Top news stories of 2016

12-monats-kalender-2016-querThe Associated Press polled editors and news directors to come up with the top stories of 2016.  Number one was no surprise:  The U.S. Election.

In fact, you could probably spin out ten top stories from the U.S. Election:  Donald Trump’s election, the primaries, Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, the Russian connection, Bernie Saunder’s campaign, Republican party implosion, Democratic party implosion, Clinton’s campaign mistakes, Trump’s scandals, political hacking.

Number two is like unto Trump’s victory:  another unexpected populist uprising known as Brexit, Great Britain’s vote to pull out of the European Union.

Consider the list of the top 10 after the jump.  What other events of last year deserve to have been included? [Read more…]

Associated Press will shorten the news

We’ve blogged about the findings that the internet has diminished people’s ability to read long, complex texts.  Now the leading practitioner of print journalism is giving in to the trend.  The Associated Press wire service has ordered its reporters to keep their stories no longer than 500 words. [Read more…]

Journalists are turning on the White House

As I predicted, the news media is turning on the Obama administration.  Not just because the Justice Department, trying to trace a leak, subpoenaed phone companies for a list of calls made and received over two months by 20 reporters from the Associated Press (including both office and personal cell phones).   According to the Washington Post, tensions have been simmering between the White House and the press corp for some time. [Read more…]

“A dagger at the heart” of a free press

Maybe we need to start worrying about those black helicopters after all.  The Obama administration keeps confirming the alarms over intrusive government and the violation of civil liberties.  In an effort to track down the source of leaks, the justice department has secretly subpoened and seized two months of phone records of the Associated Press.  David Schultz, lawyer for the AP, calls this crackdown on confidential sources a “dagger at the heart” of reporters’ ability to get the news.

Whether or not you are sympathetic to the plight of journalists here (and we must not let our dislike of the media distract from the First Amendment issues), this possible government overreach may have an unintended consequence:  What if it turns the press against the Obama administration?  Who knows what else they may dig up? [Read more…]