Time and Space (On The Media: Friday, 10 July 2009)

Forty years ago the U.S. put a man (well, two actually) on the moon. The landing capped a decade of NASA trial-and-error, Cold War jockeying with the Soviets and negotiating an uneasy relationship with the press. Harlen Makemson, author of “Media, NASA and America’s Quest for the Moon” charts the ongoing coverage of the space program.

Do Unto Others (On The Media: Friday, 10 July 2009)

In 2004, Micah Garen was filming a documentary in Iraq when he was kidnapped by a Shi’ite terrorist group. The kidnappers released videos of Garen, threatening to kill him within 48 hours if the U.S. did not meet their demands. Garen talks about what it’s like when the press does report on your abduction, and discusses whether the media have two sets of ethics: one for their own, and one for everyone else.

Mr. Khrushchev Goes to Washington (On The Media: Friday, 10 July 2009)

In 1959, with the Cold War in full throttle and MAD the doctrine of the day, Nikita Khrushchev crisscrossed America in a whirlwind circus of a tour, from Harlem to Hollywood. Peter Carlson, author of “K Blows Top,” sifted through the newspapers of the day to piece together an account of the visit.

Look Who’s Coming to Dinner (On The Media: Friday, 10 July 2009)

A collective ethical gasp was heard when Politico reported the Washington Post’s intention to hold sponsored salons, during which lobbyists could hobnob with administration officials and Post employees for a price. Washington Post staff writer Paul Farhi, who has been reporting the story, says the salon idea was likely the result of a really bad case of groupthink.

A King’s Farewell (On The Media: Friday, 10 July 2009)

For the past two weeks, coverage of Michael Jackson’s death has dominated the news, arguably at the expense of more pressing stories. Bob takes a look at how the media have handled the superstar’s passing.

The Silent Treatment (On The Media: Friday, 10 July 2009)

Last month, New York Times reporter David Rhode
escaped from the Taliban, which held him hostage for seven months
. The Times was able to keep the news of his kidnapping out of traditional media, but it appeared on Rohde’s Wikipedia page almost immediately. So the Times asked Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales to help redact the information. Wales talks about the ethical dilemma.

Heart of Stone (On The Media: Friday, 10 July 2009)

Was I.F. Stone a Soviet agent who passed secrets? Or a justly celebrated icon of American muckraking from the left? Jackson Lears, a professor of history at Rutgers University who discussed some newly published claims in the New York Times Book Review recently, says Stone is the victim of posthumous character assassination.