Checking on the facts

Fact-checking may be American journalism’s most influential export. What began in the United States in the early 2000s has now spread to more than 50 counties.  Some 113 independent fact-checkers operate today. While accuracy is a foundational element of modern journalism, the fact-checking movement focuses almost solely on evaluating the veracity of newsworthy claims made…

The reporter’s view

I spent the fall in Israel as part of a semester-long international relations program far removed from my hometown of Carbondale. On the plane ride back to America I made a list of goals for my last semester of college. I figured as a “retired” editor-in-chief, I’d return to the Daily Egyptian to help out…

Trump, twitter, transparency and trouble

Commentary by William H. Freivogel During the presidential election, critics of the media maintained the press paid too much attention to Donald Trump’s tweets. Focusing on the tweets let Trump set the day’s news agenda and gave him oodles of free coverage, the critics said. Five months into Trump’s presidency it is the president’s lawyers,…

Scandals will fade but lobbying still drives the Missouri legislature

By ROY MALONE / A series of sex scandals that revealed tawdry affairs among top officials in Missouri’s state capital made for titillating reading this summer and stirred up a controversy about journalistic ethics. Sex scandals in Jefferson City are nothing new, say veteran statehouse reporters. Bad behavior by lawmakers and lobbyists has plagued the legislature for a century. What is new is the social media technology that ensnares straying legislators and the willingness of the press to name names. The decision by the Post-Dispatch’s veteran and highly regarded statehouse reporter, Virginia Young, to name a female aide of the governor’s who was involved in a night of hard drinking, attracted national comment and criticism.

One year later: Media ignore their Ferguson failures

By WILLIAM H. FREIVOGEL / The Justice Department’s twin reports on Ferguson this March raised two disturbing questions about the media: How did so many news organizations fail for so long to realize that “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” was a myth? How did so many news organizations fail for so many years to uncover deeply unconstitutional police and court practices? One would hope those questions would prompt soul-searching. For the most part, they haven’t. The national media are on to the next police shooting with no sign of introspection. False or misleading stories from last summer remain online uncorrected. Social media also barrel ahead, clinging to preconceived ideologies in a cyber-world that is often fact free.