspaper Owner

Take a look at, created in the wake of the bizarre goings-on at the Santa Barbara (Calif.) News-Press, where the owner has been firing people right and left — and suing journalists who write what she claims are unfair stories about her actions: Amid the ongoing exodus of dozens of professional journalists from the […]

Satellite Radio Merger Will Mean Higher Prices

The AP reports: XM and Sirius to combine; hurdles loom, and says: It’s too early to say what the deal will mean for subscription prices. The merger could bring down the cost of providing service, but at the same time give the company more pricing power as the only U.S. satellite radio provider. No, it’s […]

JetBlue: An Opportunity Missed, Online

The New York Times, running an interview with David G. Neeleman, the beleaguered chief executive of airline JetBlue, reports that “JetBlue’s C.E.O. Is ‘Mortified’ After Fliers Are Stranded” in last week’s snowstorms. Neeleman’s words to the Times are indeed abject in their regret, and forceful in his intention to turn around a situation that may […]

Not Getting Close to the Whole Story

The online magazine spiked has a story entitled “Is Wikipedia part of a new ‘global brain’?” in which a writer asks some reasonable questions but then undermines herself with — at best — incomplete reporting. She writes, in part: Much was made of a study conducted by Nature magazine at the end of 2005, which […]

Cut-and-Paste Opinion-Making

Chicago Reader: The Public Sentiment Machine. Not long ago a letter to the editor required three things: time, an idea, and the ability to put it into words. All three impediments have been swept away. Once American bedrock, today a letter to the editor is often a chunk of computer-generated boilerplate. This practice indicts almost […]