Thursday, July 12, 2012

Did the New York Times Contribute to the Death of Veteran Journalist Anthony Shadid?

The web site,, is questioning whether the New York Times pushed veteran journalist Anthony Shadid to return to the Middle East, where he had been kidnapped 11 months earlier, without concern for his health. Shadid is believed to have died of a heart attack while trying to illegally enter Syria to report on that country's deteriorating situation for the Times. In the Truth-out story, Shadid's cousin, Dr. Edward Shadid, noted that Shadid had received no counseling or treatment for possible post-traumatic stress disorder following his kidnapping. According to Truth-out, "The New York Times insisted that Anthony illegally infiltrate Syria in a poorly planned, dangerously risky operation. His editors overruled Anthony's objections and failed to provide equipment he had requested. When he then died of what his cousin suspects was a heart attack, the Times put out an inaccurate story that obscured the newspaper's role in his death, while proclaiming him a hero and basking in the reflected glory." Check out the complete story at:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Texas GOP Opposes 'Critical Thinking'

In the disturbing trend category: the Texas Republican Party has released its 2012 political platform, which includes a plank calling for the removal of "critical thinking" from public school curriculum. In the platform document, the party states: "We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority." (page 20, Republican Party of Texas, 2012). The party called on teachers to focus on traditional rote memorization techniques. A critical opinion article about the new platform can be found at:

Monday, July 9, 2012

iPad Becoming the New Evening Newspaper

Interesting story on Jim Romenesko's blog about how a large number of people who own an iPad use it to troll the Internet in the evenings, which has helped make the iPad the modern day equivalent to the old evening newspaper. Check out what he has to say at:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bogus Bylines Bring Embarrassment

The march toward "outsourcing" news—meaning the trend of some major news organizations like the Chicago Tribune to subcontract news gathering and reporting to a third party—has resulted in a few recent hiccups. Check out the controversy over Journatic's (one of those subcontractors, which is partially owned by the Tribune) use of fake bylines in some of its stories, which was recently featured on National Public Radio:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Is using a press release in a story plagiarism?

Interesting lawsuit involving a veteran Kansas City Star reporter's use of press releases in his news columns: