No, this photo of people wearing coats standing in front of bare trees was not a fake news media attempt to misrepresent what’s happening in Texas and Arizona in July

It’s distressing and shocking to realize that some people are more willing to spread conspiracy theory shit than it they are to check their sources. Isn’t it the bad guys who are supposed to be spreading lies? I like reading news stories for myself, rather than spreading disinformation on social media. How hard is it…

Journalists who are doing their job by reporting fairly on a controversial topic often get attacked from both sides. 

Americans can fairly and legitimately differ on important values. Freedom or security? Peace or justice? Which short-term sacrifices are worth making, for which long-term benefits?

Most readers will nod along with whatever parts of a story affirm their values. A significant number will reject any story — even one that’s carefully sourced and fact-checked — if it challenges their world view. (“So biased!” “Fake news!”)

Whenever even the fairest-minded journalists tackle a high-stakes story involving groups with different levels of access to wealth, education, healthcare and personal security, any honest story they publish is going to make someone upset.

I never have time to create materials like this during the academic year. Brand new handout. Easily 10 hours of work. Hoping to post one a week.

AP Style follows the standard English practice of capitalizing proper nouns. They stayed with Uncle John at Gracious Living Inn on the shore of Grenada Lake while on vacation in the South. Capitalize the names of particular people, places or things. (Proper nouns.)  In the above example, “shore” and “vacation” are common nouns. They stayed with my uncle at a hotel on the south end of a peaceful lake.…

My Student Calls Out a Mental Health Stigma in a Biased Headline — But Here’s Why We Shouldn’t Blame “The Media”

This morning a journalism student told me a friend in a different class was complaining that “the media” was stigmatizing mental illness in its coverage of yesterday’s mass shooting in California. My student told me she remembered I had mentioned that reporters often don’t write the headlines under which their stories are published, but she…

Details drive the news (new handout)

I have nothing against essays, but not every writing task requires an essay. I tell my students they will be more successful if they produce a narrative personal essay because it’s the right genre for the occasion, not because it’s the only genre they feel comfortable writing. This handout is my latest attempt to help…

Journalism ethics and the elephant in the room.

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 personal connection to that issue that it made him unsuited to write neutral, fact-based stories on that issue. A conflict of interest is still an ethical problem even if nobody misbehaves and nobody means any harm.