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Minding Our Business
  Journalism still a viable career choice
Recently journalism school alumnus Jon Turner wrote a letter to the editor of The Daily Gamecock, USC's student newspaper. Turner described his five-years of experience in newsroom and his reasons for leaving. His prerogative. But he also summons all journalism students to join him in abandoning ship.
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US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission: Remarks of Charles Bierbauer, U.S. Delegate
I was asked, in part, to reflect on my time as a foreign correspondent here in Russia, then the Soviet Union, and how we — our two countries and our journalist — perceived the relationship.
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Wonks, Whistleblowers and Watchdogs
Now that we’ve had some time to think about it, reaction to the U.S. government’s role in monitoring and collecting our phone and online behavior seems to collect in two boxes. There’s outrage: How dare they! And indifference: Whatever. Until we fully know what was done to whom and to what end, vigorous defense seems muted.
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Delivering the News - National Newspaper Week
As a teenager in Pennsylvania, I delivered The Morning Call and The Evening Chronicle to customers in a suburb of Allentown. On rainy days, I’d try to make sure the paper stayed dry inside the screen door. Now, I get The State and the New York Times delivered to my driveway in plastic bags, though the Times delivery is erratic. I can, of course, also read the Times on my iPhone, iPad and desk top computer.
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The Long, Hot Electoral Summer
We’re in a political season. You’d noticed, of course. But which elections have gotten your attention? Which have worn you out? The spectrum is far greater than Obama vs. Romney.
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The Business of Blogging
Now and then, I write about the journalism and communications professions in this highly occasional column. The tempo of change exceeds my capacity to keep up with the trends and turmoil. Who can?
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PR, AS IN
I’m going to ask you to do something extremely daring in today’s media marketplace…engage in only one medium at a time. How novel. This is a Powerpoint free zone. Look, no screens. No laser wand. No bullet points. Tweet at your own risk.
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The cost of free speech
The echo ringing loudest in the wake of the Tucson tragedy is not of the gunshots that killed six and severely wounded a congresswoman, among others, but of the sharp and piercing words that ricochet around us. Was the rhetoric the real trigger for the Arizona shooter's action? Should we muzzle political speech in a democratic society? Is civility the antidote for violence?
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Journalism: R.I.P.?
"Journalism, as we knew it, began with the printing press. It ended with the Internet," according to sportswriter Frank Deford, delivering the 2010 Red Smith lecture in journalism at Notre Dame. Too flippant? Too egotistical?
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Freedom's messenger: A trek through Central Europe
There is a quantum leap from the classroom to the settings where history has unfolded. For us this summer, that meant tracing footsteps through the streets and squares of Budapest and Prague, getting inside the shipyard of Gdansk where the workers’ union Solidarnosc was born, crossing what had once been the death strip at the Berlin Wall.
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In a word — Jobs!
“Don’t let anyone tell you there are no jobs out there,” WLTX general manager Rich O’Dell told me at our recent job fair for the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.  O’Dell’s WLTX recruiters had some openings news side and, as always, in sales.
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Not just a once in a millennium thing
At the turn of the millennium, on the brink of the calendars and clocks clicking to the year 2000, I spent the night at the State Department in Washington waiting for something to go wrong with the government’s, the nation’s or the world’s computers. It was a long, dull night.
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Musings on horseback
My intention was to spend a week without the Internet, phone, text, television or Twitter. My wife and I were on a ranch in southern Colorado where we have frequently gone to ride horses in the mountains and relax. Not the end of civilization. Quite comfortable, in fact. But purposefully remote.
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That's the way it was
Walter Cronkite’s signature signoff—“and that’s the way it is”—gives pause in today’s media world. Is it—the multimedia universe of the Internet, blogs, Twitter and YouTube—the way it is?
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When you come to a fork in the road
Thank you for this opportunity to be with you for this celebration. I will be at our own commencement on campus in Columbia on Monday. For us, it is one of three days a year that I can count on seeing pretty much nothing but happy—and sometimes relieved – faces.
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A not so great debate
Diamonds or pearls? Is that the question? I’m not exactly crushed that I missed this moment in television journalism. Amid the mountains of information and opinion heaped on us this political season, it is but a pebble. But I am dismayed with the back story of manipulation that has emerged since this past week’s debate in Las Vegas. It suggests it may be easier to draw to an inside straight in Las Vegas than to expect straight journalism.
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Light and shadow
Michael Deaver: "The great illuminator"
The common thread of all the disciplines in our college is that we are story tellers. We tell good stories, funny stories, horror stories—and in every sense of those words. What sets our disciplines apart is that we tell those stories from different perspectives. Journalism and public relations come to mind. Each is an honorable profession—would we teach anything other?—though they do not always find common ground.
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Trying not to get voted off
Thursday night viewing gets a change of pace from "CSI," "Grey's Anatomy" and "ER" this week with the Democratic candidates' debate from S.C. State University in Orangeburg. But like those shows, the debates — this is only the first — have an ensemble cast with a story arc that will play out over the next months.
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Measuring the candidates
Lee Bandy’s retirement as The State’s venerable and irascible political correspondent gives Lee a well deserved respite from the political trails ahead. But with all respect, Lee, you’re leaving your readers in the lurch.
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Where the White House meets the press
The White House pulled the rug out from under its press corps this week. The chairs and drapes, too. The drapes were faded; the chairs dilapidated. The rug, as I recall, was pretty disgusting.
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Dispatches from May Travel Marathon
Media bias, television profits and Internet censorship are concerns on the minds of journalism students. Where? Here in Beijing.
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Can We Believe Our Ears and Eyes?
Could we take a few minutes to talk about something that's troubling me ... and a lot of others in my profession. My profession is, of course, that of a journalist. Now a journalist and educator.
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The Ghost of Christmas Greetings Past
On the third day before Christmas, as I walked into the bank, I crossed paths with a politically prominent acquaintance. Our encounter lasted but a few seconds—a handshake, a "how are you?" and an almost simultaneous exchange of good wishes.
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Tell it to the judge
I’ve never talked with Scooter Libby. I haven’t seen Karl Rove since he visited USC a couple of years ago. I’ve known Dick Cheney a long time, but we’ve not discussed Valerie Plame, yellowcake or Saddam Hussein. Those are my disclaimers. Have I used anonymous sources? Sure. 
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Getting literacy rolling in South Carolina
Learning to read is not quite as easy as ABC. But it's also not differential calculus. Our goal as a state is to ensure that every child in South Carolina has the opportunity to learn to read.
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Worldly Wise: Reflections on Peter Jennings and the future of international reporting
Peter Jennings had two bad habits: he would bum cigarettes and he would steal ledes. One was his weakness and led to his death and journalism’s loss. The other reflected on his strength as a journalist.
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Consumers push the envelope, Los Angeles Times pushes back
Fresh cement is an invitation to a handprint. A whitewashed wall begs for graffiti. A light in the dark beckons to self-destructive moths.
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‘Newsweek’ dispute shows tensions of media, government
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Election over - Supreme Court still counts
On December 12, 2000, CNN correspondent Charles Bierbauer reported the Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore that effectively ended the 2000 presidential election. Cameras recorded Bierbauer leading the pack as he sprinted from the court into the bitterly cold night to explain the last act of the bitterly contested election.
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Politics and Journalism 202
For decades at CBS, Dan Rather has informed us with the news, amused us with his Texas aphorisms, exhorted us with his curious benediction of "courage" and, on occasion, puzzled us — "what is the frequency, Kenneth?" But now Rather has disappointed us.
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Remembering Reagan
Covering a president and the White House may or may not be the pinnacle of a journalistic career. There is much that is tedious and mundane, much the like the army’s propensity for “hurry up and wait” orders. There are journalistic lessons to be learned most steps of the way. This is not about how to cover the White House, but about how I remember the years I spent keeping a watchful eye on the president who both before and after he took office had an enormous impact on the country and the world.
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Harsh photos; Harsh truths
Army Pfc. Lynndie England has replaced Pfc. Jessica Lynch as the poster girl for the U.S. war in Iraq. Neither Lynch nor England may be all that first impressions portrayed each to be. Lynch was not so much the heroine in battle as the victim on a botched mission. England may prove to be more a pawn than a sadistic dominatrix.
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The Column

Charles Bierbauer

Minding Our Business is a column by Charles Bierbauer, dean of USC's College of Mass Communications and Information Studies and a former CNN and ABC News correspondent.

This column addresses issues faced daily by students, faculty, editors, news directors, public relations experts, and media managers about our professions.

We welcome feedback.

 

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