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Last Build Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2017 18:22:23 +0000


Pointing Cameras At People

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 18:20:14 +0000

My Carbon Trace Productions team and I will face many tough issues later this week when we begin filming in Jordan for our Syrian Doctor (working title) documentary. I’m betting the toughest part will be pointing cameras at people (because, from my experience as a news photographer, that’s usually the tough part). But not just people. […]

Rhetorica Update

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:38:14 +0000

A few things going on this spring (cuz, yeah, it has arrived in Missouri): My Carbon Trace Productions documentary team has two projects in the works: 1) Student Debt (working title), and 2) Syrian Refugee Doctor (working title). For the latter, my team and I leave for Jordan in three weeks to begin filming. BTW, […]

It Was Supposed to Make Us Smarter

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 14:14:52 +0000

There comes a moment every semester in my class MED130 Fundamentals of Media Convergence (because we couldn’t think of anything else to call it) when I tell students about two things I know to be true: Once you introduce a technology you can’t take it back. People will use technology for their own purposes and […]

A Quick Interjection in the Silence

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 16:57:49 +0000

Rhetorica, as a site examining media-political rhetoric, remains retired. But I have to call your attention — whatever is left of my readership — to Jay Rosen’s current entry on PressThink. The whole thing is important, but this struck me in particular: How can you say to readers: these people live in a different reality than […]

Into The Whole New Thing

Sat, 05 Nov 2016 16:48:36 +0000

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I dipped my toes into the whole documentary film-making thing about two and a half years ago when I began the Downtown project and turned my Carbon Trace blog into a production team site. To check all of this out, you can also visit the official production “company” site at and start […]

On Futility

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 15:55:19 +0000

I should have known better. I was right the first time. I dramatically cut back on blogging here (2010ish) in part because the effort seemed futile. To that point I had created what I think is an interesting body of work (might even be a book in here somewhere). Several academic essays, a book chapter, […]

An Amusing Aside

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 14:05:18 +0000

I’m finishing an essay — due today — for the American Political Science Association conference in Philadelphia. The title is “Race, Poverty, and Police: A Conversation.” Here’s what it’s about: How might we understand #blacklivesmatter and #alllivesmatter in terms of #allmenarecreatedequal? It’s about memes and hashtags and the conversation we’re not having because we cannot […]

When Stenography Matters

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 13:40:20 +0000

So I’ve spent a lot time here grousing about stenography. But the candidacy of Donald Trump is changing the game of journalism a bit — including my game. It’s been easy to point out examples of the lazy reporting I call stenography. But with Trump, I now find it necessary to put a finer point […]

Where I’m Coming From

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 14:08:14 +0000

Back in the day, I wrote this: As I learned early in my journalistic career before becoming an academic, there is no such thing as an objective point of view. And the ideal of fairness is almost as elusive. But I will always attempt to be fair according to standards that I will try to […]

Covering a “Major Policy Address”

Mon, 08 Aug 2016 21:29:26 +0000

Jay Rosen has been wondering about the “interpretive challenge” the Trump campaign presents for journalists. How do you use the tools of reporting to cover a person who won’t follow the general master narratives that journalists have come to expect about how presidential candidates should speak and behave? I contend that this interpretive challenge is […]