Views of the News: What's the reporter's role?

Sep 24, 2013

Chuck Todd appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Credit NBC News

What is the reporter's role?

NBC's Chuck Todd is under fire for comments he made on the program "Morning Joe."  Todd and former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell (D) were discussing the root of some commonly-held misconceptions of about the Affordable Care Act.  Rendell argued the public has been fed erroneous information about the law.  Todd said "Republicans have effectively messaged against it," but disagreed with those who said it is up to the media to educate the public about the law.

Jack Mirkinson, Huffington Post: “Chuck Todd targeted by petition for comments about Obamacare and the media"

Steve Rendall, “Inform the public? Not my job, says Chuck Todd

Tommy Christopher, Mediaite: “Did Chuck Todd really say media not responsible for correct Obamacare ‘Falsehoods?’”

Joan McCarter, DailyKos: “Chuck Todd: Pointing out Republican lies isn’t his job

Inside the Nairobi mall massacre

New York Times staff photographer, Tyler Hicks, was running errands at a shopping center across the street from the Westgate Premiere Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. He heard the gunfire and made his way inside the mall, capturing some of the most captivating coverage of the worst terror attack in Kenyan history.  More than 60 people died during the four-day siege. 

James Estrin, New York Times, "Witness to a massacre in a Nairobi mall"

Pope Francis, media: Unlikely friends?

Credit Catholic Church (England and Wales) / Flickr

The Jesuit magazine, The American, printed an exclusive interview with Pope Francis. It caught the world's attention for what was seen as some as softening on gay rights, abortion and birth control. Church officials maintain the interview isn't an indication of a change in doctrine.  Observers do seem to agree on one thing -- the Pontiff isn't one to stay quiet.

Video: Media Buzz, Fox News Channel: "Catholic editor on how he got the Pope interview"

Antonio Spadaro, S.J., America: “A big heart open to God

Laurie Goodstein, New York Times: “Pope says church is ‘obsessed’ with gays, abortion and birth control

David Gibson, Religion News Service: “Analysis: Pope Francis stuns the church. But will it have a lasting effect?"

Jessica Winter, Slate: “Pope Francis’ Catholic Church: Stephen Colbert is replacing Antonin Scalia as America’s Catholic

KU professor suspended for taking on NRA

University of Kansas journalism professor David W. Guth said he was being deliberately provocative when he tweeted the National Rifle Association on the day of the Navy Yard shootings, putting the incident squarely on the organization's shoulders.  In it, Guth said, "the blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you." Guth has drawn the ire of gun owners, of Republican lawmakers, and members of the KU community.  The university has placed him on an indefinite administrative leave while the incident is under investigation.


Jenna Hanchard, KSHB-TV: “KU professor defends tweet regarding NRA, Navy Yard shootings

Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press: “KU: No early sabbatical approved for professor

Matt Hamilton, Los Angeles Times: “Kansas professor put on leave after tweet blaming NRA for DC shooting

David W. Guth, Snapping Turtle (personal blog)

Infiltrating IOS7

Apple released its newest mobile operating system last week.  But, soon after iOS7 was ready for download several bugs emerged, including a couple that presented data security vulnerabilities for users.

Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian, “Apple says it ‘s working on fix for iOS7 lockscreen bypass flaw

Jim Finkle, Reuters, Huffington Post: “Group claims to have hacked iPhone fingerprint scanner

Metrics making news

In what is bound to be a welcome addition for television networks, Nielsen announced that it will begin counting mobile viewership to program ratings.  It is expected the change will provide a more accurate accounting of how many people watch programming -- not just those watching programming on their television sets. 

Brian Stelter, New York Times: “Nielsen will add mobile viewership to ratings

Josh Sternberg, Digiday: “The pageview’s days are numbered

Cutting the cord: Northwestern drops cable

College students across the country are cutting the cord -- ditching traditional cable television for more cost-effective choices, such as Netflix and Hulu.  So, if they're not watching it, should the university continue to pay to provide it? Administrators at Northwestern University decided to stop.

Janko Roettgers, Gigaom: “Meet the newest cord cuttters: college campuses