Rory O'Connor

The Parkland Students Win an Important Journalism and Activism Award

At 3:18 PM on February 14, 2018, as the world now knows all too well, fourteen students and three staff members were killed and seventeen others were wounded at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The count made the shooting one of the deadliest of the many school massacres we have all endured in the decades since Columbine. This time, however, the response was different: an activist movement for greater gun safety legislation emerged in its aftermath, eventually leading to the launch of the ‘Never Again’ movement and the nationwide March for Our Lives protests. Despite their own grief and trauma, writers and editors at the Eagle Eye, the Stoneman Douglas student newspaper, responded professionally and courageously, at once reporting on and participating in the growing movement for social change.

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Journalist Patrice O'Neill Wins Danny Award for Tireless Fight Against Hate Crime

A fresh burst of hate incidents and crimes was reported in the days following Donald Trump's election last year, fueled by inflamed passions roused by his campaign, with its “dog whistle” calls to bigots, newly empowered “Alt-Right,” and racist, xenophobic media arm summoning supremacists to “Make America White Again.” Not surprisingly, given the Islamophobia and antisemitism prevalent among many Trump supporters, bias crimes against Muslims and Jews – as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people -- accounted for much of the reported rise. 

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A for Activist: No Longer Journalism's Scarlet Letter

From Anderson Cooper to John Oliver, it's become fashionable of late—even in mainstream media circles—to laud those daring enough to combine journalism with activism. That's good news, but it wasn't always that way.

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How Talk Radio and Fox News Brainwashed My Dad

Jen Senko is a filmmaker who watched in horror as her father slowly came to believe the extreme right-wing lies of Rush Limbaugh and other conservative media mavens. Now she’s making a documentary about it called The Brainwashing of My Dad.

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Failure to Pass Gun Legislation Casts Doubt on Immigration Bill's Success

Meet the new bill... Same as the old bill? 

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As News Increasingly Moves Online, Who Will Pay For Journalism?

Journalist blogger and professor Dan Kennedy has long been one of the go-to guys in the ever-burgeoning field of media criticism. He's an author as well -- and his new book The Wired City asks, and answers, an important question: Does the digital information revolution presage the end of news, or simply the end of newspapers?

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The World Is Going Digital -- Are We Doomed?

Call me irresponsible – oh hell, call me a cyber-utopian, throw in celebrant – but it’s undeniably true that I regard the admittedly messy, chaotic, confusing and upsetting digital information revolution as, on balance, a good thing, particularly when it comes to issues of democracy and power. After all, as noted in a recent book on the subject, one result of that revolution has been that “new methods of creating content and new channels to distribute it have become available to everyone and between everyone.” As networked technologies proliferate, they rapidly transform “our political, commercial and communications environments” – including “the very nature of our democracy itself.”

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Welcome to America, Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera -- one of the best cable news networks in the world -- has always had a tough time here in the U.S. It's been derided as a "terror network" and propaganda organ. It's been denounced by publicity-seeking politicians for airing messages from Al Qaeda. Its reporters have beenimprisoned in the Guantanamo gulag for years before being released after having never been tried or convicted of any terrorist ties. Others have been targeted by U.S. forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq, shot at, had missiles fired at them, and even killed.

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