Category Archives: press criticism

don’t let the behavioral revolution make you fatalistic

Beginning in the late 1960s, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman shook the prevailing assumption that human beings can plan and make decisions rationally. Their experiments demonstrated that we use “simplifying heuristics rather than extensive algorithmic processing” to make decisions. We err in predictable … Continue reading

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why Trump fans aren’t holding him accountable (yet)

(Washington DC) Kevin Drum imagines how a Trump fan receives the president’s tweets: You’re at home, watching the Factor, and O’Reilly is going on about the crime problem in Chicago. It’s outrageous! The place is a war zone! Somebody should … Continue reading

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prospects for civic media after 2016

Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice is a new book edited by Eric Gordon and Paul Mihailidis. I contributed the introductory chapter, “Democracy in the Digital Age.” On Nov. 16, I joined Eric, Paul, Ethan Zuckerman (MIT), Colin Rhinesmith (Simmons), Beth Coleman (University of Waterloo), … Continue reading

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the Pew climate change survey and the state of science

According to Pew’s new survey, only about one third of Americans care “a great deal” about climate change. That might be a matter of values: some citizens may set a higher priority on liberty or growth than on environmental protection, or they … Continue reading

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the press loses its leverage

(Dayton, OH) Traditionally, politicians have spoken directly to relatively small numbers of people, and the press has reported their speeches to much larger publics. The intermediary role of the press has given it leverage that it can use for good (to enlighten and hold … Continue reading

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what will Snapchat do to politics?

Joanthan Mahler reports that “Snapchat, America’s fastest-growing smartphone app, [has] hired Peter Hamby, a political reporter for CNN, to lead its nascent news division.” Snapchat has more than 1oo million users, including many Americans between the ages of 18 and 31. Mahler … Continue reading

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on giving content to Fox News

The Fox News website has published four op-eds of mine over the years (“Federal citizenship test: What should a good citizen really know about America?“; “ObamaCare and Millennials: Why lessons of 2014 will last a lifetime“; “What bipartisan budget agreement … Continue reading

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my news habits are getting worse

(National Airport) After a day with colleagues at the American Press Institute, I am reflecting on changes in my own habits of news consumption. A decade ago, I used to read almost the whole of the New York Times every … Continue reading

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how Millennials get news

Here are some tidbits from How Millennials Get News: Inside the habits of America’s first digital generation, released today by the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The sample was 1,046 adults between the ages … Continue reading

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generational change and the state of the press

Reading a daily newspaper is a classic example of a generational habit. Since 2002, members of the “Greatest Generation,” Baby Boomers, and Gen-Xers have all reduced their reading of daily newspapers a bit. But the real reason for declining readership is generational replacement. … Continue reading

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