McGuire on Media

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Ethics students face a tough set of choices as they move forward

Journalism is marked by tough choices and a complicated set of responsibilities. There are few right and wrong answers, but there are responsible ways to think about those answers. When making ethical decisions we must get beyond “gut instinct” and use accepted decision-making processes and formulas. The media ethics landscape has been seriously complicated in […]

My tortured journey to becoming Deborah Howell’s friend

At 9:09 p.m. (MST) Friday night Jim Romenesko tweeted this: MPR reports Ex-Newhouse News, Pioneer Press editor Deborah Howell was killed in a road accident in NZ. I stared at my phone for at least 30 seconds before I moved. All relationships are complicated. Mine with Deborah Howell set indoor records for topsy-turvy emotions […]

Let’s not let Medill Innocence Project be another Hazelwood

I cannot remember anything about the day in 1988 that the Supreme Court issued its decision on Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier. I cannot remember if my newspaper made a very big deal out of it, but the decision embarrasses the heck out me 20 years later. The Supreme Court ruled in Hazelwood that high […]

Trying to find the right band-aid when the wound is gushing

My students have been particularly engaged by Paul Saffo’s reference to the “Schumpeterian moment.” There is a distinct possibility they just like the word, but I think I see real light bulbs go off in their energetic minds when I talk about Saffo’s echo of the Joseph Shumpeter thought that we’re in a moment that […]

Students are smarter than they get credit for and they need to sell you on that

It happened twice again last week and I decided somebody has to yell the truth louder.  Two more people over 50 decried how little students know. The usual “we’re on the road to perdition” lectures followed with the whole smugness and superiority package. Translated, what the baby boomers are really saying is that students “don’t […]

Some tidbits on threat, Don Ohlmeyer and Pat Forde

My old friend Phil Meyer called it right when he commented in this article about entering Chicago. Phil called it another “nail in newspapers’ coffin.”  ESPN’s spokesman, Paul Melvin took a much politer tack.  “As a company, we are fans of newspapers, and not believers they are going away. They face challenges that will […]

Trying to find the right tone when "left wing technologists" grab all the attention

Perhaps the wisest thing I read this summer was this fine articulation of an idea I’ve been talking about for months. Rick Edmonds, the media business guru for Poynter Online wrote this: “Put another way, a transition to robust digital options and aggressive experimentation are still good strategies for newspaper organizations. But I might tap […]