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Articles by Michael J. Socolow

Michael J. Socolow is an associate professor of communication and journalism at the University of Maine.
Until the early 1960s, TV news was seen as a loss leader.
“The very idea of collectively tuning in to history as it happens has been altered, as the profusion of channels and platforms now funnels audience members into self-segregated affinity groups where messages are shaped more for confirmation than enlightenment.”
The pervasive amount of news media criticism in the U.S. has intensified the erosion of trust in American journalism, but such discussion can be seen as a sign of democratic health.
“[T]he question is not whether the problem is real, but how research might quantify and describe its true prevalence, and how to address the problem.”
Media innovations that eventually become commonplace are often first introduced at the Games.
If Substack’s pricing precludes widespread distribution of its news and commentary, its value as a public service won’t be fully realized.
Sometimes the biggest story does not advance as quickly as journalists might hope. It is in these moments of seeming stasis that journalistic repetition can become more powerful and serve as a way to hold government accountable.
The great interrogations of TV news history didn’t happen live. “There’s one option that could be considered by these programs: not inviting guests who will mislead audiences with provably inaccurate information.”
Recent police raids against journalists in Australia and the United States seek to instill fear in the minds of journalists and their sources — less to punish the last story than to discourage the next one.
“Traditionally, it’s not been state censorship that’s cleansed American public debate. Rather, since the advent of electronic communication, commercial corporations have often acted out of fear of reprisal — from both the government and the public.”