Monday, May 3, 2010

Director's Notes: Serious Business

Monday, May 03, 2010

  • Dangers of Embedding. Crackerjack Washington Post columnist David Ignatius has taken advantage of traveling with the U.S. military to cover wars.  "I've spent weeks at a time visiting U.S. units in the field, hopping C-130s and Blackhawk helicopters and Humvees.  As a result, I have seem more of Iraq and Afghanistan than I possibly could have otherwise, and I think my readers have benefited.  But, embedding comes at a price.  We are observing these wars from just one perspective, not seeing them whole."  Ignatius then expands his theory to include coverage of politics.

If you are interested in learning more about the roots of embedding in recent wars and conflicts, check out our series of Military-Media Conference reports.

  • None of Your Business. That was the headline on a recent Chicago Tribune editorial lambasting the Illinois General Assembly as it was pressing ahead with more exemptions on access to public employees' performance evaluations.  The legislative assault on the state's new-and-improved Freedom of Information Act began in January when teacher evaluations were exempted from FOIA, in exchange for union support on a bill that was suppose to help Illinois qualify for the Obama administration's Race to the Top program.  Now, there is more in store.
  • Speaking of the President, the White House press corps is in a tizzy over its increasingly hostile relations with the administration.  A detailed report on Politico leaves you wondering whether Team Obama is on the same page as the President on open government and transparency issues.  For example, "a routine press query can draw a string of vitriolic emails.  A negative story can draw a profane high-decibel phone call--or worse.  Some reporters feel like they've been frozen out after crossing the White House."  Politico quoted press secretary Robert Gibbs as saying, "This is the most transparent administration in the history of our country."  Peals of laughter broke out in the briefing room.
  • Quote of the Week: "I'm having issues with fully embracing the Twittersphere, because I just don't have the time.  This, to me, is the biggest problem for Twitter---and the entire world that's growing up around it---because in the name of abbreviating communications, it actually makes it more time-consuming to pass along an idea."  -Media Analyst Terry Heaton (

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