Why don’t male TV #news #anchors #dress in tight-fitting party outfits?

If you are journalist, salesperson, doctor, or entrepreneur,  you may not want to arrive at work dressed like you are going to a party.  Women and men should be able to dress however they like.  But at most jobs, you want people to take you seriously. For women –young and old —  that’s still hard sometimes. The workplace is still home to a few leering bosses or co-workers — or viewers.  At the risk of blaming the victim — Why encourage it?

When it’s a personal choice, so be it. But, as Beth Teitell notes in today’s Boston Globe, sometimes, the TV news boss insists. We welcome her story on broadcast wardrobe requirement that might seem undignified to many journalists.

She writes:

“Should a TV anchorwoman be required to dress for work in a cocktail dress? Or stilettos? What about body-hugging tops?…It is no revelation that TV news personalities work in a field where looks and appearance matter, but many women in broadcasting say that pressures to dress sexier for the camera have been ratcheting up for at least a decade and have come to a point that they can seem pervasive.”



NYTimes on how they got the Trump Jr./ Russia meeting story.

With such strong feelings on the right and the left about the quality of reporting from the legacy media, it can be a challenge to teach journalism these days. It’s easy to say something that a student can interpret as biased. So, I welcome all views in my classes, but I ask that we have a fact-based debate over the credibility of the press and that we be allowed to disagree with each other in a civil way. As Gumby and Pokey say:

gumby facts.jpeg

That said, the Times has published a how-we-got the story piece. Check it out here .  Know that Trump has charged that the anonymous sources are fabricated. I disagree, but would be happy to consider evidence to the contrary.


Sponsored content, social media and “news”

I am sympathetic to news sites seeking new sources of funding. In the days of print, this might have come in the form of an “advertorial.” Clearly marked, these ads-written-as-news went into the trash the next day with the rest of the paper.

These days, they call is sponsored content and it is often well-marked, and then maybe it isn’t — when it comes up on social media. It looks like journalism, but it’s not; it’s marketing.  But, I would guess that many readers can’t tell the difference. That’s the whole point. It gains the same kind of credibility as a news story that aims to promote the facts, not the product.  And, social media is where many of us get our news these days.

Add that to all the institutional websites — companies, hospitals, universities — producing journalistic stories that are aimed at marketing their products, like a $250,000 bachelor’s degree. Many of my students don’t know the difference between The Huntington News— an independent student paper — and Northeastern News  a marketing section of NU web site written in journalistic style. Whats the difference? At NU news, the customer is NU. The items there are meant to inform the community about things NU wants them to know about.  At the Huntington News,  the customer is the campus community and not all the stories show NU in a positive way.

Not a problem with any of that, unless you can’t tell the difference.

The sponsored event is  another example of the trend — see below. These are big dilemmas and not easily resolved as journalism moves beyond the days of print advertising.  But, let start by recognizing it. This Health News Review story is a good place to start, especially for health writers like. me

aspen-ideas-festival-spotlight-health-2017-the-atlantic-1-768x593As pleased as I was to see smart people grappling with the problem of misleading health news last week at the Aspen Ideas Festival, I don’t think it’s accurate to suggest that “fake” stories are a major problem with health news today.

“Fake Health News Metastasizes” was the title of the Aspen session addressing this topic, and it was covered by The Atlantic with a story headlined ‘Of All the Categories of Fake News, Health News Is the Worst.”

The term “fake news,” as we’ve previously explained, suggests an intentional attempt to deceive. And as the The Atlantic piece eventually clarifies, it’s much more common to see “junk” health news that stems from inaccurate, incomplete, and imbalanced reporting by “real” news outlets rather than deliberately “fake” news.

But perhaps the larger problem with The Atlantic’s coverage is the lack of self-awareness it demonstrates. There’s no recognition that The Atlantic, co-sponsor of the Festival, is contributing to the very problem it highlights.

Using, posting #Streetview360 images

Been playing with the Google StreetView mobile app, which allows you to take 360 photos with your phone. If you make it public, it also allows you to embed them in WordPress.com. I added mine to Google Street View, which says “Imagery that was captured by an external contributor and posted to Google Maps is the property of that contributor, unless they have agreed to transfer ownership to a third party.” So, you own it.

But, somehow this shot got corrupted. I’m troubleshooting that.

When I hit the arrow keys on Google maps, the image corrected.

#NEU j- students’ report on the#refugee crisis in #Greece

Nice work from Northeastern University journalism students, including a few of my own. Here’s their latest report:

It is a crisis that is testing Greece’s limits. Over five weeks, a team of journalists from Northeastern University traveled oversees to cover the Syrian refugee crisis in a country already beset by economic collapse. The coverage spans from social issues and healthcare to needs as basic as shelter.