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January/February 2017
Volume 105, Number 1
View as PDF: Click to download


Transparency And FOIA In The Age Of Trump
What does the Trump administration mean for freedom of information, public records, and general government accountability and transparency? Maybe the news media should shy away from the prediction business based on the not-too-stellar record of poll watching in 2016. No matter who is president, there’s ...

Under Trump, A (Potentially) Bright Spot In A Foggy Landscape
President Donald Trump craves the spotlight. For that reason alone, he will not shut out the media over the next four years. He is too dependent on their attention. But he will continue to single out favorites for special treatment and bash those who cover him critically. And because they will ...

Let’s Teach Old Public Records Laws New Tricks
There’s good reason for existential angst about transparency in the Trump administration. Breaking with precedent, President Donald Trump declined to release his tax returns as a candidate. He ditched his press pool. And while Freedom of Information Act requests from other people provided him endless ...

Trump To Make FOI Great Again
A Donald Trump presidency is the best thing that could have ever happened for freedom of information. We know from history that threats to democracy result in bolstered freedom of information. Excessive government secrecy following World War II led journalists to push for the Freedom of Information ...

Lynn Walsh: Protect Press Freedom So The World Can Be Free
"I am here because I believe that the most important thing for free men to do is to protect the freedom of others. I am here so that my son when he is grown will not have to fight or die in a land not his own, because one man or group of men try to take his liberty from him. I am here because I believe ...

A View (Of Donald Trump) From Afar
There is a great scene in "All the President's Men," the film about The Washington Post's reporting that eventually led to Richard Nixon’s resignation as president of the United States. Executive editor Ben Bradlee is talking with reporters Carl Bernstein ...

Ten with Tara Gatewood
Nothing in Tara Gatewood’s career went according to plan. If it had, she says, she would be a photographer somewhere doing “amazing shoots.” Her interest in journalism — and course of study — started with photography at Montgomery College in Maryland, having moved from her home in the Isleta Pueblo ...

Boyd Huppert: A Journalist With 10,000 Stories
At 16, Boyd Huppert did his first broadcast writing. Four decades later, he’s still going. As a teenager, he oversaw the controls of a local radio station during Green Bay Packers broadcasts. Between commercials he gathered death notices from local funeral homes to compose obituaries. From the ...

Use Social Media As A Watchdog Spotlight
One of my proudest moments in recent memory happened when I tracked down a little-known government meeting and sent live updates to my Twitter followers on what turned out to be a $1 million cash subsidy to a major company. While the government agency did not alert journalists about the 8 a.m. meeting ...

Freelance Goal-Setting: Keep Your Eye On The Prize
When I was a kid, I remember waking up on New Year's Day and excitedly pulling out my unicorn-and-rainbows box filled with paper and a pencil. I'd write down my New Year's resolutions and tuck them away in the box, along with my not-so-great drawings of horses, my love at the time. Within three days, ...

Online Harassment Is An Ethics Issue For Journalists
The internet inarguably shook up the profession of journalism more than any other technology throughout its history. People spend a lot of time discussing the internet’s impact on storytelling and the business of journalism, but they typically ignore the harassment it unleashed on journalists. The ...

Storytelling: Think Musically To Create With Purpose
Last December, I took vacation, pulled out one of my guitars from the closet and began playing again after a long hiatus. There is a writing lesson here, I promise. After strumming a few songs, I decided to get serious and go back to learning and then practicing my scales. I’d learned the patterns ...

Caution! Beware The Redundant
A sharp-eyed reader named Tom sends examples from the media of what he calls the “sophomoric redundancy” of the phrasing “potentially dangerous.” He points to potentially dangerous natural gas levels, potentially dangerous levels of a fungicide in orange juice, even a potentially dangerous bit of choreography. Tom ...

Steve Buttry: Objectively, A Journalism Life Well Lived
Editor’s Note: This is among the last major articles Steve Buttry wrote. Though for those who knew him, or knew of his work in the journalism field and through his training and teaching blog, The Buttry Diary, it would come as no ...

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