Irreverent thoughts and questions about journalism today

Time to Name the Accuser

This column was filed Sept. 9, but publication was delayed as a result of review and discussion by editors and the travel schedule of the author. 

(Name withheld by editors) is taking her case against Kobe Bryant out of … Read more

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Thursday, Sep. 02, 2004

Calling Fox Names — Anonymously

My thanks to a colleague at Poynter, Larry Larsen, for pointing out another in a long line of stories at the Washington Post showing forgetfulness about the paper’s supposedly-tightened anonymity policies.


From the paper come these quotes:

“Fox News Channel doing
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Thursday, Aug. 19, 2004

News With a View

I curtsy to no man in recognizing that media today are becoming more openly ideological. But acknowledging a point of view in newer entrants shouldn’t blind us to the fact that the “old media” are far from the model of … Read more

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Thursday, Aug. 12, 2004

A Revolution in Journalism Accountability

I have a clipping in my files dated January 13, 2003. It’s from a British newspaper, the Guardian. Here’s the headline: “With war looming, it is no good the American public looking to its newspapers for an independent … Read more

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Monday, Aug. 09, 2004

Colin McNickle Responds



From: Colin McNickle
Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 1:33 PM
To: Overholser, Geneva
Subject: Incredible

Ms. Overholser –

I found your recent posting “Omitting Telling Details” both laughable and tragic.


The larger question is my employer, not that … Read more

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Thursday, Aug. 05, 2004

Omitting the Inconveniently Telling Detail

I came back from vacation raring to gripe about how we in the press conveniently overlook significant details on these catchy little stories we go bonkers over.

Details like the roar of the crowd in the Des Moines ballroom where … Read more

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Fear and Anxiety in Network Newsrooms

Much that is commonly “understood” among journalists is rarely voiced in public. A pre-convention event this week in Cambridge – where network anchors went on the record about the partisan and corporate pressures they feel – was a bracing exception. The Shorenstein Center program was … Read more

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Thursday, July 22, 2004

Anonymous in the Midwest

Paul Wolfowitz is accustomed to requesting –- and receiving –- anonymity when he wants it. But, as the Des Moines Register reported (not, alas, online, though you can read about it in Slate) that doesn’t work everywhere:



Incognito in Omaha

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Thursday, July 15, 2004

Fox News: Outed at Last?

Call this the season of the documentary. The summer’s most powerful (not to mention polemical) challenges to conventional thinking have come from the left, via the silver screen: “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “Control Room,” “Hunting of the President” and now, “Outfoxed.” The … Read more

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Monday, June 28, 2004

A Challenge to Washington Bureau Chiefs

Years of lament over anonymous sources gave way this spring to a spate of policy-tightening. (See The New York Times and Washington Post, among others.) That welcome step, alas, may mostly have resulted in lengthier descriptions of the same old … Read more

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