We are Guaranteed a Free Press, not a Fair One

There’s a picture circulating on media channels that shows a man wearing a T-shirt stating “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required.” The picture was taken at a political rally in Minnesota on Sunday. I’m already on record with this: I have no tolerance for threats against journalists, whether they work in the United States or … Continue reading

Advising by Napkin

I was sitting in a bookstore in Amarillo more than a year ago when I was suddenly struck by a few ideas for The Prairie, the student news organization at West Texas A&M. I had a pen but, inexplicably, no paper. I grabbed a nearby (unused) napkin and jotted down some notes. As a student … Continue reading

Look to Campus for Journalism’s Renaissance

The news for college journalism has been pretty good recently, particularly for The Crimson White, the University of Alabama’s student newspaper. Student journalists turned their attention toward the continuing practice of racial segregation within the university’s Greek system. The reporting was picked up nationally and internationally, and The CW continued to hammer away at the issue … Continue reading

A New Urgency for Journalism

Another new semester will dawn at West Texas A&M University next week. Just as the summer starts its predictable fade into fall, I’ll once again find myself inside a classroom, meeting new students and catching up with familiar ones. I appreciate the academic cycle, with its built-in opportunities for renewal and change. Every semester offers … Continue reading

Ignorance is Threatening the First Amendment

I’ve spent the first two days of the new academic semester bombarding my mass communication students with my usual “here’s why the First Amendment is important and why you should know it” speech. I believe it’s important to talk about the First Amendment at the very beginning because everything we’re going to do for the … Continue reading