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Campaign Media Analysis: Brooke Gladstone and Les Payne
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September 12, 2008

In this media-saturated world keeping track of campaign controversies has been easy — headlines about pigs and lipstick scream from every newspaper, radio, TV screen and blogging site. But what about the actual news behind the headlines? Media analysis has become much more than tracking down who said what — it's now who implied what. ON THE MEDIA's Brooke Gladstone and NEWSDAY's Les Payne join Bill Moyers to engage in some tough media analysis of media analysts.

As the media itself becomes a campaign talking point — are they giving free rides or picking at nits? There are some online tools that will help you make sense of the wave of words. Use the links below to find out more about:

Brooke Gladstone

Photo by Robin HollandSince 1995, Brooke Gladstone has worked what still is a rare beat in broadcast journalism: she reports on the media. As NPR's first media correspondent, she's examined the coverage of race, science, and politics, and reported on the battle between Hollywood and the many guardians of American culture; media mergers; advertising trends; and journalism's evolving ethics. She is co-host and managing editor of the NPR program ON THE MEDIA. She joined NPR in 1987, as senior editor of WEEKEND EDITION SATURDAY with Scott Simon, and later assumed the same role for NPR's daily newsmagazine, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. During this time she edited several award-winning reports and was the recipient of a Peabody Award, an Overseas Press Club Award, and an Ohio State Award, among other honors.

In 1991, Brooke Gladstone received a Knight Journalism Fellowship to Stanford University, to study Russian language and culture. From 1992-1995 — just prior to taking up the media beat — she reported for NPR from Moscow, covering the tumultuous early days of post-Communist Russia, including the bloody uprising of the Russian Parliament.

Les Payne

Photo by Robin Holland Les Payne is a columnist for NEWSDAY. He has been responsible for national/foreign and health and science news at the paper for a quarter century; and also served as NEWSDAY's New York Editor. His news staffs won every major award in journalism, including six Pulitzer Prizes. Payne is the Inaugural Professor for the David Laventhol Chair, at Columbia U. Graduate School of Journalism.

As an investigative reporter overseas, Payne won a Pulitzer Prize when, along with other NEWSDAY reporters, he put together the 1974 series, "The Heroin Trail," which traced the international flow of heroin from the poppy fields of Turkey to the veins of drug addicts in the New York City area. Payne spent more than six months in Europe and Asia on the story, reporting from Istanbul, Turkey, Munich, Cyprus, and Nice, Marseilles, Corsica, Paris, and Rome. The 33-part NEWSDAY series was published also in book form.

Payne has also reported extensively from Africa, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and the United Nations. Other major investigations include: migrant farm laborers on Long Island; involuntary sterilization of black women; U.S. Atomic testing in Nevada; illegal immigrants; The Black Panther Party, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is also the author of THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE SYMBIONESE LIBERATION ARMY, about the revolutionary band that kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst and terrorized the West Coast. Payne is writing a soon-to-be published biography of Malcolm X.

As a founder, and former president, of the National Association of Black Journalists, Payne has worked diligently to improve media fairness and employment practices and to expand the coverage of black and Third World communities.

Guest photos by Robin Holland

Related Media:
Fact Checking the Campaign is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania that aims to monitor the accuracy of major national candidates' statements and rhetoric.

The Fact-Checker
Run by veteran journalist Michael Dobbs, The Fact-Checker is a project of the WASHINGTON POST that publishes research evaluating and providing background and context to candidate statements and popular political stories.

Politifact and Truth-0-Meter
Politifact is an extensively cross-referenced fact-checking resource run as a joint project by the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES and CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY.

Campaign News Hub Sites

NPR: Election 2008
Visit National Public Radio's election 2008 portal, offering the latest reports on candidates, audio from the recent NPR Democratic debate, and an interactive primary map.

NewsTrust: Election 2008
This service collects the top news stories and commentary on the presidential election, vetted and reviewed by trusted users and partners. Partners include leading media organizations like PBS, Scientific American, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, LinkTV, Global Voices, the Council on Foreign Relations -- as well as journalism teachers and students at Stanford University, Northeastern, Stony Brook, University of Nevada and Arizona State.

Media Analysts

Campaign Desk reports on the reporting of the campaign through a deliberative mix of reporting, analysis, criticism, and commentary. The site is updated dozens of times a day.

Project for Excellence in Journalism
The Project for Excellence in Journalism is a research organization that specializes in using empirical methods to evaluate and study the performance of the press. It is non partisan, non ideological and non political. Visit the site to find out what is, and isn't making headlines. The site provides a daily briefing.

This NPR show "tries to lift the veil from the process of 'making media,' especially news media, because it's through that lens that we literally see the world and the world sees us." All shows are archived online.

Media Literacy Tools

PBS Learning Now: Media Literacy
This PBS site takes a look at the changing world of media and includes primers on online civic engagement, media literacy and the skills needed for today's budding journalists.

PBS Teachers: Media Literacy
According to a 2005 survey, 9% of people in their 60's list the Internet as a main source of news. What do you think the percentage is for people under the age of 30? If you don't know the answer that question — you can find it at this PBS hub site for information on media and culture.

Published September 12, 2008

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Bill Moyers mentions Jackie Calmes' September 9, 2008, NEW YORK TIMES article "'08 Rivals Have Ties to Loan Giants." For more information please visit the Center for Responsive Politics database of campaign contribution information

>>And visit our campaign finance resources center.

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