How the biggest story about America dropped off Page 1

By GEORGE SALAMON// There it was, a story about what President Obama had called “the defining challenge of our time,” income inequality, or how the rich have been getting and keep getting richer and the poor have been getting and keep getting poorer.
The story in the September 5 New York Times, “Least Affluent Families’ Incomes Are Declining, Fed Survey Shows,” did not make it to Page 1 of the NYT news section. Instead, it landed on page 2 of the paper’s Business Today. What’s going on here?

The digital age is plagiarism friendly, if profitable

By SETH RICHARDSON// Journalism has two cardinal sins: don’t lie and don’t steal.

Lying has generally been considered the worse of the two. Janet Cooke, Jayson Blair, Jack Kelley and Stephen Glass know the repercussions all too well. Each one was caught lying and completely blacklisted from the industry.

But this doesn’t seem to be the case with plagiarism.

The most recent example is BuzzFeed Political Editor Benny Johnson. Johnson was caught plagiarizing no fewer than 41 times. In one of his more popular pieces “How Well Do You Know Basic U.S. Politics,” Johnson even stole Wikipedia of all places.

The New York Times and the demise of the Bagel Café

By GEORGE SALAMON// On Labor Day (September 1) the NYT ran a story about the imminent demise of the Bagel Café, a 24-hour business forced out of the location it had occupied for 25 years in the Bronx’s Bay Plaza shopping center.

The story focused on the deterioration of the relationship between the café’s owner, 60-year-old Charles Maselli, and his landlord, Prestige Properties, a relationship ending in an induced “failure of communications” and the ensuing refusal by the landlord to extend the lease. The lease expired in March and Maselli stayed on a month-by-month basis for about $2,500 more, raising the rent to $17,500 per month. But that was not good enough for Prestige Properties and Maselli was served with an eviction notice. He will fight it in court on September 11.

Letter to the Editor: Focusing on false equivalences distorts reality, distracts from real issues

By JAMES ANDERSON / In an August 1 editorial for the Gateway Journalism Review, William Freivogel denounced the “false equivalences” imposed upon Israel in its latest assault on the Gaza Strip. Freivogel’s selective focus on equivalences distracts from what is really at issue, exculpating the US from its role in enabling more than 1,800 deaths and the displacement of more than 300,000 in Gaza since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8. “Children continue to bear the brunt of the crisis,” too, the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs explained in a report released August 3, “with 373 killed and at least 2,744 injured.” “Never mind that it was Hamas firing missiles into Israel that started the violence, or that Hamas places its weapons near civilians, schools and hospitals, or that Hamas vows to drive Israelis into the sea, or that Israel warns civilians when it is about to bomb,” Freivogel argued. Through omission, Freivogel ensured readers would pay little mind to the fact “Israel also conducted dozens of attacks in Gaza, killing five Hamas members on July 7,” prior to Hamas firing its first rockets in 19 months, as Jewish intellectual Noam Chomsky reminded those who attend to reality.

Hard choices for journalists covering Ferguson

By WILLIAM H. FREIVOGEOL / The police shooting of a teenager in Ferguson, Mo. and the looting that followed are presenting hard decisions for journalists covering this small suburban town that never expected to be an international dateline. How should the media cover this explosive story of race, rioting and alleged police brutality that unfolds in a sea of angry demonstrators and a Twittersphere of information and disinformation? Here are some of the issues.

Skeletons in the closet? Uncovering embarrassing Wiki edits by Pentagon, Congress

A recent movement to track in real-time edits government organizations anonymously make to Wikipedia has also turned up deep archives of changes made dating back more than 10 years. For instance, thanks to Jari Bakken, lead developer of a Norwegian parliamentary watchdog account, a database of 1,843 edits made at Pentagon IP addresses from 2004-2010 is now publically available.…

Clemons leaves St. Louis for Houston

Tracy Clemons, a multimedia journalist at KSDK in St. Louis, has been named to a similar position at KTRK in Houston. He had been at KSDK since August 2012. Clemons tweeted July 21 that he would leave St. Louis at the end of the week. He previously worked for stations at Shreveport, La., and Charlottesville, Va. He graduated…

False equivalencies undermine Gaza debate

By WILLIAM H. FREIVOGEL / As a liberal academic and a former liberal editorial writer, it is painful to watch as many liberal academics and a few liberal journalists impose false equivalencies upon Israel. Israel is just like the Nazis, some suggest, including most recently the African National Congress. Israel is just like South Africa during Apartheid, others say. Israel should be boycotted just like South Africa say those who support the “BDS” movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. And recently, with the terrible violence in Israel and the Gaza strip, the blame Israel game has reached new heights. Never mind that it was Hamas firing missiles into Israel that started the violence, or that Hamas places its weapons near civilians, schools and hospitals, or that Hamas vows to drive Israelis into the sea, or that Israel warns civilians when it is about to bomb. Israel is far from perfect. But Israel is not South Africa during Apartheid. Israeli law’s recognition of the rights of Arab citizens is significant and does not compare with Apartheid. Nor is Israel exterminating Palestinians. Any suggestion that it is acting like Nazi Germany is uninformed to say the least.