I blame my grandmother on my mother's side. She's the one that started all this. Sure, she's been dead for nearly 50 years but that doesn't get her off-the-hook. She knows what she did -- she's the one that put the curse on this family's creativity.
It was an up and down year for higher education, as each of these matters took a turn atop the 24-hour news cycle. While I am not particularly nostalgic, I'd like to review some of the highlights -- and lowlights -- of 2014...
"Today carrying a camera is like carrying a weapon. Who ever might stop you and start interrogating you for taking pictures."
In light of these facts, in light of my own rape and the rapes of too many of my friends at the hands of their peers, I do wonder: Whose credibility is really to be doubted here? Jackie's, or the public peanut gallery that has diluted sexual assault down to a number and a date?
Being approached by a media outlet to do an interview for a feature story can be both unnerving and rewarding. Members of the media are usually looking for an expert in the field, and being selected as a contributor to the article can be incredibly justifying.
"Each day, more than half the world's adult population read a daily newspaper: 2.5 billion in print and more than 800 million in digital form," according to the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
We are both sobered and saddened by this steady drumbeat of horrific news about our colleagues trying to do their jobs. We realize that the rules of field reporting, particularly in places such as Iraq and Syria, have radically changed.
Decades as a reporter and editor -- and now as a college instructor -- have installed a well-calibrated BS-detector in my brain. It was not going off.
The story about Tamir's father, Leonard Warner, is astounding in its bias, making no attempt whatsoever to connect his father's history to why a police officer killed a 12-year old boy. This is journalism as it most tin-eared and irresponsible.
Russia has largely failed in sustaining media freedom and ensuring journalists' safety. It is the obligation of any modern state to prove its political will to protect journalists. It is time for Russia to demonstrate that will.
There has been a lot of attention in recent years to how both scholars and politicians contribute to moral panics, both on a wide array of issues and on the issue of video game violence specifically. The story of Adam Lanza is no different.
The government now has an irresistible power. There are billions of dollars to be made in security contracts, campaign donations from security firms and rotating lobbying jobs. But this is also true: We have an obligation to govern our government.
Do your best to get it right. If you do, great. If you don't, admit you got it wrong, fix it, even if hard, and try harder next time. And we should reward journalists and press outlets that are practicing good, honest journalism.
James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, and now Abdul-Rahman Kassig. Each of these men dedicated their lives to serving the long-suffering Syrian people, either by sharing with the world their stories and exposing the truth as journalists, or to alleviate their suffering as aid workers.
Now, let us draw the obvious analogy. Newspapers today (and television news) are very much produced as was the Encyclopedia Britannica - by a small group of editors and expert contributors. The Encyclopedia Britannica, you will note, stopped publishing in 2010. Newspapers, no doubt, will not be far behind.