James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Archive for March 31st, 2009

If you’re reading this, apparently the worm didn’t turn

Posted by James McPherson on March 31, 2009

The dreaded “Conficker” virus may have shut down your computer, and mine, by the time you would have read this, since I’m writing it just minutes before midnight.

But I doubt it. On Monday, I had my media criticism class analyze the “60 Minutes” report about the virus from the previous night. They chuckled about much of it, and noticed a lot of advertising for the same company that protects my work computer but that my computer store rep suggested I avoid. And that was before the Web version of the story started out with a correction.

My students, fledgling media critics that they are, agreed that their grandparents, and other people my age and older, might be as afraid of that as many were of Y2K. Of course, few of the students remembered the panic about Y2K. Do you?

If so, you’re probably sleeping as soundly as I intend to be very shortly. Waking up on April 1, I’ll have other hoaxes to worry about–like whatever the students produce for the April Fools edition of the student newspaper.

Posted in Education, History, Journalism, Media literacy | Tagged: , , , , , , | 13 Comments »