McGuire on Media

Category Archives: News decisions

‘Peanuts and Crackerjacks’ and other projects that make me “belong” at the Cronkite School

When I retired as editor of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis in 2002, many of my colleagues, pals and enemies were convinced I would desperately miss the fray.  Some opined I would not be able to live without being “in charge.” Others argued removing me from the excitement of the daily news helter skelter would […]

Objectifying celebrities and other humans becoming huge journalism sin

I’ve known for some time that a lot of students thought it, but a student finally said it out loud in my Ethics class last Thursday. We were talking about celebrity foibles and the press’ interest in them. The Rex Ryan alleged foot fetish case, the alleged Brett Favre obscene picture situation and Lindsay Lohan’s […]

Colorful hyperbole and newspapering in 1982 and 2010

All my friends know I can be given to colorful hyperbole. A few months ago I was making a guest appearance in a  media law course talking about the Cohen v. Cowles Media case which resulted from an editorial decision made in 1982.  In response to a question about thenews environment I said this: “Look […]

Arizona Republic did it right and reminded us again why newspapers matter

The Arizona Republic rose to the occasion Sunday morning with a comprehensive, well-written report that answered the important questions in the tragic shooting of Gabrielle Giffords which killed six. I am not talking prizes or using the P-word here. The Republic simply did an outstanding job of sorting fact from fiction and humanizing a horrible […]

Journalistic transparency and humility in a multiple platform world

Paola Boivin is a good, veteran columnist for the Arizona Republic. She’s prolific, engaged with the community and she strikes me as a columnist who plays it straight. Saturday night Boivin covered a close, heart-breaking loss by the Arizona State Sun Devils to Stanford. Her column Sunday morning was tough. She beat up a bit […]

"Failure of Justice" in AZ Republic is a great investigative piece and that’s what makes me nervous

Dennis Wagner of The Arizona Republic wrote a tremendous investigative piece Sunday called “Failure of Justice.” It was hard-hitting, it graphically showed a stone-walling, cover-your-ass bureaucracy and it shone a light on a group of traditionally voiceless people. The piece carefully showed how law enforcement, native and government, seriously botched investigations of a serial rape […]

Journalistic amnesia is a real negative when it comes to disability and the ADA

The criticism leveled most often at journalists is we have amnesia.  We get incredibly excited over things like tsunamis, hurricanes and oil spills and then we tend to forget them even while real suffering continues. The same thing happens with large societal issues. There is certainly an argument that we got smug about race relations […]

Sometimes a newspaper’s ethics guidelines have to be flexible

Okay, class, here’s your ethics hypothetical: Your veteran columnist and your investigative reporter have been aggressively covering abuses in the probate court system. They cover them so well the State Supreme Court Chief Justice sets up a 17-member commission to investigate probate practices.  The chief justice names as chair of that judicial committee your columnist’s […]

Arizona Republic has centered the debate and is on the right track

One of the breakthrough management concepts I learned running a daily newspaper was “catch people doing good.” Life became easier, and I became more effective, when I successfully focused on what people did well rather than obsess about the bad stuff.  I don’t claim I ever mastered the skill, but I think I got better […]

Sarah Palin and the media need to chill out about Down syndrome

Some might argue this isn’t my standard media blog fare, but the media and Sarah Palin need to chill out. Media commentators should help Palin find reasonable ground on her Down Syndrome son. Palin is now firing shots at the Family Guy TV show for mocking her Down syndrome toddler Tryg. To set this up, […]