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Transformation in channels of news delivery and the ascendence of the blogger-reporter raise challenges for citizens and the Republic. The JUST Journalsim Section examines the nascent obligations of those who shape public opinion and purvey "news" in emerging media.

Marty PerlmutterPatricia Mendoza



Lawrence Lessig

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Insider Video of Glenn Beck Responding to Donald Duck Remix (2010)


Glenn Beck Not A Fan Of Fair Use; Claims US Gov't Paying Remixers To Create Anti-Beck Propaganda

Mike Masnick
October 15, 2010 

One of the good things about intellectual property issues is that it's really a non-partisan debate. While, in practicality, this seems to mean that both of the major political parties support bad copyright and patent law, at the very least, it leaves ridiculous political rhetoric out of the debates on things like copyright. But, sometimes, weird things happen.  Read more...



Of Vice And Men: Rep. Anthony Weiner vs. Bill Clinton Scandals

by Lizzie Manning | 3:40 pm, June 7th, 2011

"The final, and most relevant, point to us at Mediaite is the factor the internet played in both scandals. The Drudge Report was instrumental in breaking news about the Clinton scandal, and it was one of the first times an internet-based news source revealed something so significant. But the story was perpetuated by more mainstream media outlets. Weinergate was perpetuated to an almost unprecedented degree by the Internet. When my mother sends me a link to a news story she has found on a strictly online-based publication, you have to know that times are changing."



Must We Mean What We Say?

Marty Perlmutter
Spring, 2011 

What is the proper role of the Fourth Estate in a wired world? We find ourselves challenged by issues submerged in reports of terrorist manhunts and information leaks, Arab Spring risings and Presidential race vicissitudes, all tinged with ethical concerns. Are sources of public information obligated to strive for truthful and unbiased reporting?

Broadcast journalism is, in the words of Lewis Carroll, “shutting up like a telescope.” News bureaus close as bloggers replace reporters. Many who claim the journalist mantle say whatever they wish with little concern for verification. Media consumers tailor channels to their biases, ignore contrary opinion, and increasingly inhabit a hall of opinion mirrors. Concerned citizens have few means of knowing if what they hear is true. In a rush to devolution, a former bastion of our republic, free press possessed of the trust of its citizen-readers/viewers, is disappearing down a rabbit hole of unchallenged assertions.

For journalists and opinion-mongers in this brave new whirl, can we identify a duty of verification, or at least require that purported professionals say what they know is true? In a recent case, a Fox executive caught on tape admitted his outlet’s birther news reports were based on information known to be inaccurate. 

How do we know what’s real and what’s Drudge?  JUST proposes to explore the obligations of information providers, whether citizen or paid professional, and help articulate standards that are both ethically defensible and economically sustainable.

We believe that those who speak with the intent to alter others’ behavior must, indeed, mean what they say, and believe it to be true.


Government: FCC Commissioner Baker Exits Via The Revolving Door

Photo: Meredith Attwell Baker Credit: Federal Communications Commission

 Jon Healey
Los Angeles Times
May 11, 2011 |  6:10 pm

Good-government advocates often complain about the way top Washington policymakers cash in on their public service by becoming lobbyists for the companies they oversaw. This so-called revolving door spins a full 360 degrees, of course;  lobbyists often go to work in government. Either way, the moves raise uncomfortable questions about how legislators and regulators make their decisions. Are they acting in their constituents' best interests, or are they burnishing their prospects for a high-paying job on K Street after they leave government?


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