News Media

Man reading newspaper

Local journalism must see past the mists of its romantic self-vision.

By Justin Katz | February 19, 2022 |

The Valley Breeze is a notable standout in local journalism, with observable quality and dedication.  Indeed, the fact that its chief editor, Ethan Shorey, spends hours each week actually delivering the paper has a back-to-our-roots feel that one can’t help but admire and encourage for the paper’s peers. But zooming out to the whole industry, rather than…

A man in a "Press" helmet

From whom is more pay for journalists owed?

By Justin Katz | January 14, 2022 |

Bethany Feudenthal, who writes for the Newport Daily News, has been commenting on her low rate of pay, with social media posts such as this: I might be controversial at times, like last year I posted my W2’s on social media, and yesterday I posted my pay stub from last week. Journalists write about public official’s…

Reporters taking notes

At the intersection of COVID and politics, omissions proliferate.

By Justin Katz | January 13, 2022 |

How does a news organization publish an entire article, by WPRI’s Steph Machado, with associated television news clip, about a tug-of-war between the mayor of Providence and the city council over vaccine mandates for police and not mention crime in the city? The deadline is Friday for all city workers to get at least one…

RI's "extreme" sea level map.

Aren’t there any standards for checking a politician’s environmental claims?

By Justin Katz | January 12, 2022 |

As a follow-up to Tolly Taylor’s sea-level scare addressed in this space yesterday, WPRI handed editorial control over Democrat Senator from Rhode Island Sheldon Whitehouse, whom the reporter permits to claim without context that Rhode Island will see nine to 12 feet of sea level rise by the end of this century. Seriously, don’t the…

U.S. Capitol Building

Accusations that the media was like Pravda were once exaggerations; no longer.

By Justin Katz | January 11, 2022 |

Jill Colvin’s Associated Press “article” about the hiccup Republican Senator Ted Cruz from Texas had with the Republican base over a comment related to January 6 may be the single best example I’ve seen of the mainstream media’s new approach.  It’s truly “the party line.”  For decades, conservatives have been bashing establishment news organizations by…

A water drop and ripples

Do media organizations not know what they’re giving up, or do they think it’s worth it?

By Justin Katz | January 7, 2022 |

Writing for Heritage, Tim Murtaugh laments the continued credibility drain from the mainstream media: It’s obvious that the media’s hatred for Donald Trump colored nearly everything they wrote or said during his presidency. But one hoped that after he left the White House, the media might recover a little objectivity. Sadly, a review of 2021…

A man with his head in a box

Calenda exposes the problem when the media decides it doesn’t have to cover points of view.

By Justin Katz | January 4, 2022 |

One of the bigger local stories in Rhode Island, right now, is the (alleged) killing of an East Greenwich teen by a long-rap-sheet thug who shared beforehand his intention to drive while intoxicated, albeit with his mind on harming himself rather than others.  The story is heartbreaking on multiple fronts, but for this post, let’s…

A water drop and ripples

Apocalyptic COVID stories feel like manipulative distractions from the real problem.

By Justin Katz | December 24, 2021 |

If the story Brian Amaral wanted to frame with his apocalyptic Boston Globe article about COVID in Kent Hospital in Warwick is that hospital employees are struggling because the state has mismanaged their industry and because it’s disappointing to watch unvaccinated patients die with COVID, he overshot by a long way.  The message from his…

An old house next to a graveyard

Sam Bell’s Havoc-Wreaking Plan to Capture a Federal Housing Coupon

By Justin Katz | December 23, 2021 |

Progressive Senator Sam Bell’s housing report is impressive as a sophomore’s research project, but it’d be nice if professional journalists would give readers some sense of what the academic exercise would look like in the real world.

A water drop and ripples

Another RI journalist grays the border between media and government.

By Justin Katz | December 21, 2021 |

One can’t fault individuals for making the best career decisions for themselves at each step, and we should assume that every professional is doing the best he or she can to do a job well and honestly in the moment.  Still, every time a Rhode Island journalist proves that a job in government communications is…