Heidi Diedrich: ‘Nothing can replace going there’

Heidi Diedrich is thousands of miles from home but not from her first calling, photography. The former Daily Egyptian staff photographer made a career in corporate communications after graduating from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale in 1991. About eight years ago, she took that expertise to Iraq for a consulting job at the American University …

Fake news: consequences and some solutions

Fake news is a current phenomenon, though it dates back hundreds of years ago. In the earliest days of printing, newspapers published articles about monstrous beasts or unusual occurrences. The discovery of a monster with “goat’s legs, a human body, seven arms and seven hands” was published in a pamphlet in 1657 in Catalonia. In …

Khashoggi’s death: A part of Saudi’s information war in the Middle East

The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death is a part of Saudi Arabia’s information war in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia wants to cut off criticism in and outside the country by controlling media outlets and journalists. According to the Human Rights Watch, there are at least 60 people currently in jail just for expressing …

Project Veritas and the Changing Face of Fake News

Project Veritas released videos from Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill’s re-election campaign only weeks before the election. In the sting, an individual from Project Veritas feigned interest in supporting McCaskill’s campaign as a volunteer. Throughout the summer, the Project Veritas employee interned for McCaskill, using the opportunity to secretly record conversations with other staffers and McCaskill …

Post-Dispatch, Tribune haven’t caught up with EU rules

When stricter data protection and online privacy regulations went into effect in the European Union earlier this year, American news organizations had to adapt their websites or risk hefty fines if they wanted to share their content overseas. Many media organizations, including the Washington Post, New York Times and NPR, made the necessary changes to …

Year two of Trump’s assault on truth: A Twitter presidency in age of information chaos  

President Trump’s assault on truth has developed into the central organizing principle of his presidency.  For two years he has piled lie upon lie to build an alternative reality, a fable embraced by tens of millions of credulous adherents. The president’s false statements and lies aren’t occasional, unguarded fibs.  They fit together in an all-encompassing …

14th Amendment: Legacy of Dred Scott and reservoir of individual rights

President Trump’s pre-election plan to reinterpret the 14th Amendment to eliminate birthright citizenship would weaken a part of the Constitution that has roots in St. Louis and that serves as the Constitution’s deepest reservoir of individual rights. That background, which didn’t get much attention in the media, is important to understanding the danger of Trump’s …

An intern gets a big lesson in investigative reporting in a small town

About two months after I arrived in Southern Illinois for a reporting internship this fall at the Pinckneyville Press, a several-ton mulch pile caught fire at the Alstat Wood Product yard about eight miles south of town. It burned for the better part of September and October, billowing smoke that could be seen for miles …

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