Connecticut’s chance to save net neutrality is now

Ever since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed its net neutrality rules last year, there has been massive public outcry. Net neutrality is the principle of open access to the internet. It enables users to access the services they want without interference from their internet service provider. Without the FCC’s net neutrality rules, internet service providers are free to block websites, deliberately speed up or slow down traffic from specific websites, or charge customers special fees for improved access.

A critique: Connecticut Magazine 2018 Best Doctors issue.

Connecticut magazine recently published its April edition of 2018 Best Doctors: 779 doctors were named in 78 medical, pediatric, surgical and other specialties. … Mixed into the listing of best doctors were many advertisements for medical/surgical individuals and groups totaling 12 glossy photographs — none featuring clinicians practicing primary care. Overall, three times as many sub-specialists were named as “Best Doctors” as those practicing primary care. Sadly, in Connecticut there are twice as many sub-specialists practicing as primary care physicians.

Facebook and the power to influence millions of voters

The recent testimony of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is being portrayed as the response of our political class to invasions of user privacy. But this is really about the political classes’ realization that Facebook has the power to organize voters and skew elections based on the preferences of Zuckerberg and his minions.

Don’t blame the meteorologists for hyping the ‘Snor’easter’

Last week’s Nor’easter was supposed to be one of the biggest of the year – bringing 15 inches of snow to Connecticut, according to some television meteorologists.  Schools closed early, businesses sent workers home, and plows stood ready on the sides of highways.  But this storm, unlike the one two weeks prior, never lived up to the hype. That caused a lot of TV weather crews to get a lot of criticism on social media. But this anger is misplaced.  Don’t blame the meteorologists! 

The extraordinary life of Les Payne

It would be difficult to conjure a more arresting rebuke to the current rash of racists and white nationalists —and their enablers in high places— than to remember the life of Les Payne, 76, who died on March 19. Payne, who attended Hartford High School and the University of Connecticut and served his country in Vietnam, rose from challenging circumstances to become a journalist of the highest rank: an investigative reporter, editor and columnist who won one Pulitzer Prize and was nominated for another.

It’s ‘anchors away’ at national and Connecticut news outlets

The past few weeks have seen the biggest upheaval in years in morning television. On Nov. 21, CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose was fired after the Washington Post reported on his sexually-oriented behavior towards at least eight female co-workers. Then, eight days later, NBC fired long-time Today Show anchor Matt Lauer after a newsroom staffer told similar stories about his behavior behind closed and locked office doors. NBC political analyst Mark Halperin, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and former Today Show personality Billy Bush also lost their jobs in the last year or so, because of similar circumstances. But the firings of these “anchors behaving badly” isn’t limited to the networks. Here in Connecticut, local stations have also had to deal with anchors doing things they shouldn’t do.

Quality journalism matters — more than ever

News Match is the largest grassroots fundraising campaign for nonprofit journalism ever. More than 100 newsrooms across the United States, including The Connecticut Mirror, are working together to raise $6 million dollars —or more— by the end of 2017. NewsMatch.org, the home of the campaign, is an innovative new hub where people can search for trustworthy journalism outlets by geography or topic and then give to multiple newsrooms with one donation. The effort is designed to mobilize thousands of new people to donate to local news and investigative reporting.

Is CT-N’s ‘legislative-coverage-only’ policy legal?

After a week of reruns, CT-N is back on the air [as of yesterday] after the Office of Legislative Management hired some former employees of the Connecticut Public Affairs Network (CPAN), the non-profit that operated CT-N since 1999.  Legislative leadership says that CT-N, which is operating under a radically reduced budget, will focus its cameras on the General Assembly, largely to the exclusion of the executive and judicial branches.  Leadership says that this narrow focus is consistent with CT-N’s original mission.  But as Christine Stuart reports on CT News Junkie, leadership’s understanding of CT-N’s original mission is just plain wrong.  Coverage of all three branches of state government was always part of CT-N’s mission.

Castrating CT-N

As our state lawmakers wrench their shoulders patting themselves on the back for finally writing a budget (four months late), let’s stop for a moment. Put down the champagne and ask ourselves: What really happened here?

Thank a journalist this Labor Day week

Workers across Connecticut are enjoying a shortened week, thanks to the Labor Day holiday.  But as we honor the work of everyday men and women, let’s give a special thanks to one group that’s had a tough time recently: local TV news reporters and producers.  It’s a job that, despite what the president says, isn’t at all “fake news!”

The big bang of journalism in America

The demise of objective journalism is less a result of a news source trying to push an agenda and more about economics. A leading research organization covering the media industry published a summary of a well-known media survey from a few years ago by describing the media as “Biased, Frivolous, And Liberal.” Unfortunately, this is correct.

The media landscape is a mess, Commissioner Pai

An open letter to Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai: As you have probably noticed our media landscape is a mess. With only five companies owning the bulk of media, especially the news media Americans consume, every day we witness a fragmented message. And it is only going to get worse.