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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 — […]
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 […]
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 […]
One of the best mystery novelists around today is William G. Tapply, creator of the Brady Coyne mystery series. Tapply’s novels live up to the cover blurbs — well-formed characters, tightly woven plots and elegant writing. Tapply practices what many of us who teach writing often preach, and he gives voice to some of those […]
Tell your students (as you undoubtedly do) that they need to spell correctly and that they should check their spelling. Not doing so can turn out to be an expensive proposition. That’s what the folks in Livermore, Calif., found out in 2004 when they spent $40,000 for a mosaic for their new library. The artwork […]
John H. Johnson. The nation lost one of its media pioneers on Monday, Aug. 8, 2005, with the death of John H. Johnson. He was the Chicago entrepaneur and publisher who recognized that blacks aspired to be better off and have more — and that they were gaining the ability to pay for it. His […]
One of the ideas this JPROF.com advocates — in addition to good journalism and good journalistic practices — is expanding the First Amendment. Unfortunately, there are too many people and organizations trying to do just the opposite. A recent example comes from a judge in Washington state who thinks that controlling campaign finances is more […]
The New York Times devoted a great deal of space in its business section last month to a profile of the newspaper in Lawrence, Kan. The paper is devoting many resources to building an innovative set of web sites — innovation that is a part of the newspaper’s history and tradition. The Times article provoked […]
The ideal sounds great: a group of people who share an interest in a topic are able to exchange information and ideas about it over the internet. Time and geography are overcome. Such communities of interest would be informative, respectful and self-regulating. That was what I described in Web Journalism: Practice and Promise of a […]
To Althea, from Prison by Richard Lovelace
In this week’s newsletter
Read about the new book Ole Bert: Sage of the Smokies that Jim has just edited and produced for the Blount County Public Library.
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