media critic

Media Critic
6:54 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Media Critic: Louisville TV News Stations Devote 40 Percent of Their Time to Crime Reporting

Credit Shutterstock.com

Each October, journalism students at duPont Manual High School watch 20 days of local television news, categorize the types of stories they see, and compile the results. In my second and third columns for WFPL, I discussed their main finding from October 2012, which is that local TV news is swamped with crime coverage.

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Commentary
9:00 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Media Critic | Changes (Lots of Them) Come to the Louisville Courier-Journal

The Courier-Journal building on Sixth Street and Broadway
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL

We can all think of companies that announced significant and unpopular changes to their signature products: Coca-Cola, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft, just to name a few. Sometimes the company sees the error of their ways (Coca-Cola) and backtracks; sometimes they push ahead anyway (Facebook), knowing that consumers don’t have much of a choice and will eventually get used to the changes.

Gannett and The Courier-Journal fall into the latter category.

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Local News
6:53 am
Thu August 1, 2013

WFPL Media Critic Discusses Recent Column on Coverage of HIV-Positive Jail Inmate

James Miller
Credit Submitted photo

Knowing what facts to add or emit information from a piece of journalism is among the most complex parts of the craft. WFPL’s Media Critic, James Miller, considered this point when several Louisville media outlets ran with a story concerning  an HIV-positive inmate in Louisville. Miller considers the relevancy of the inmate's HIV-positive status in the story.

He explained the issue to WFPL’s Jonathan Bastian. Listen below:

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Media Critic
9:01 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Media Critic: Louisville TV Stations Missed Real Story Behind HIV-Positive Inmate

James Miller
Credit Submitted photo

In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, most people had no idea how AIDS was transmitted. Even as late as 1999, many people believed that they could get AIDS from public toilets or sharing drinking glasses with an HIV-positive person. These erroneous beliefs were at least partially attributable to homophobia, but misinformation from irresponsible news reporting was likely also to blame.

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Media Critic
7:02 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Louisville Media Focus Too Much on Lurid Details of Tragedy Over Big-Picture Issues

Most Americans are familiar with the caricature of bloodthirsty reporters swarming in packs around the recently bereaved: “You just witnessed the death of your entire family. Tell us how you feel!”

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Media Critic
6:43 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Media Critic: Louisville News Outlets Should Localize Complex National Stories, Too

James Miller
Credit Submitted photo

Sometimes national news stories are so important that local news organizations devote resources to covering them. We’ve seen this to be true with incidents of extreme violence —9/11, Sandy Hook, Chris Dorner, the DC snipers, Benghazi—but when the topics are a little more sophisticated (and seemingly blessed by bipartisan Beltway consensus) they tend to drop off the local news radar.

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Local News
8:07 am
Sun May 26, 2013

The Changing State of the News Media; Diane Rehm Joins WFPL News Panel Discussion

Louisville Public Media President Donovan Reynolds, Diane Rehm and WFPL's Gabe Bullard
Credit Kirsten Pfalzgraf/Louisville Public Media

The American news media is beset by challenges—technology offering new ways to disseminate news, changes in how news organizations are funded and the rise of political talking heads.

And that's a very quick summary of the issues.

On Friday, WFPL convened a panel to discuss a national news media landscape in flux. 

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Local News
7:00 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Media Critic | Are The Courier-Journal's Opinion Pages So Liberal?

James Miller
Credit Submitted photo

Conservative critics of The Courier-Journal, I have confirmed all of your suspicions: its editorial pages are quite liberal.

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Local News
7:10 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Media Critic | Pew Study Sheds More Light on Crime-Focused TV News

James Miller
Credit Submitted photo

Just a few weeks after my last column on Louisville television news' focus on crime, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism published their annual State of the News Media report. The report confirms the assertions in my column: local stations are adding more hours to their news programming even as viewership declines, and crime stories dominate local TV news. The Pew study included weather and sports stories; when my students collected their data, they omitted those two topics if the stories aired during show blocks exclusively reserved for them. Once you remove weather and sports from Pew’s data, crime is the number one topic.

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Local News
7:00 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Media Critic | Why TV News Emphasizes Crimes and How It Shapes Louisville's Perceptions

James Miller
Credit Submitted photo

In my previous column I asked why local TV news spent so much time covering crime stories. One reason could be that Louisville has an unusual amount of crime, but as I showed, that’s not the case. Another reason could be that crime stories are very easy for TV news to cover.

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