Category Archives: News and Journalism

April 24, 2013

Post-Boston: A More Effective Battle of Ideas (Part II)

Boston Marathon

Reprinted from The Globalist,  April 24, 2013  Instead of getting sucked into heat-of-the-moment reactions to Boston, let’s base our responses on a more stable paradigm of contemporary global terrorism. To fight a battle of ideas successfully, one must first show what one is going up against. Amy Zalman makes the case that there are three …

April 16, 2012

“Stand your Ground” Laws Validate Stories of Lethal Force, Silence Others

Spirit of Justice, cropped from photograph: Two sculptures "Spirit of Justice," and "Majesty of Justice," Great Hall, 2nd floor, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

Yale Law School professor Adam Cohen, advocating the repeal of the Stand Your Ground law that permitted George Zimmerman to claim he killed Trayvon Martin in self defense, wrote in Time Magazine last week that: If Zimmerman does go to trial, there will no doubt be enormous debates over his guilt or innocence. It is …

September 5, 2011

Communal Narrative on Parade at Annual West Indian American Day Carnival

In our social lives, narrative is not only something we tell but also something we perform. Public rituals like parades give us the chance to chronicle our communities in physical space and display the symbols and activities that define us. The words of George Fitch in Colliers Magazine in 1913, testifying to the popular pleasures …

August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene News Coverage Pummels Viewers with Worst-Case Scenarios

Turbocharged Reporting Underwhelmed Us As we now know, the adrenalized coverage of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Irene as it traversed the U.S. East Coast overstated the risk of worst-case scenarios in a number of areas, like lower Manhattan and made them seem as if they were certain outcomes.  In fact, hurricane modeling is not a perfectly predictive …

August 10, 2011

Verifying Sources in the Era of Amateur Video

The competing narrative continuing to unfold about the ongoing violence in Syria reflect how completely amateur video has now transformed our understanding of what “news” is. Activists’ homemade videos have shattered the idea that the Syrian government’s claim to be restoring “stability” to towns under attack from “armed terrorists” can be taken at face value. …