In the interests of keeping score on an important issue, it's worth noting that several other local papers of varying stripes have now run the highly controversial images of the Prophet Mohammed that have sparked a huge debate in media circles. The Boston Globe reported today that the conservative student newspaper, the Harvard Salient, ran four cartoons in its February 8 issue.
Let's hope the hex of "Don't Quote Me" isn't as bad as the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. Less than a month after I lauded the work (scroll down to third item) of WRKO's new operations director Brian Whittemore, the Whittemore era is over.
According to the release excerpted below, he's been supplanted by WEEI's director of programming Jason Wolfe, who will now become vice president of AM programming for WEEI and WRKO:
Here's an email I got that kind of sums it up:
I'm just wondering if you might want to do something about the ridiculous storm coverage I witnessed most of the day today (Sunday.) I won't get into all my gripes, but for starters I was disappointed they failed to show both Meet the Press and the Daytona qualifying. I mean, I live in New England and it was a snow storm.
At this point, it's hard to find any piece of commentary that offers up anything fresh on the now infamous Mohammad cartoon controversy. But the op-ed in today's Globe by Cathy Young -- who favored publishing the cartoons as part of the news coverage -- deserves credit for making this crucial point:
In a New York Times column, David Brooks contrasts the Islamic extremists' attitudes with ours: The West, with its ''legacy of Socrates and the agora" and its ''progressive and rational" mindset, is open to a multiplicity of arguments, perspectives, and ''unpleasant facts," while radical Muslims cling to ''pre-Enlightenment" dogmatism and shrink from the ''chaos of our conversation."
They like us. They really like us. Well, let's not go overboard.
But this new survey from the Pew Research Center seems to indicate that the public's usually dim view of journalists is brightening noticeably. Here are the vital stats:
While views of government, Congress and the political parties have sagged, public satisfaction with the news media has rebounded over the past few years.
The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN), an umbrella organization to which the Phoenix belongs, thinks it has tracked down the conservative group that is the source of an email campaign trying to get news organizations to publish the cartoons that have inflamed the Muslim world. Most media outlets have made their minds up on this one already -- and it's been a resounding no.
You gotta' love those Metro Boston marketers. One colleague who picked up her Metro at Somerville's Davis Square today found that each freebie tabloid there came with a pocket-sized 94-page booklet featuring "sneak previews" of four romance novels published by HQN Books whose catchy motto -- "We are Romance" -- pretty much says it all.
Local cable outlet NECN has just hired a new morning show anchor, Karen Swensen, who'd been anchoring and reporting at CBS affiliate WWL-TV in New Orleans. (Her home down there was a casualty of Hurricane Katrina). Starting Feb. 15, she'll anchor "Good Morning Live" with Mike Nikitas.
In this week's "Don't Quote Me" in the Boston Phoenix: Oprah Winfrey's mega-media empire has arguably made her the most powerful woman in America. But is the woman who put the cult in pop culture to be loved or feared?
Not so coincidentally, XM Radio just announced signing the feelgood goddess-- already worth an estimated $1.
Hot off the presses, here's some personnel news from One Herald Square.
1) Emma Ratliffe, formerly the planning editor for Fox 25 News, joins the Herald's City Desk as a city editor specializing in enterprise stories.
"Emma will be a great addition to a talented City Desk which has made interesting and relevant enterprise stories its focus.
The huge story today in journalism is the agonizing over whether or not to run the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that have triggered riots, violence, and some deaths across the globe. Obviously, the overwhelming majority of US news outlets have chosen not to. With a big assist from Jim Romenesko's Poynter site, here's some of the thinking.
Sorry about the late post today. But I just got off deadline for this week's story. Anyway, I just love the fact that Nick Kristof is calling out Bill O'Reilly on Darfur. (Kristof just earned a special citation in the Goldsmith investigative journalism competetion at Harvard's Shorenstein Center for his tremendous work on the genocide there.
I don't know much about Cameroon's libel laws, but this should give pause to those who think there's a nasty tabloid culture in this country. What's not surprising -- of course -- is that the papers are selling like hotcakes, another sign of where journalism could be heading if it we all succumb to the "give the reader what he wants" business strategy.
When the best thing Al Michaels could say about Super Bowl XL was that the many Super Bowls had already been decided by the end of the third quarter, but this one was still very much alive (Steelers 14, Seahawks 10), you know you were watching a weird and poorly played game. I think it's safe to say that never again will a quarterback with Big Ben's stats take home a Lombardi Trophy.
I take very seriously the outrage expressed by Muslims about the cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammad and think peaceful protests and boycotts are totally legitimate responses. But this letter posted on Jim Romenesko's slice of the Poynter Web site sums up my feelings about U.S. media organizations too squeamish to show what triggered the massive backlash as part of their news reporting on what is now a huge international story.