Across The Media Universe: We're Back Edition
A Break In The Dissembly Line: Gerald Ford was that rarest of presidents: One who actually liked reporters. Howard Kurtz rounds up some of the comments from journalists about the late president, including Bob Schieffer's comment that "Gerald Ford was the nicest and most decent public figure I ever covered." Ford didn't get particularly flattering coverage while in office, and his short term was not marked with great successes, but "the passage of time often brings reappraisals," Kurtz notes. "In an age of intense political polarization," he continues, "the media are now showing a deeper appreciation of Ford's regular-guy persona and his willingness to cooperate with Democratic opponents."
(AP/Ford Library/W. Fitz-Patrick)
The Medium And The Message: This month "the Project for Excellence in Journalism kicks off an ambitious weekly study of what stories almost three dozen media sources are reporting, what news they view as important and how reporting differs among outlets," reports Peter Johnson. Included in the study are nine daily newspapers, the morning and evening newscasts, prime time cable news talk shows, headlines from national news radio, and posts by prominent bloggers. Every Tuesday, PEJ will issue a report on what has and hasn't been covered, complete with a breakdown of the differences in media and an index of top stories. Writes Johnson: "The study is intended to help consumers see how different media play top stories of the day and could help media outlets better gauge the so-called broccoli-vs.-Twinkie debate, 'the line between what they think the public needs to know and what they want to know,' PEJ director Tom Rosenstiel says."
'60 Minutes' Taking Its Time: Ed Bradley, who died of leukemia late last year, isn't getting replaced on '60' anytime soon. Instead his "workload will be spread around, and, in a unique arrangement for the CBS newsmagazine, his top producer will run a reporting unit for stories available to all on-air correspondents," the AP notes. The existing correspondents don't mind potentially doing a few more stories, writes the AP, since "they're often clamoring for airtime, anyway." Says Executive Producer Jeff Fager: "It's a long-term project to find the next full-time person who can show the abilities that are expected of a `60 Minutes' correspondent."