Schell’s NYT book review

The New York Times featured a book review written by Senior Fellow Orville Schell on December 12. Schell, an expert on US-China relations asks "but with the West's power and confidence now declining, and China's authoritarian form of capitalism ripsawing its way toward an ever more dominant position in the world, a reader may be forgiven for becoming somewhat impatient. Is Morris ever going to answer the 'burning question'? Who will win the next phase of our East-West horse race, the United States or China?"…

Public TV stations face challenges on West, East Coasts

All of the PBS TV stations in the state of New Jersey may go off the air entirely early next year. The New Jersey network's governing authority meets on Wednesday to consider how to survive – or sell. Kept alive by a subsidy by state taxpayers that is scheduled to end shortly, one option on the table is a merger with New York City's WNET and/or Philadelphia's WHYY. This news comes as KCET in Los Angeles prepares to drop PBS programming in three weeks in favor of an independent public TV schedule that starts next month….

Waiting for Another Watergate

What is the most powerful political operation in the country in this 21st century? It's the United States Supreme Court. The men and women in black are on their way to deciding their second national election in just the first decade of the century. In the year 2000, the justices stopped the counting of votes in the presidential election. This year they tilted (or mutilated) congressional elections by ruling – in the case called Citizens United – that corporations are people, only more so. What they ruled was that corporations (and unions) or groups they sponsor have the right to…

Reeves mentioned in NYT Wikileaks op-ed

Senior Fellow Richard Reeves was mentioned in The New York Times in an op-ed piece by Frank Rich making the comparison of the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 to the recent publishing of classified documents on the website Wikileaks on the failures in the Afghan war. In Rich's piece, President Nixon by Richard Reeves is referenced, and his book, Reeves revealed that though the Pentagon Papers were labeled "top secret", over 700,000 individuals had access to them….

‘Top Secret’ play and discussion series in New York City wrap with a bright future

Produced by LA Theatre Works in partnership with New York Theatre Workshop and Affinity Collaborative Theatre, Leroy Aarons and Geoffrey Cowan's Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers closed with rave reviews and an impressive model for using theater to explore and discuss the role of media in a democracy. The USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy organized conversations focused on the tension between issues of national security and a free press that included journalists, scholars, jurists, and public policy leaders from partner organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Columbia Journalism Review, New York University, and more….

Why Washington Doesn’t Work Anymore

What killed bipartisanship in the governing of America? Basically, I think, it was the jet plane and Blackberries. In fact, those two mechanical marvels may break up the whole nation into, say, 350 million countries. A country for every man, woman and child. Why can't the representatives of we, the people, agree on even the things they agree on? The answer is that they don't know each other. In the old days there was a community called Washington — or maybe just Georgetown — where Republicans and Democrats lived together. They carpooled. They had dinner with each other and exchanged…

Newsday is first to take the plunge, goes all-pay online next week; one major provider vows to remain free

NEW YORK — Look, up in the sky! It's a balloon! No, it's not Falcom Heene floating over Colorado (or not, as it turned out). It's Terry Jimenez, floating over Long Island! Who??? Dear readers, meet Terry Jimenez, hero to newspaper publishers and scourge of free content on the Internet. What, you've never heard of him? Those of you without the Terry Jimenez poster can write to the Newspaper Association of America. Think of the iconic Farrah Fawcett poster, but with presses rolling. Really. No, just kidding (I think)….

Two Newspaper Models: Microlocal success, large market challenges

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The latest evidence of financial viability of microlocal news comes from an article in the Wall Street Journal describing the Register-Star, a successful newspaper in Hudson, a town in Columbia County, New York. The formula is a familiar one: "a rich diet of local politics, education news, crime, school sports and people stories." And according to the Journal article, the Register-Star never relied on classified advertising as heavily as the major metro dailies, all of which have seen their classified ad revenue eviscerated by craigslist.com. But that's another blog; let's go back to the editorial side, to…

The public gets a voice in the ‘future of news’

The media revolution has reached a new and important stage: The American public is being let in on the discussion. In the last two weeks' articles in the New York Times and Time Magazine have helped push the question of "whither news media" before a much bigger audience. I say it's about time. Of course, it's not as if the industry's increasingly dire business outlook has been a secret. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings of the Tribune Co. and the Minneapolis Star Tribune were plenty telling. So was the Detroit newspapers' decision to limit home delivery to three days a…

Public policy and the crisis in the news business

Newspapers are for sale across the country. National Public Radio and television news shows are laying off staff. The Tribune Company is in bankruptcy. It's clear that journalism is in crisis, and in the current recession, things are likely to get much worse. That's alarming. A robust press is vital to our democracy. And while bloggers and other new-media news operations have enriched the public dialogue in important ways, their work still depends on the painstaking – and expensive – reporting supplied by traditional journalists….