Perspective | After Hannity’s travesty, Fox News redeems itself (just a tad) with a bold election night decision

Fox News was the first major outlet to predict the House would flip to blue, in a show of professional confidence that drew praise from journalists. The decision desk’s call made me think that somewhere — under all its appalling propaganda and conspiracy peddling — a beating heart of news is still pumping away, however wany, at Fox. The problem is that Fox has done itself so much harm by…

Trump’s war on the media is driving students to journalism

Twenty-one-year-old political science student Kieran McMurchy says he’s shocked at how quickly Trump supporters have “lost faith in pillars of free speech like the Washington Post and the New York Times.” A few months ago, he was planning to go to law school. Now, he says he’s fired up to be a journalist. “It’s definitely concerning the way Trump has made mainstream media ‘the other’ in the country, essentially the enemy from within.”…

“Look for the helpers” is good for distracting preschoolers from horrors they can’t change; we adults must do better.

“Look for the helpers” is only one part of how Fred Rogers recommended that parents help children deal with tragedy. Let your child know if you’re making a donation, going to a town meeting, writing a letter or e-mail of support, or taking some other action. It can help children to know that adults take many different active roles and that we don’t give in to helplessness in times of…

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,…