The backgrounder blight: A Washington Post reporter offers an interview “on background.” The Post’s media critic calls that transparency. Are they nuts?
The media “reckoning:” Margaret Sullivan agrees there should be a “reckoning” over media coverage of President Trump.
“I reckon that American citizens would have been far worse off if skilled reporters hand’t dug into the connections between Trump’s associates — up to and including his son Don Jr. — and Russians. That reporting has not been invalidated,” she writes.
Vanishing media ombudsmen: The Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists laments the loss of sharp-eyed ombudsmen and media writers like Margaret Sullivan.
“You’d think an ombudsman would be most useful in a time of change, especially in a time of budget-cutting and layoffs — just to be sure the public interest is served, and the quality of journalism is strong,” says a story in AdviceLine’s archives.
Journalism entry points disappear: Digital-media start-up Mic crashes and burns, writes Margaret Sullivan.
“With the tragic demise of local newspapers, places like Mic have become the entry point into the craft for a lot of young journalists,” she writes. “As they go under, such entry points disappear.”
Media focus needed on climate change: Margaret Sullivan writes that a week of dire news conceals the urgency of a United Nations report on global warming.
“Just as the smartest minds in earth science have issued their warning, the best minds in media should be giving sustained attention to how to tell this most important story in a way that will create change,” she writes.
Staying sane in a news storm: Margaret Sullivan gives seven tips to keep your cool in a hot mess, including:
“Take a break. The news never stops, so put down your phone, turn off your TV and do something else for a few hours. Cook a meal, take a walk, go to a yoga class, read a 19th-century novel.
“Of course, there’s a downside. Chances are that when you come back, some fresh mess will have hit the fan. But at least your heart rate will be lower — for a minute — while you catch up.”
YouTube a conspiracy ecosystem: Craig Timberg and Drew Harwell write about wild conspiracies that flood YouTube.
“Among the most popular genres in the collection were related to mass shootings, and especially the one in Las Vegas in October that killed 58 people,” they write. “Typically these portrayed the attacks as politically motivated hoaxes, so called ‘false flags’ intended to dupe the public into believing that gun rights needed to be curtailed.” The 50 most widely viewed mass-shooting conspiracy videos were viewed 50 million times.
Media mount attack on “fake news” charges.
Cleve R. Wootson Jr. writes the Boston Globe urges American news groups to respond to the president’s scorn of the press.
“The rally calls for the opinion writers that staff newspaper editorial boards to produce independent opinion pieces about Trump’s attacks on the media,” he writes. The Associated Press reports that 70 news organizations agreed.
Death of business reporting: Steven Pearlstein writes that executive suites shun reporters.
“Indeed, what’s happened in the corporate world is not all that different from what has happened in politics and government in the era of Donald Trump, whose administration has set new highs in terms of distrust and hostility toward the press.”
To be fair, Pearlstein adds that media share blame for the sorry state of corporate press relations because of cuts in staff and attention to the business world.
Fired for attribution faults: Sydney Smith reports that the Washington Post dismisses reporter Marwa Eltagouri for attribution issues.
Eltagouri was not accused of plagiarism, Smith writes. She did not properly attribute information from at least a dozen news organizations, he said.