Capturing hard times – in only 6 words

By Eric Freedman

The COVID-19 pandemic is all around us, saturating news reports, dominating conversations, shuttering businesses, isolating hundreds of millions, disrupting schools, derailing sports and the arts, befuddling science.

Meanwhile, pummeling us are natural disasters as diverse as wildfires in Australia and the American West, hurricanes and tropical storms in the Caribbean and Southeast U.S., typhoons in Japan and the Koreas, landslides in Nepal and India.

Continue reading

Environmental journalism student recounts internship challenges

By Cassidy Hough

This summer I landed an awesome internship despite not being totally qualified.  I was the environmental news intern for Interlochen Public Radio, the National Public Radio member network for Northern Michigan.

My first piece of advice is to apply apply apply.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket for that perfect internship that you’re 100% qualified for, because odds are there’s 100 other qualified people applying for that same internship.

Continue reading

Knight Center director trains Uzbek journalists

Knight Center director Eric Freedman led a recent workshop via Zoom for about 20 Uzbek journalists on how American media cover business and economic news in the U.S., including reporting on economic aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As contrasting examples, Freedman used a recent Lansing (Michigan) State Journal article titled “Lansing area gym opens despite state order; others struggle to stay afloat” and a recent New York Times article called “Corporate Insiders Pocket $1 Billion in Rush for Coronavirus Vaccine.”

Journalists at a workshop on business reporting in Uzbekistan

The workshop, part of a three-day training on business reporting, took place in Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, under the sponsorship of the Voice of America’s Uzbek Service.

Trainers and experts from the United States and Europe engaged the participants in online sessions focused on information-gathering, news analysis, interviewing techniques, ethics and best practices, and digital media/infographics. Insightful discussions ensued on how journalists should pitch stories, brainstorm in their newsrooms and correct their content after it airs and/or is published.

Freedman taught journalism as a Fulbright Scholar in Uzbekistan in 2002.

Navbahor Imamova of Voice America Uzbek Service

VOA anchor Navbahor Imamova, who is based in Washington, moderated the session. She has been a guest speaker to Freedman’s international journalism classes, talking about how foreign correspondents work in the U.S.

Knight Center director writes on presidents and racism

How have American presidents fared in confronting racism?

Poorly, according to Knight Center director Eric Freedman and former Detroit Free Press journalist Stephen Jones, who teaches history at Central Michigan University.

President Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington at the White House in 1901.

In a new column for The Conversation, Freedman and Jones say the anger over racial injustice that erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s killing has forced Americans to confront their history, including the role of presidential leadership – and lack of leadership – on racial issues. An honest assessment of American presidential leadership on race reveals a handful of courageous actions, they write, but an abundance of racist behavior, even by those remembered as equal rights supporters.