Analysis: Our Commentaries and Backgrounders
This section, Commentaries and Backgrounders, contains our more concise research analyses, such as op eds, articles, speeches, and quick reports. These are distinguished from our more detailed empirical research studies. They are listed below in chronological order. Or you can use the menus on the left to filter our entire archive and find exactly what you want.
|February 8, 2007|
A new study finds a proliferation of “citizen media” web sites that fit somewhere on the media spectrum between the street-corner soapbox and the local daily newspaper. While concluding that these grassroots outlets are successful at creating community conversations, the report on this emerging landscape also reveals that many are tenuous, shoestring operations.
|January 25, 2007|
|If Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report were hoping that 2006 would offset poor advertising numbers in 2005, they will be disappointed. The year-end figures are now in and they show that the number of ad pages at the three big newsmagazines barely inched up. The magazine industry generally, indeed, is suffering something of a malaise. |
|January 25, 2007|
How did the press cover the President’s State of the Union address? Did it emphasize his domestic policy agenda or did Iraq policy grab the headlines? Did the media focus on his appeal for another chance on Iraq or his defiance on that subject? A PEJ review of front-page headlines on the day after finds the answers.
|January 4, 2007|
|More than three years ago, in the wake of the Jayson Blair scandal, the New York Times announced it would hire its first-ever public editor or ombudsman to act as an independent monitor of the paper. Now a published report raises the issue of whether the Times is thinking about eliminating the position. Such a decision would likely reverberate throughout the newspaper industry. What are Times officials thinking? |
|December 21, 2006|
|What do Bill O’Reilly, Anderson Cooper and Jim Cramer all have in common? The three cable news personalities are all hawking their own line of gifts—from varsity jackets to fitness kits to bobblehead dolls. It’s a classic case of brand extension meets the holiday shopping rush. And consumers get to declare their loyalty in the fierce cable news wars.|
|December 20, 2006|
Some critics have assailed Time magazine’s choice for 2006 Person of the Year in recent days, calling the editors’ selection of “You” with a mirror on the cover gimmicky. But this wasn’t the first unconventional choice for Time’s honor – or the first time a group of people was selected. PEJ takes stock of Time’s past Persons of the Year from 1927 on.
|December 18, 2006|
|What difference has Tony Snow made since becoming President George W. Bush’s press secretary? The President has been more accessible, for one thing. Tony Snow, it turns out, also talks more than his predecessor, Scott McClellan. A PEJ analysis suggests that in his regular give-and-take with the White House journalists, White House Q&A sessions are wordier and longer with the former TV and radio talk host at the helm.|
|December 15, 2006|
|It’s hard to know whether the universe of satellite radio companies is about to be cut in half. Is Sirius Radio boss Mel Karmazin’s talk about a merger between his company and XM Radio simply chatter or a prelude to a deal? Any union of the two intensely competitive satellite radio services would have to pass regulatory muster. Here’s a look at how the two satellite radio services stack up.|
|December 13, 2006|
|A two-year-old experiment in shrinking the global village, Global Voices features bloggers who often write about parts of the world that are ignored by the mainstream media. In this PEJ interview, co-founder Ethan Zuckerman talks about the promise of the blogosphere and some of the problems with traditional journalism.|
|December 8, 2006|
|What was the treatment of the eagerly awaited Iraq Study Group report across the nation's front pages? To find out, PEJ looked at nearly 200 headlines from Dec. 7, the day after its release. While there wasn’t much good news to tout, these editors seemed almost evenly divided over whether to highlight the report’s critique of the administration or its prescription for change in Iraq.|