• Loud protests on NPR’s ‘Tea Party’ cartoon

    Columns, Columns-Featured

    An animated political cartoon poking fun at the Tea Party movement has caused an uproar in the blogosphere. The cartoon, on the NPR.org Web site, dismisses participants in the movement as inarticulate, paranoid bumblers. Creator Mark Fiore says the 90-second animation is satire.

    “It’s actually not that funny — especially to those on the right, including members of the Tea Party movement, which is populated by passionate Americans who don’t like the direction President Obama is taking the country,” says NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard. She adds the cartoon is a “mean-spirited attack” and does not fit with NPR’s values of civility and civil discourse.

  • ‘Alleged,’ ‘accused’ are important words

    Columns, Columns-Featured

    Readers wonder why the Express-News and other media report that a suspect “allegedly” killed 12 people last November at Fort Hood, or why another is a “suspect” in an “alleged terrorist attack” on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day.

    Legitimate questions, notes Bob Richter, public editor of the Express-News. To the dozens of witnesses in both incidents, it was clear who was behind both incidents. “So why the $10 legalese when anyone with 2 cents worth of common sense knows what happened and who did it?”

    It’s simple: The U.S. Bill of Rights grants newspapers “freedom … of the press” but not the freedom to declare someone guilty of a crime.

  • Tattoos, Woods, rabbits and unrealized promises

    Columns, Columns-Featured

    “How can a TV host be allowed to get a tattoo on live TV?”

    “How can you guys sink so low as to start airing shows about people being unfaithful?”

    A selection of recent comments from viewers includes these and other questions about the slaughtering of rabbits on Survivor, refugee “children” and when a particular favorite show will be on again.

  • Post looks to enhance appeal to online, print readers

    Columns, Columns-Featured

    The Washington Post just ended one of the most tumultuous years in its 132-year history. More early-retirement buyouts depleted its staff, the print and online operations were integrated, the newspaper underwent its most extensive redesign in more than a decade, and an ill-fated plan to sell sponsorships of off-the-record dinners involving the newsroom damaged the paper’s journalistic integrity.

    Can readers anticipate a less turbulent 2010?

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