Sears Reshaped America, From Kenmore to Allstate

We just bought a new refrigerator from our local Sears. As a kid, I remember circling toys I wanted in the Christmas catalog. Pages of Legos, Matchbox cars, sleeping bags, remote-controlled cars. There might have been no Sears at all if Richard Sears, a 19th-century railway agent, hadn’t received an unwanted shipment of watches. He sold the watches to station agents up and down the rail line and then teamed…

Headshot of U.S. President Donald J. Trump

How Trump Is Making Journalism School Great Again

This is an important time to teach people what journalists do and why it matters. “The media” is much larger than “journalists devoted to the objective coverage of the news.”  If you don’t like the slant, or the shallowness, or the opportunism of the media you run across, then check out several different sources, including reputable ones with slants that differ from yours. (If nowhere on the planet can you…

Pioneering Harvard Blog Site Wrapping It Up

I still use blogs.setonhill.edu, which I started in 2003. Not for every class, but for most of my discussion-heavy in-person classes. Weblogs@Harvard, as it was then known, was considered pioneering. Facebook didn’t yet exist. Social media was in its infancy. And starting a blog usually required some knowledge of code. Harvard’s blogging platform, now known as blogs.harvard.edu, made it easy. The university was one of the first higher education institutions,…

Portrait of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, biting his lips as if pensive or nervous.

 The Expensive Education of Mark Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley

Because what he never managed to grok then was that the company he created was destined to become a template for all of humanity, the digital reflection of masses of people across the globe. Including — and especially — the bad ones. Was it because he was a computer major who left college early and did not attend enough humanities courses that might have alerted him to the uglier aspects…

Performers rehearsing a dance scene from West Side Story on the stage of the Geyer Performing Arts Center

West Side Story to play out on Geyer Performing Arts Center stage

Carolyn Jerz is playing the lead role of Maria, and Logan Williams will take on the role of her love interest, Tony. “(Carolyn) is one of my favorite actresses to work with,” Handford said. “She started out as an understudy for Maria, but she read for Maria at our first read-thru and even before she was Maria, she was Maria. She is an amazing actress, singer, and dancer.” Handford said…

President Trump speaking at a political rally in Florida. He is pointing his finger in the direction of the camera.

‘Not good, not nice’: At Florida rally, Trump says China has ‘targeted our farmers’

They weren’t the most newsworthy part of Trump’s Florida rally yesterday, but I’m just taking a moment to acknowledge a journalist who is using muted language, in keeping with the charge of journalists to report objectively.  It’s perfectly neutral to place, deep in the body of the article, a note about the president’s claim that you need a picture ID to buy groceries, without using any loaded language.  Other reporters…