A World Without Polls

How often have you heard someone ask what life was like before cell phones, or TVs, or the Internet? Here’s another one: what were politics like before public opinion polls? Polling is ubiquitous these days, especially in political campaigns. It’s hard to imagine the news media and the chatterclass functioning without polls. And they give […]

Journalism’s Image Problem

You know those TV ads in which a new car buyer is swept into a room full of reporters, photographers and video cameras, and then asked a couple of softball questions, like “how much do you like your new Fusion?” In my mind, these ads parody the actual news gathering process of daily journalism, turning […]

Separating Fact from Everything Else

I have signed on as a volunteer for the News Literacy Project, which is an attempt by journalists to help middle and high school students separate facts from fiction in what purports to be news these days. It’s a great idea, because much of what we read as “news” is more and more canned content […]

Is Journalism Giving Away its Brand?

Daily newspapers, these days, find themselves between a rock and a hard place. The dilemma has to do with how should they gather the news and then where to put it:  in the traditional (printed) newpaper, or online? Up to now, most publishers have made a Solomon-like choice to do both.  Reporters cover stories and events, […]