Recent Journalism Commentaries

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The Incredible Dorothy Day
On his recent visit to the United States, Pope Francis talked about several Americans who had an impact on Catholics in general and the Church, in particular. One of them was journalist Dorothy Day, a name not readily familiar to most. Former Washington Post columnist and current Peace Studies teacher, Colman McCarthy, offered a fuller background on Day and the...
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November 13, 2015
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After the Fall
Should we forgive Brian Williams? After four months, we now know what will happen to former NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams after being suspended for lying about his “war time” experience: He will not be returning to the anchor desk. The very able Lester Holt, who’s been filling in for Williams, will become the permanent anchor, a position well...
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June 22, 2015
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Alert and Available
Charlie Rose is perhaps the best in-depth inquisitor in media today. The Emmy award winning journalist is not only the host of his own nightly PBS program where he interviews America’s best writers, business leaders, politicians, athletes, entertainers, innovators and thinkers, he is my go-to newsman/anchor at CBS This Morning. Rose likes to observe or ask, “What does it mean,”...
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May 22, 2015
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Доверяй, но проверяй
Susanne Massie, a writer on Russia, counseled President Ronald Reagan regarding his relations with the Soviet Union. “The Russians like to talk in proverbs,” Massie told him. “It would be nice of you to know a few.” Consequently, the Russian proverb “Доверяй, но проверяй,” (trust but verify) became a signature line used by Reagan. It’s a phrase that’s been used...
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May 20, 2015
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Brian Williams
What’s to become of Brian Williams, the stalwart and – up until his abrupt six month suspension in February – trusted news anchor for NBC? The good news is that NBC News is taking the time to conduct a thorough internal investigation into the fabrications Williams has told the media, particularly about war-related incidents he was supposedly involved in. According...
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April 27, 2015
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The Ethics of CyberWar – Part 1
In the conclusion to his new book, @War – The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex (2014), journalist Shane Harris writes, “Governments and corporations are making the rules as they go, and their actions have had a more tangible effect than many have realized. It’s incumbent on everyone who touches cyberspace – which is undeniably a collective – to find what...
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March 12, 2015
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The Ethical Take
The E.T. hasn’t been around for awhile. So, let’s get started. The Two-fer – Brian Williams out for six-months without pay; Jon Stewart says adios to The Daily Show. While an internal investigation continues into how NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams misled the public with a story about how the helicopter in which he was travelling in Iraq came...
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February 12, 2015
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Walking Back the Age of Reason
The Age of Reason, (aka, the Enlightenment), must have been a remarkable time to live in – to challenge the conventional wisdom that relied on the traditional forms of authority, and instead, stress analysis, individualism and reason. Can you imagine having discussions on the issues of the day with the likes of Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, John Locke, Immanuel Kant...
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February 9, 2015
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Charlie Hebdo: A Closer Look at Satire
Since the terrorist attack against the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo (Jan. 7), in which 12 individuals were murdered, there’s been no shortage of opinion writers denouncing the assault as an attack on freedom of expression. But can satire go too far? defines satire as “the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or...
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January 12, 2015
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Seek the Truth and Report It
“Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.” – Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics Robert “Alex” Green, reporter and editor of the Bryan College newspaper, The Triangle, said that his teachers taught him to tell the truth, and that’s what he did. After the Christian school officials killed his story detailing that one of...
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July 25, 2014