The view from the Harrisburg Hardees

By Nathaniel Dean Fortmeyer and William Recktenwald The local paper looks a lot different to Harrisburg, Ill. residents Karen and David Stilley than to fellow residents Mike and Angella Gauch. To the Stilleys the SE Illinois News is a welcome replacement for the retrenching local paper, the Harrisburg Register. To the Gauches, the paper is…

Reporting local news from thousands of miles away

By Nathaniel Dean Fortmeyer, William Recktenwald and William H. Freivogel The journalists’ beats are small Illinois towns. But the reporters live, work and write in Idaho, Texas, Oregon and British Columbia, seldom or never setting foot in the communities they cover. Most are freelancers who hear about work with Interactive Content Services by reading Internet…

Chinese media lavish praise on Trump and his tweet

By Lu Fan The People’s Daily overseas edition compared the meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi to the historical visit of President Nixon to China 45 years ago. That hyperbolic comparison was in line with the rosy evaluations of the trip from the government-influenced Chinese media, which complained U.S. mainstream media had deceived…

Disinformation, distraction & diversion

By William H. Freivogel Opinion President Donald Trump, together with eager sycophants in the right-wing media and the Republican Congress, is using the oldest trick in the book to fool the American people — blame the other guy and get people to look the other way. Everyone has seen it on the playground when the…

Trump’s media attacks threaten America’s fundamentals

By William H. Freivogel Opinion Most respondents — 46-37 percent — think “major news organizations fabricate” stories about President Donald Trump, a Politico-Morning Consult poll found this week. The disheartening result brings to mind the saying, “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.” Nearly every week Trump repeats his lie about…

Xi and the media: strange bedfellows

By William A. Babcock Opinion China’s 19th Party Congress has concluded. As expected, Xi Jinping was confirmed for a second five-year term. But just as his re-election was expected, China’s media coverage of the event was predictable. Not only was China Daily News’ English-language coverage of the Conference predictably positive, but all other media here,…

Sinclair’s right-wing agenda troubling

  By Don Corrigan Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s plan to buy Chicago-based Tribune Media Co. for $3.9 billion has come under fire and there’s no shortage of local and national critics. Criticism is also being directed at the FCC, which will violate its own rules for reining in monopoly media growth if commissioners seal the deal…

Algorithms monitor marketplace of ideas

By Fu Tao and William A. Babcock Algorithms are pervasive in our daily lives. Every action we accomplish online could not be achieved without them. As evidence, simply quickly thumb through New York Times articles from this year and you will easily find coverage on how algorithms are designed to complete tasks that had not…