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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Posts Tagged ‘Public Relations Society of America’

Print media not going away, even if ads and employees are

Posted by James McPherson on January 16, 2009

Most of the media experts we’ve met with here in New York (more than a dozen people in all) agree with what I’ve written previously on this blog: Print media will be with us for a long time to come.

At the same time, all of those experts agree that the media of the future won’t look like today’s–and no one knows exactly what they will look like. Though the experts disagreed somewhat on how much today’s students need to know about new media “tools and toys,” the specific technology increasingly used by news organizations, there is no doubt that new media will be increasingly important.

Several of the experts agreed that this is an exciting time to be a  a prospective new journalist, as the energy and skills of our best students combine with an increasing desire for news among consumers.

For more on the perspectives of a wide range of experts, and on student views of those perspectives, check out the class blog.

Posted in Education, Journalism, Media literacy, Written elsewhere | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Onion and Channel Thirteen

Posted by James McPherson on January 13, 2009

We definitely saw a contrast in “news” operations on Monday.

In the morning we visited The Onion, where editor Joe Randazzo and several staffers regaled us with funny stories while at the same time telling us that they take what they do–spoofing the news media–very seriously. They even try to adhere strictly to Associated Press sylte, which I’ll be sure to point out to media writing students at home.

In the afternoon we met with folks at Channel Thirteen, where Bill Moyers tapes his show. We saw his wife, Judith, but didn’t know it was her until after we said hello while passing in the hall. The students also got to try out their teleprompter skills during a brief studio tour.

Some of the students went from there to College Publisher, which hosts the Whitworth University student newspaper Web site. And some of them are now at Good Morning America.

Today we’re on to the Nielsen Co. (the ratings organization) and the Public Relations Society of America).

Posted in Education, Journalism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Visiting D.C. during inauguration week

Posted by James McPherson on November 29, 2008

In January my wife and I will go with a dozen Whitworth University students to New York and Washington, D.C., to meet with about two dozen leaders and experts in various mass media agencies and industries. Sites and people we will visit include the Associated Press, Columbia Journalism Review, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Public Relations Society of America, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, NPR, PBS, Fairness & Accuracy in Media, the Onion, a couple of academics, a telecommunications lobbyist, and representatives from finance, newspaper, television and magazines.

The first version of this “media impact” study program went to those same two cities two years ago, meeting with some of the same people and some others. I remain impressed with how giving some very important people are of their time when it comes to helping students (and somewhat surprised at the outsized egos of some other people with jobs that are far less important).

The biggest difference between this trip and the one two years ago is that this year Barack Obama will be inaugurated during the same week that we’ll be in town, a day after Martin Luther King Day (which fell during the New York segment two years ago). As you might guess, scheduling for that week was a bit tougher this time around, and some folks we’d have liked to chat with will be unavailable. We’ll talk to a few more people in New York and not quite as many in Washington. Still, I expect the excitement of being in the city at that time, and seeing how the media cover the inauguration events, will be worth the tradeoff.

On the other hand, our group of 14 will be among more than a million extra people expected in the city during that week. Who’d have thought that of the two cities we’ll visit, New York might seem the less crowded? Fortunately our lodging was booked well in advance. One of the Washington media people I was talking to recently suddenly asked, “How did you get a place to stay?” It’s a logical question, considering that the New York Times reports today that the non-availability of Washington-area rooms has people asking for up to $60,000 to rent out their homes for the week and $25,000 for a weekend rental of a one-bedroom apartment.

And folks thought it was expensive to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom during the Clinton administration. I guess yet another area in which Democrats are better for the economy than Republicans is real estate prices.

Posted in Education, History, Journalism, Personal, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »