Koppel on the death of real news

To witness Keith Olbermann – the most opinionated among MSNBC’s left-leaning, Fox-baiting, money-generating hosts – suspended even briefly last week for making financial contributions to Democratic political candidates seemed like a whimsical, arcane holdover from a long-gone era of television journalism, when the networks considered the collection and dissemination of substantive and unbiased news to be a public trust.

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USM to induct newspapermen into Hall of Fame

The School of Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi will induct several longtime Mississippi newspapermen into its Hall of Fame during a luncheon Nov. 13 at the Thad Cochran Center on Campus.

Inductees include Natchez Democrat Publisher Kevin Cooper; the late Pic Firm, a longtime educator and editor in Biloxi and Greenville; the late Frank Buckley, a newspaper publisher and former head of journalism at USM; and Sun Herald photojournalist Jamie Bates, among others.

Tickets for the luncheon are $35. The event is part of a symposium on “Journalism at a Crossroads.

Newspapers at odds over mayor’s leave

West Point’s Daily Times Leader on Sunday devoted a front page story to the travails of Mayor Scott Ross, who was reported by a Columbus weekly newspaper to be in sex addiction rehab in the same Hattiesburg facility that played host earlier this year to Tiger Woods.

A spokesman for the mayor, who is on leave from his duties, vehemently denied the claim and threatened legal action against The Columbus Packet.

Athletic Association not exactly forthcoming

Writes Greg Stephenson, a sports reporter for The Mississippi Press:

“I was given a stark reminder earlier this week that this job isn’t always fun and games.

“I had to chase down information about Friday night’s on-field fight between the Gautier and St. Martin football teams, which was difficult because this newspaper had no reporter at the game. I spent a large part of Monday trying to find out exactly what happened. Mostly, I ran into a bunch of rumors and probable exaggeration, and frankly I’m really no closer to knowing what took place even now…”

Two out of three prefer readability of print media

According to new research, digital media is no substitute for traditional printed media. A recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Earthtone suggests that most people choose how they consume media based on personal preferences.

Research shows that the majority of U.S. adults think that printed media is easier to read than the digital equivalent. Interestingly, most adults reported that they feel more comfortable when they have something on paper than when it’s on screen, suggesting that we make an instinctive association between things we can touch and feel and things that are ‘real’.

The morning after

A roundup of reports and Mississippi columnists’ musings on this morning after the election…

  • Lloyd Gray, editor of the Northeast Mississippi Daily JournalTravis Childers‘ election to Congress in 2008 was as unlikely as his defeat two years later was inevitable, given the political tenor of the times…
  • The Mississippi Press editorial board – In years past, the Republican primary for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District merely determined the sacrificial lamb for Democrat Gene Taylor, who routinely retained his seat with double-digit victories. Until this year. Until this political climate. Until this candidate.
  • Jere Nash, co-contributor for the Red/Blue Blog on clarionledger.com – As for the Mississippi election results, the majority of voters decided to abandon all pretense at bipartianship and support the same party for Congress they have been supporting for President for years.  This is a big deal and represents a watershed for the state GOP
  • Majority in Mississippi blog – Haley Barbour has continuously said he will look into a presidential bid following the 2010 midterms. Well, those midterms are over. In the next few months we will find out how serious a candidate Barbour is. While we have candidates who are perceived to be presidential contenders, we ought to know a lot more by January…
  • Sid Salter, Perspective editor of The Clarion-Ledger – While Mississippi Republicans and the national GOP alike have a lot to celebrate on the morning after Election Day, it would be a gigantic mistake to misread the tea leaves from the 2010 midterm elections – or should I say tea (taxed enough already) leaves?

Open meeting act met with ambivalence

During the last three years, Hinds County supervisors have spent millions of taxpayer dollars, negotiated private service contracts and made other government decisions in questionable closed-door meetings.

An analysis of the minutes by The Clarion-Ledger found the Board of Supervisors may have violated state Open Meetings Law in more than half of their 65 executive sessions by improperly discussing or voting on issues outside the public eye.