An open letter to Trump from the US press corps

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2017/01/18/an-open-letter-to-trump-from-the-us-press-corps/

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/?p=27749

This is the message I’ve been waiting for. Perfect reading assignment to start off my journalism class next week. Blunt, insightful, scrappy, professional. No whining, finger-pointing, or distractions. We will set higher standards for ourselves than ever before. We credit you with highlighting serious and widespread distrust in the media across the political spectrum. Your campaign tapped into that, and it was a bracing wake-up call for us. We have to…

Lie to Me: Fiction in the Post-Truth Era

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2017/01/17/lie-to-me-fiction-in-the-post-truth-era/

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/?p=27734

I’m trying to remember what it was like, a few months ago when I was thinking about picking “fake news” as the topic for a media course, when I was briefly worried I wouldn’t be able to find enough background reading on the issue. I’m no longer worried about that. (I am, however, a lot more worried about fake news.) The problem with our “post-truth” politics is that a large…

Facebook Has Seized the Media, and That’s Bad News for Everyone But Facebook

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2017/01/17/facebook-has-seized-the-media-and-thats-bad-news-for-everyone-but-facebook/

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/?p=27731

Facebook has no financial incentive to care whether the links we click on point to quality journalism, a silly “Which pop culture figure are you” poll, a basically true story with a sensationalized or misleading headline, pictures from a friend’s vacation, or a completely fabricated work of propaganda. When I work with my handheld or tablet, it’s a pain to get the URL of a story I find on Facebook.…

Contemptible and Exploitive “Share if You’re Not Ashamed of Me” Facebook Scams

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2017/01/17/contemptible-and-exploitive-share-if-youre-not-ashamed-of-me-facebook-scams/

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/?p=27729

Outline: Various Facebook posts that feature photographs of young people with disabilities beg you to share to prove that you are not ashamed of the pictured youngsters. Other versions claim that nobody likes the people depicted in the images because they are disabled and, therefore, nobody will share their posts. Brief Analysis: The posts are the work of callous and contemptible Facebook users that are simply trying to garner attention and promote themselves…

Understanding The Fake News Universe

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2017/01/17/understanding-the-fake-news-universe/

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/?p=27726

The fake news universe is vast and ephemeral, and to some extent its dimensions are unknowable. But Media Matters’ research team spent hundreds of hours trying to map out as much of it as possible. Below is what we’ve learned and how we’ve come to define many of the moving parts that create an ecosystem for fake news to spread and thrive. —Media Matters

Trump Is Making Journalism Great Again

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2017/01/16/trump-is-making-journalism-great-again/

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/?p=27722

Long gone are the days when the media would agree not to film FDR in his wheelchair, on the grounds that the image of the president in a wheelchair would project an international image of America as weak. I think much of The Politico’s post is wishful thinking; and of course just because one media outlet publishes an essay advocating this position does not mean that all reporters will or…

Bad Writing Costs Businesses Billions

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2017/01/15/bad-writing-costs-businesses-billions/

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/?p=27720

This is thinkpiece rehtoric rather than an objectively measured result. It’s attractive to me because it supplies statistics that might help me sway the opinions of my students; I think they would be better off if they believed this, too, and if they shared this belief, our interactions would be less stressful and (I hope) more productive. But the solution isn’t as simple as hiring better writers, or putting more…

Journalism ethics and the elephant in the room.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2017/01/15/journalism-ethics-and-the-elephant-in-the-room/

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/?p=27716

I touched up an old handout on conflict of interest. Given Trump’s attitude toward the profession of journalism (which is far less convenient for him than presenting his unfiltered messages directly to his followers), this is a topic to watch closely. The point of “the Rosenthal Rule” is not to penalize any one political viewpoint; rather, the cub reporter who wanted to march in a protest has such a strong…

Ringling Bros. circus to close after 146 years

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2017/01/14/ringling-bros-circus-to-close-after-146-years/

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/?p=27709

The more I learned about elephants, the less I liked the idea of going to the circus. I’m interested in its place in the history of American culture, but times have changed. After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May. The…

Take my feedback if you want to pass.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2017/01/10/feedback/

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/?p=27705

As my students in a compressed online course start writing a term paper, I ponder the importance of feedback. I can’t force them to read it, but I do intend to give it. Should they choose to ignore it, I simply have to evaluate their work fairly and, if they ask for an explanation, encourage them to go back and read the feedback I’ve already given. From my perspective, I can…