CNN and Fox News Get

Health Care Ruling Wrong

We’ve all heard about this by now; it’s certainly not a secret, as much as both networks would like to forget about it. Well here are the facts presented in a timeline of June 28th (verified by Poynter, NYT, SCOTUS blog, and personal observances). Read an in depth account of what happened on the SCOTUS blog.

DISCLAIMER: This post focuses on CNN because that is the network I watch. I apologize for my partisanship.

10:06AM – Chief Justice John Roberts concludes his announcement of the rulings of the Affordable Care Act and two other remaining cases for the term. The Court’s press room staff hands out the decision to reporters.

10:07AM – CNN producer scans decision and eight lines from the bottom of page 2 reads, “Chief Justice Roberts concluded in Part III-A that the individual mandate is not a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause.” In conference call, the producer says it “looks like” the mandate has been struck down. He tells the control room to “go with it.” Bloomberg issues an alert: Obama’s healthcare-overhaul upheld by U.S. Supreme Court.” Bloomberg is first, and correct.

10:08AM On air, CNN’s reporter outside the court, Kate Bolduan, reports the mandate has been struck down. Banners on air as well as on CNN’s homepage declare the mandate invalid. CNN’s official Twitter account as well as employees’ accounts report the mandate has been struck down. Meanwhile, SCOTUS blog says the mandate survives as a tax.

10:09AM – The network sends an email stating, “The Supreme Court has struck down the individual mandate for health care – the legislation that requires all to have health insurance.”

10:11AM – CNN realizes confusion and replaces the incorrect banner with “Supreme Court Rules on Obamacare.”

10:13AM – CNN now alone in telling audience the mandate has been struck down.

10:15AM – CNN team says the mandate “may have been upheld,” seconds later making another error and saying the “entire law has been upheld.”

10:18AM – The network sends out another email stating, “Correction: The Supreme Court backs all parts of President Obama’s signature health care law, including the individual mandate that requires all to have health insurance.”

 10:19AM – CNN publishes it’s formal correction.

Reactions on Twitter:

Anthony De Rosa: CNN is wrong.

Lisa Desjardins: Um. Trying to find the most appropriate way to express this. Perhaps #%*@! And I am mortified about passing  on bad info. Deep apologies.

Lisa Desjardins: Jon Stewart, YOU are having a big day.

Dan Gardner: This is historic! CNN has just delivered the Twitter generation’s “Dewey Defeats Truman.”

Seth Borenstein: AP, NBC, Scotusblog all say Obama health care law upheld, CNN dead wrong for more than 6 mins; too bad they dropped AP; could have helped.

Beth Fouhy: Dear CNN – Perhaps you should reconsider your decision to drop the AP. Just sayin’

UConnJournalism: The loser wasn’t the one who was last, it was the ones who got it wrong trying to be first.

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Adventures in Kosovo:

Ariana and Kaitlin

Ariana Williams, SPJ treasurer for the 2012-2013 school year, and her predecessor Kaitlin Schroeder are studying abroad in Kosovo for eight weeks this summer. They will earn eight credit hours and intern at Kosova Live, a local online independent news source.

Learn more about their adventures on Ariana’s blog!

Excellence in Journalism Goes

to Ft. Lauderdale This Year!

That’s right! National conference this year will be September 20-22 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL! Registration is $145 for student members and $245 for non-student members until August 28th. Then the price increases to $195 and $295.

With two super sessions featuring Marvin Kalb and Sree Sreenivasan, 60 more sessions to choose from, networking opportunities and more, you can’t afford to miss this!

Plus, who DOESN’T want to go to Florida to geek out on journalism?

Hotel and travel details of those attending will be discussed at our meetings when the fall semester begins!

For more info check out the EIJ website!

Professor James Tobin Recognized

by Wall Street Journal

Congratulations to Miami’s own Professor James Tobin for his book, To Conquer the Air, being named to The Wall Street Journal’s Five Best: Books on Invention! The book, which came in at #3, is about the obstacles and creativity of legendary brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright in their quest to invent the world’s first successful airplane.

William Rosen, author of the list, writes:

“The story of the one-time bicycle shop owners from Dayton, OH (in 1900, America’s per capita patent leader), is simultaneously a panorama of early 20th-century America and an unforgettable portrait of Wilbur Wright. Both Wilbur and his brother Orville were exemplars of grace under pressure, showing high intelligence, modesty and determination without foolhardiness – all the while competing against everyone from Alexander Graham Bell to the motorcycle-racing champion Glenn Curtiss to be the first aloft. But Wilbur is clearly the star. His decision to master airborne stability and balance before power – to create the optimal wing and let the engine take care of itself – gives James Tobin’s tale an enormously satisfying structure, as well as an entirely apt metaphor to Wilbur Wright’s life.”

ASU’s Tim McGuire on the

Future of Journalism

In true journalism style Tim McGuire, Frank Russell Chair for the business of journalism at Arizona State’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, wrote an essay about the future of journalism and media. McGuire didn’t write just any essay though; he wrote a ‘This I Believe‘ essay modeled off of the 5-minute CBS Radio Network program hosted by Edward R. Murrow from 1951 to 1955.

Originally intended to be a way of gathering his thoughts for his next book, McGuire’s essay provides insight into what students and professionals alike face today’s and tomorrow’s fast-paced, competitive, and dynamic journalism world.

McGuire begins by describing journalism’s predicament as a Schumpeterian moment in which “a lot of things we know and love are going to be destroyed, but a lot of wonderful new things will be created.” He continues on to say that this pivotal time in the industry will divide those who are meant for this field from those who are not. “If a student looks at our current news ecosystem and sees promise, excitement and energizing challenge then the media world is for them. If they look at that same ecosystem and rue the loss of what we had and see only doom approaching, that person needs to exit the media world quickly.”

One of the biggest problems with today’s media is that they act in ways consistent with methods pre-digital age. They continue to make decisions as if they (and not their consumers) are in control. Gone are the days when editors and producers decided when media consumers could read and watch the news. Gone are the days when holding a press pass was the only way to access information. The problem is that many journalists are trying to “desperately cling to the past.” They need to come to terms with the fact that they are not nearly as good as they need to be. Producing the same old stories as the last few decades with the same old angles will no longer cut it.

Although much of the essay points out things none of us want to hear, there is still hope. I can’t begin to count the number of times Dr. Richard Campbell of our own journalism department has said, “Journalism is NOT dying. It’s just changing.”

McGuire feels the same way: “Journalism is not dead. Print is not dead. Advertising is not dead. Absolute proclamations that they are dead come from people who can’t sort lofty visions from evolution… Some polls indicate many Americans might be happier of the press dried up and blew into the prairie, but I truly believe that journalism may be like trash collection. It gets little respect on a day-to-day basis but if the trash sits in my garage for three weeks during a strike my attachment to trash collectors increases dramatically.”

(Not that we’re actual trash, of course!)

What it comes down to is that we MUST begin to think differently.  McGuire says we must begin to think and act more like a startup and less like “plodding behemoths.”

McGuire emphasizes the necessity of creativity, innovation, and reinvention for the future of our profession. Like McGuire, “I believe the future of journalism is good because I believe the tools of our age give us more opportunity than destruction.”