GateHouse Media New England announces buyouts

Who needs journalists?

Slides for my AEJMC talk on recording and transcribing

Doing this on my phone. I’ll try to pretty this up later, but for now, just click here.

Brian McGrory updates staff on Globe restructuring

I’m on the road without my laptop. But my friends at WGBH News have posted a memo I received from a source earlier today in which Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory updated the staff on issues involving downsizing, possible layoffs, and a massive reinvention effort.

The challenge Trump poses to the established media system

maxresdefaultMy first inclination today was to write something about this being a moment that we might look back on as the beginning of the end for the Trump campaign.

Certainly there are plenty of reasons to think that might be the case. From Trump’s mind-bogglingly offensive attack on the Khan family to a powerful pushback from John McCain and other Republicans, from his bizarre comments about Ukraine and Crimea (and the NFL!) to his plummeting poll numbers, this has quite possibly been his worst week.

But rather than belabor the obvious, I’d like to examine the proper role of the news media in covering a campaign like this, which is utterly unique in the post-World War II era—possibly even in the post-Civil War era. Let me start by laying out what I hope the vast majority of you will regard as self-evident truths about the two major-party candidates.

Read the rest at WGBHNews.org.

About those Melania Trump photos (II)

Suddenly we have relevance. Today’s New York Post features a large front-page photo of Melania Trump and another woman, both of them nude and in an erotic embrace. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, is among the most anti-gay elected officials in the country. Someone needs to question Pence about this. Would he allow Mrs. Trump to buy a cake in Indiana?

About those Melania Trump photos

In case you haven’t heard, the New York Post today is running 20-year-old nude photos of Melania Trump. The pictures were taken during a modeling session for which she was presumably paid. There doesn’t seem to be any scandal associated with the photos. And yet, last night, I saw a number of people denounce the Post‘s decision to publish them as “sexist.”

Is it? I wouldn’t have published the photos. You’ll notice that I’m not linking to them. Yet when various media outlets published a mostly nude photo of Scott Brown during his mercifully brief career as a national political figure, I don’t recall anyone denouncing that as sexist.

File this under “no big deal.” Especially after Donald Trump viciously attacked the Khans, the Constitution-waving Gold Star parents who spoke out against Trump’s hatred of Muslims at last week’s Democratic National Convention. That, folks, is a big deal.

Update: Here’s a worthwhile distinction. Not sure why I didn’t think of it myself.

Bloomberg got it right: This campaign’s all about sanity

Page image via the Newseum.

Page image via the Newseum.

In retrospect, Michael Bloomberg’s speech on Wednesday may have been the most important of the Democratic National Convention. By explicitly framing the contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as a clash between sanity and insanity, between competence and incompetence, the former New York City mayor provided a framework not only for Clinton’s acceptance speech but for the rest of the campaign.

“Let’s elect a sane, competent person with international experience,” the Republican-turned-independent said in his plodding manner. “The bottom line is: Trump is a risky, reckless, and radical choice, and we can’t afford to make that choice. Now, I know Hillary Clinton is not flawless. No candidate is. But she is the right choice and the responsible choice in this election.”

Read the rest at WGBHNews.org.