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GoogleMaps mania

The ability of web site developers to put a customized GoogleMap on their web sites is creating quiet a stir these days, including a story this week on National Public Radio that includes an interview with Mike Pegg, creator of a GoogleMapsMania, weblog that tracks the use of GoogleMaps. The implications and possibilities of using […]

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Academics, start your engines

It’s that time of year again when we in academia have to gear up for the coming semester. If you’re one of those, maybe JPROF.com can help. The syllabus for the course I am teaching in web journalism this semester at Emory & Henry College is located on this site. Anyone who is interested can […]

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Inside a cartoonist’s mind

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jim Borgman is giving us a fascinating peek inside the mind of the editorial cartoonist with his new weblog, BorgBlog. Borgman is posting not just some of his cartoons but some of his sketches and his thoughts about how particular cartoons develop. The site currently has three versions of the cartoon he […]

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Another aspect of immediacy

One of the five characteristics of the web — identified and explained in Web Journalism — is immediacy, the ability to post information quickly. With the growth of the blogosphere, this charactertistic has taken on another aspect: the ability of people to pass information around quickly, even if it isn’t true and doesn’t make sense. […]

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The First Amendment — it protects lobbyists, too

With the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal story dominating Washington, one of the cable news shows earlier this asked its viewers to go online and vote on the question of whether or not “all lobbying should be banned.” The question was both silly and stupid — and maybe even a little dangerous. Nobody likes “lobbyists” or […]

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The center of gravity has shifted

The web has pretty much rendered obsolete the adage that says you should never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel and newsprint by the ton. Today there is less fear and frustration with the news media on the part of those outside the profession, and there is more willingness […]

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Want it to last? Draw, don’t write

A review of Clifford Connor’s A People History of Science in the New York Times this past weekend has this observation: A great moment in the history of science was the publication of Andreas Vesalius’s anatomy book, De Humani Corporis Fabrica, in 1543. What made the book a triumph wasn’t the Latin text Vesalius wrote […]

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Censorship, pure and simple

It is sad, frustrating and infuriating when you see people who should know better acting in ways that are just not very intelligent. That was the case this past week with the high school principal and school superintendent in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The principal confiscated copies of the school newspaper before they could be distributed […]

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Staying in the background

That’s where reporters like to be when they are covering the news. Becoming part of a story inevitably changes the story and destroys the reporter’s position as an independent observer. Michael Bamberger, golf writer for Sport Illustrated, found himself in the untenable position of becoming part of the story when he was covering golf phenom […]

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Miller, New York Times finally open up

Judith Miller and the New York Times have finally published accounts of the controversy that landed Miller in jail for 85 days this summer. A careful reading of them leads you to believe that Miller went to jail because of a misunderstanding between her lawyers and those of Lewis Libby, chief aide to Vice President […]

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The odd odyssey of Judith Miller

New York Times reporter Judith Miller got her Get Out of Jail card last week, but her release wasn’t exactly free. She had come to an agreement to testify after being released from her confidentiality obligation by her source. And she has had to endure some pretty stinging criticism from fellow journalists who have questioned […]

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Notes: accuracy, wordiness, clichés, etc.

Looking for ideas for lectures or discussions with your classes? JPROF has plenty. For introductory classes in mass media or journalism, you will find lecture notes on the following topics: news, newspapers, books, magazines, radio and television. There are also a variety of discussion starters and notes for some of your other journalism classes, including […]

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NOLA.com saves lives

Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans has produced many fascinating stories, one of which is chronicled in an Online Journalism Review article by Mark Glaser on NOLA.com, the companion web site of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. It is a “companion web site” because Newhouse Newspapers, which owns the T-P, made the corporate decision […]

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What’s wrong with TV news?

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has given the 24-hour cable news channels just what they need – lots of pictures and storylines to follow. But the story has also exposed the weaknesses of cable news, and Jack Shafer, media critic for Slate.com, has taken the opportunity to make a list of some of the things […]

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Daily Egyptian hoax

Just a few minutes on the telephone — that’s all it would have taken in 2003 on the part of a reporter for the Daily Egyptian, the student newspaper at Southern Illinois University, to save himself hours of work and some major professional embarrassment for himself and his colleagues two years later. The student newspaper […]

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Ben Franklin, printer

Because of several recent excellent biographies and a PBS series, America is being re-educated about the most remarkable of all the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin. The man was many things during his long life: inventor, scientist, civic innovator, diplomat. What he wanted to be known as, however, was “printer.” His Apology for Printers, written in […]

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John Roberts, grammarian

He may be a conservative ideologue or a moderate (or even a liberal!) in right-wing clothing, but U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts has been outed as grammarian. An article in the New York Times this week (In Re Grammar, Roberts’s Stance is Crystal Clear) says that after a review of thousands of pages of […]

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The Digital Divide still lives

Going rural more than likely means going dial-up. That’s what Steven Levy, technology columnist for Newsweek magazine, found this summer when he took some time off in the Berkshires. (I found the same thing when I retreated to the farm in East Tennessee.) High speed Internet access was not available, and that’s a problem — […]

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Off again, on again

The general manager of the public radio station in Lexington, Ky., caused a minor flap late last week by announcing that he was pulling Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac off WUKY. Tom Godell expressed some dismay at the language that was cropping up in some of the poems that Keillor had read on the program and […]

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Changing context: Burn, baby, burn!

The 1960s seem to be always with us. Rarely do you hear or see a television ad that doesn’t have some sixties rock hit as its theme or background music. Now there’s going to be a hot sauce that uses a phrase that was anything but benign in that decade: Burn, baby, burn. For those […]

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