Daily Egyptian challenges chancellor’s ethics

In the past months the Daily Egyptian, the student newspaper at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, published a series of stories highlighting Chancellor Carlo Montemagno’s dealings at SIU since arriving to the university in July. These stories include his role in hiring family and using university money to move them to Carbondale from Alberta, Canada. The…

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.

Anonymous poster must be ID’d

WILLIAM H. FREIVOGEL / The Illinois Supreme Court ruled this week that a northern Illinois public official must be told the name of an anonymous poster to a newspaper website who likened the politician to former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, the child sex abuser. The decision means that the anonymous poster cannot dodge a libel suit by hiding behind anonymity. The Illinois high court ruled unanimously in favor of Stephenson County Board Chairman Bill Hadley, who has been demanding to know the identity of the poster for four years. Under the decision, Comcast, which provides the poster with internet service, would be required to turn over the poster’s identity.