Forums Featuring Open Dialogue Between the Best in News … & You

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Visual Storytelling session with Danish documentary photographer Mette Lampcov will illustrate everyday climate change, and an inside look at California burning and how it impacts us all. Above, a photo from the Woolsey Fire by Lampcov

Fair Media Council’s annual event, The News Conference: Real & Powerful, will be held live and online from Jan. 26–29, 20201 via Zoom. It features an exclusive gathering of some of the best in news from around the country, engaging in open dialogue with the audience: the news consumer.

Everybody Seems to Love America. But Can’t Explain Why

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Photo by Mike Doherty on Unsplash

There’s never been a more important moment in time to recognize quality news.

Watching the House proceedings this week, a few things stood out. First, I was able to watch it on my computer, thanks to my local daily newspaper morphing into a multi-media powerhouse. (The frantic hunt for the remote I do not miss.) What’s interesting is, not so terribly long ago, a newspaper providing live video coverage wouldn’t have been possible.

I chose to watch sans analysis, but I do appreciate The New York Times providing me with that option, in real-time. Again, interesting.

One thing everyone on that floor seemed to agree on? They love America. From there, things got really hazy, really fast. That, too, was interesting. …

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Front pages from Jan. 7, 2021

How did we get here? A weakened news media. A weakened democracy.

Headlines in the British press call it, “Anarchy in the USA.” The San Francisco Chronicle gives us “Insurrection.” In New York, from the Times: “Trump Incites Mob.” And from the birthplace of suburbia, we get Newsday’s “Capitol Chaos.”

Whatever you call it, one thing we can all agree on: What we’re seeing is unprecedented. Engulfed in unpredictable times, here’s another thing we should be able to agree on: We need quality news coverage to help us find common ground and start the healing process.

To do that, we need to be as critical of the news coverage as the news coverage is of its subjects. It’s a symbiotic relationship that relies on both sides of the equation being equally strong, yet today’s media landscape is complicated and under the strain of constantly changing regulations, ownership, and economies. …

It was all about the news itself

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Photo by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash

The thing about 2020? It took away our everyday routines, the things we took for granted. As a society, we responded by diving deep into the digital world, not only to remain connected but to seek out news of when the world, as we knew it, may return.

In Review

The last few weeks the news media has inundated us with obligatory year-in-review stories — partisan politics, legalized pot, murder hornets, the Royals who left their titles behind, along with plenty of pandemic news stuffed in between it all — yet the answer we seek remains elusive. …

In this episode of FMC Fast Chat, host Jaci Clement discusses what you need to know to get your opinion on CNN with Richard Galant, the founding editor and managing editor of CNN Opinion. Get insider tips and be in the know in 30 minutes.

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Galant joined CNN in 2008 and led the section’s launch the following year. He heads the team that edits and produces opinion pieces for digital platforms. He was formerly managing editor of Newsday and New York Newsday, where he led teams that won two Pulitzer Prizes. He also served as metropolitan editor, deputy managing editor and assistant managing editor for business. He worked as a local and statehouse reporter and wrote a business column during his time at Newsday. …

What the News Needs Most in 2021 Will Be Humanity

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Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

“A year unlike any other.”

The phrase has appeared in countless news reports since the pandemic kicked in. Also: “Out of an abundance of caution.” And, of course, the new old standby which, by now, you are no doubt tired of hearing: “The new normal.”

Yet, as the lights dim on 2020, we’re already faced with what, unfortunately, maybe the dominant phrase for most, if not all, of 2021: The “post-truth era.”

It’s hard to push politics aside these days, given it’s at the top of every news cycle, no matter the subject: The election. The pandemic. The economy. Puerto Rico struggling to exist. California burning down. …

Tips to Help You Make Sense of Today’s Complicated Media Landscape

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Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Put yourself on a schedule to check the news throughout the day, for no more than one hour at a time. This is especially important when the news is severe.


Check newspapers (print or online) in the morning, then use radio, TV and Internet news throughout the day. Why? Newspapers give the most background on a story. The other formats provide updates to the story.


Give priority to news stories and news reports. Then turn to commentary and talk shows, which provide opinions on the news. Use labels and onscreen menus to help guide you from sections of news to sections of opinion. …

Newsrooms Can’t Afford to Take this Moment for Granted

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Fair warning: You’re about to step into year-in-review season.

While you’ve been busy making your holiday plans, the news media has been working in stealth mode. The covert operation has focused on compiling news of the past year and repurposing it in a way that seeks to convince you that, yes, this is the first time you are learning about all this stuff. …

In a Digital Age, the Difference Between News & Widgets Seems Lost

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past four years, it’s this: News, unlike virtually every other industry, doesn’t have the luxury of hiding its flaws. There’s a huge lesson to be learned in that, as the public tends to place too much emphasis on a story of the moment, as opposed to how (and if) that story fits into life’s larger picture.

A widget-maker may produce widgets throughout the day, but those things come from one mold, used over and over again. If the mold breaks or some other production mishap occurs and the widgets end up looking more like donuts instead of rectangles, a meeting’s called. The problem is fixed. Rectangle widgets once again are spit out by machinery, while what to do with the weird donut irregulars becomes a challenge for the marketing department to brand and sell. …

Election Coverage, Inside & Out

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Photo by Samuel Schneider on Unsplash

So now we wait.

Stuck inside this endless Election Night, what we now bear witness to is a media cycle scrambling to fill time until there’s actually news to report. It’s a combination of rehashing what already happened right alongside commentary of may, could and probably-won’t happen next. Inside a newsroom, this puts intense pressure on the staff to churn out content while remaining in a pounce position until something actually breaks. What that translates into inside homes across the country? It’s a really good time to go winterize your stuff.

Tech Steals the Limelight

If this was any other election, the focus would be on the astounding number of votes cast by Americans. Let’s face it: Getting us up and off the couch is no easy task. That mail-in ballot could sit near the front door for days before the trek to your own mailbox takes place. Getting out to wait in line to vote during a pandemic? You go, America. …


Jaci Clement

American Media Scholar. Host, FMC Fast Chat Podcast. CEO & Executive Director, Fair Media Council.

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