Uninformed Public is Danger to Democracy
The economy continues to struggle, the educational system underperforms and tensions exist at just about every point on the international landscape. And there is a national presidential selection process underway. It seems, in such an environment, that citizens would feel compelled to get themselves fully up to date on news that matters. It also would … Continue reading "Uninformed Public is Danger to Democracy"
Too Much TV and Nothing to Watch
This post originally appeared in The Indy Star on February 26, 2016. The critically acclaimed television drama of the early 1960s, “Naked City,” concluded each episode with the narrator proclaiming, “There are 8 million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them.” In this era of oversaturated television programming, one would think … Continue reading "Too Much TV and Nothing to Watch"
Pediatricians back away from screen use guidelines
This piece originally appeared in the Providence Journal on December 9, 2015. The American Academy of Pediatrics has long advised parents to keep children under age 2 away from video screens, and to limit older children to two hours of screen time per day. The thinking has been that children deluged with video are less likely … Continue reading "Pediatricians back away from screen use guidelines"
Trust in News Media Won't Be Easily Restored
This post originally appeared in The Indy Star on November 2, 2015. Anybody who has ever been lied to or betrayed by a friend or coworker knows just how difficult it is to re-establish trust in the offending party. Sometimes, credibility that is destroyed can never be fully restored. So it is with America’s news … Continue reading "Trust in News Media Won’t Be Easily Restored"
TV Debates Warp Political Process
This post originally appeared in USA Today on July 29, 2015. Political wonks and junkies breathlessly await the first televised “debate” of the primary season. But sensible voters will do something more productive on debate night. Taking a walk or going to a ballgame will be better than watching 10 overprepared GOP candidates try to upstage each … Continue reading "TV Debates Warp Political Process"
ABC News Further Undercuts Media's Credibility
This post originally appeared in The Indy Star on May 29, 2015. The real damage done by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos’ vacuous ethics – as shown by his revelation of gifts to the Clinton Foundation – won’t be to him or his network. ABC will still get its ratings. George will still make his mega- millions … Continue reading "ABC News Further Undercuts Media’s Credibility"
The Deterioration of TV News
This Guest Author post by Dr. Jeff McCall was originally published in The Indy Star on April 24, 2015. NBC’s high-profile anchor, Brian Williams, has been suspended for telling tall tales. ABC’s highest-profile news personality, Diane Sawyer, has gone super-hype with her two-hour, prime-time interview of Bruce Jenner. CNN has redefined news to include travel … Continue reading "The Deterioration of TV News"
What Millennials Consume on Facebook
This post by Dr. Jeff McCall was originally published in The Indy Star on April 3, 2015. The good news is that nearly 90 percent of recently surveyed millennials say they get news off Facebook. The bad news is that most of those social media users stumble into the “news” only when they go to the … Continue reading "What Millennials Consume on Facebook"
Obama seen as 'enemy' to press freedom
This message was posted on Twitter recently by a prominent member of the media: “The Obama Administration is the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation.” Another tweet from this source read, “I plan to spend the rest of my life fighting to undo the damage done to press freedom in the United States … Continue reading "Obama seen as ‘enemy’ to press freedom"
Threats on Social Media are Still Threats
The social media world is a crazy world, indeed, sparking firestorms over petty things, such as the color of some dress in Scotland. Most social media postings connect people to ideas, news, fun and each other. There is, however, a dark and demented corner of social media where posters threaten and scare individuals. This leaves … Continue reading "Threats on Social Media are Still Threats"
WISH-8 to WTTV-4 switch is bellwether for local TV nationwide
This post by Dr. Jeff McCall was originally published in The Indy Star. Media executives nationwide are watching to see how the Indianapolis television market will respond to the CBS affiliate change from WISH-8 to WTTV-4. These execs want to know if a highly established television station can survive when its longstanding network affiliation ends. … Continue reading "WISH-8 to WTTV-4 switch is bellwether for local TV nationwide"
Media Have Warped Our Perception Of Athletes
This post by Dr. Jeff McCall was originally published by The Indy Star. Let’s remember a key fact as we prepare snacks and grab the remote to watch the Super Bowl. The people playing in the game are important only because they happen to be good at football. They aren’t super heroes. They aren’t necessarily good at … Continue reading "Media Have Warped Our Perception Of Athletes"
The Rolling Stone UVA Rape Story Debacle
This post by Dr. Jeff McCall was originally published by The Indy Star on December 26, 2014. Journalism enters dangerous territory when reporters look to tell “stories” that are more dramatic, more sensational and more confrontational than what is provided by real life. Rolling Stone magazine found this out with its recent, misguided story about sexual assault … Continue reading "The Rolling Stone UVA Rape Story Debacle"
Cultural implications of media violence norms
This post originally appeared in the Indy Star on December 15, 2014. The nation struggles to explain why violence is so much a part of its daily experience. Senseless murders. Sports stars committing domestic violence. Perpetrators playing “knockout games” on public streets. School principals dealing with widespread bullying. The causes of violence are many, complex and difficult … Continue reading "Cultural implications of media violence norms"
Is Sharyl Attkisson a victim of Obama administration?
Former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson is either a paranoid kook or victim of one of the most heinous government abuses of a reporter in American history. Either way, the rest of the journalism community should be jumping into action to determine the truth. Sadly, it is not. Atkisson claims in her new book that the … Continue reading "Is Sharyl Attkisson a victim of Obama administration?"
News media must fight back against negative image
Originally appeared in The Indianapolis Star The dim news for the journalism industry just keeps coming. A recent Gallup news poll shows public trust of the media is at historic lows. Only 40 percent of the public has a measure of trust in the media. This long-term trend indicates trust in the media has dropped 15 … Continue reading "News media must fight back against negative image"
Time to Give NFL's Blackout Rule the Boot
Originally appeared in The Indianapolis Star The Federal Communications Commission is supposed to ensure that the electronic media serve the public interest. A current FCC rule, however, works primarily to serve the interests of a few of America’s wealthiest individuals. That’s why the FCC appears poised to end its blackout rule for National Football League games. … Continue reading "Time to Give NFL’s Blackout Rule the Boot"