Nieman Foundation at Harvard University Media Nation UMass Boston

July 26, 2004

Front Page
By the Numbers

About Us
Contact Us

Boston Globe

Resources for
Media Watchdogs


New Toy for Political Junkies

Sprint and ABC are hoping the newest toy for political junkies will be MobiTV, provided through ABC News and Sprint’s mobile phone service. Theoretically MobiTV users can get real-time audio of the events leading up to the November election, including the political conventions, and -- pay close attention to this part – video, too. The catch is the video will show up on your tiny, two-inch cell phone screen at the rate of one frame per second, giving the picture of Peter Jennings a decidedly jerky feel at roughly the quality you might see in a homemade flip book.

ABC says it’s the only television network providing gavel-to-gavel coverage of the 2004 convention on your cell phone. MobiTV has been handed out to a few ABC folks at the convention, but who else will be watching? Apparently no one. The Sprint PCS Web site doesn’t have a link to MobiTV, and a potential subscriber who called up last week was told by a Sprint spokesman, “We don’t have anything like that at this time.”

Devin Bramhall

On the Web

If you want to get a glimpse at how newspapers around the world are covering the convention, go to Today’s Front Pages at An online version of a popular exhibit at the Newseum, a journalism museum in Washington, D.C., the site provides front pages for more than 250 newspapers from around the world. Updated every morning, the pages are available in full color. You can search for your favorite paper alphabetically, or see what events newspapers in different regions are featuring.

Bias Watch

In the run-up to the Democratic National Convention, Boston’s major newspapers have been unrelentingly negative. The Globe panned a goodie bag for delegates (“Bland in Boston”). Buried under headlines of police unrest, lawsuits and computer threats were ideas for “enjoying the week.” The Herald labels its coverage “DNC MESS.” One headline calls it the “Demo-trash invasion.” Readers are solicited to “share your misery.” Bill Walczak noted the harsh coverage in the Dorchester Reporter: “People are going to leave Boston and say, ‘Jeez, that seems like a quiet town with a million police officers around.’ ”

Where do the journalists get THEIR news?

CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield loves blogger Chris Suellentrop of Slate, the online magazine ( He also likes Slate's Mickey Kaus and the Daily Kos (, Instapundit, (, Andrew Sullivan, (, Wonkette ( and TalkingPoints ( "And I follow their links," he said. John Fox Sullivan shrugged off the question in favor of promoting his National Journal magazine's daily newspaper at the convention while schmoozing with TV talk show host John McLaughlin at The New York Times party near the Boston Garden. "It's 48 pages!" Sullivan said. "We have 90 people here!" At the media welcoming party on Saturday, The Hill editor Albert Eisele boasted that his 10-year-old congressional newspaper will be turning out two editions a day at the convention, with a staff of 12
people. "We've never done a daily before. The advertising market is there" for the convention edition, he said.


Bush Administration Pulls Funding For Foreign Press Centers
For the first time in at least 20 years the Foreign Press Center isn't funding press centers at the national political conventions.

News Organizations Provide Security Training
Several news organizations have required their staffs to attend classes on personal safety and how to deal with acts of terrorism.



Media Nation TM © 2004 University of Massachusetts Boston and
Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. Legal notice