David Folkenflik

Geraldo Rivera of the Fox News Channel once described David Folkenflik as "a really weak-kneed, backstabbing, sweaty-palmed reporter." Others have been kinder. The Columbia Journalism Review, for example, gave him a "laurel" for his reporting that immediately led the U.S. military to institute safety measures for journalists in Baghdad.

Folkenflik is NPR's media correspondent based in New York City. His stories are broadcast on NPR's newsmagazines and shows, including All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Talk of the Nation. His reports offer insight into the operation of the media amid tectonic shifts in the industry and cast light on figures who help shape the way the news business works. NPR's listeners were first to learn how the corporate owners of the glossy magazine GQ sought to smother distribution of its provocative story about Russian Premier Vladimir Putin. They also found out, amid the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic church, how a small, liberal Catholic weekly based in Kansas City had been documenting allegations of abuse by priests for a generation. Folkenflik provides media criticism on the air and at NPR.org on coverage of a broad array of issues — from the war in Afghanistan, to the financial crisis, to the saga of the "Balloon Boy."

Before joining NPR in 2004, Folkenflik spent more than a decade at the Baltimore Sun, where he covered higher education, Congress, and the media. He started his career at the Durham (N.C.) Herald-Sun. In 1991, Folkenflik graduted with a bachelor's degree in history from Cornell University, where he served as editor-in-chief of The Cornell Daily Sun.

A three-time winner of the Arthur Rowse Awards for Press Criticism from the National Press Club, Folkenflik won the inaugural 2002 Mongerson Award for Investigative Reporting on the News, presented by the Center for Media and Public Affairs and the University of Virginia's Center for Governmental Studies. Folkenflik's work has also been recognized with top honors from the National Headliners Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. He was the first Irik Sevin Visiting Fellow at Cornell and speaks frequently at colleges across the country. He has served as a media analyst on such television programs as CNN's Reliable Sources, ABC News' Nightline, Fox News' O'Reilly Factor, and MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

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5:13am

Wed June 27, 2012
Media

Splitting Media Outlets Could Help News. Corp. Investors

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:49 pm

News Corp. executives have confirmed they are considering dividing the company in two. One new company would hold all of News Corp.'s profitable entertainment and television outlets. The other would hold all of its newspaper and publishing outlets. The move is seen as a way for the Murdoch family to hang on to its less profitable and troubled newspapers while pleasing investors with a newly independent and far more profitable entertainment company.

4:20pm

Tue May 1, 2012
Media

News Corp. Contrite In Wake Of Scathing Report

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 5:04 pm

An influential group of British lawmakers says Rupert Murdoch, shown above with his son James (left) last July, is unfit to lead his global media empire. The scathing report also says his company misled Parliament about the scale of phone hacking at one of its tabloids.
Sang Tan AP

News Corp. executives Rupert and James Murdoch can give a small sigh of relief, perhaps, that U.K. lawmakers investigating the tabloid hacking and bribery scandal did not conclude they misled Parliament in earlier testimony.

But that may be just about the only relief the Murdochs receive.

The scathing report accuses the company and several of its former top British executives of lying to Parliament and of seeking to cover up widespread phone hacking, computer hacking and bribing of government employees.

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4:47am

Fri April 20, 2012
NPR Story

Murdoch's News Corp. Faces New Legal Threats

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 6:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And I'm Lynn Neary.

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3:17am

Thu April 12, 2012
Media

Huckabee Pledges More Civil Alternative To Limbaugh

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 10:22 am

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says his new radio show will be more "conversation and less confrontation."
Gary Kline

Mike Huckabee fell short four years ago in his quest to become the Republican presidential nominee. As of this week, the former Arkansas governor has a new job: national radio talk show host.

The Mike Huckabee Show started Monday with an anticipatory flourish.

"Welcome to the community of conversation. You've just made a right turn, and you've arrived at the corner of conservatism and common sense," he said. "In this show, we're going to be confronting the issues — not the listeners."

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11:56am

Sun April 8, 2012
Remembrances

Veteran Newsman Mike Wallace Of '60 Minutes' Dead

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:53 am

60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace died on Saturday night, according to a CBS spokesman.
Peter Freed AP

The urbane Mike Wallace, a CBS News correspondent equally at home questioning con men, celebrities and chiefs of state, died Saturday in New Canaan, Conn. He was 93.

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6:19pm

Fri April 6, 2012
Media

News Corp. Coverage: A Climate Change Case Study

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 7:27 pm

News Limited is the Australian arm of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire.
Tim Winborne Reuters /Landov

Part 4 of four

Some weeks ago, I paid a visit to an eggshell-blue house in Newtown, a neighborhood on the west side of Sydney, to Wendy Bacon and her husband, Chris Nash.

As we sat on the porch of their book-lined home, they pointed with pride to the Australasian trees and blooms defining their interior courtyard.

And then Bacon delved into her own harvest: the results of a case study about how the country's newspapers handled a pressing and contentious issue.

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4:04am

Fri April 6, 2012
Media

Murdoch's 'Australian': A Powerful Player

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 3:14 pm

A jogger runs past a banner for The Australian, part of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire, in Sydney last year.
Tim Wimborne Reuters /Landov

Part three of four

Robert Manne, one of Australia's top public intellectuals and journalists, tells me the first thing to know about The Australian.

"It is by far the most detailed paper in regard to national politics," he says. "And it's also at a higher level of analysis, in general, than the other papers."

Second, he says, the paper is "smarter, sharper" than the others — with more resources and fewer profit demands to boot. Manne explains why:

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4:31pm

Thu April 5, 2012
Media

Murdoch's Unrivaled Hold On The Australian Press

Between 6 and 7 of every 10 copies of national and metro papers sold in Australia are owned by News Ltd., News Corp.'s Australian newspaper arm. The company owns The Australian and The Daily Telegraph; while The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald are owned by rival Fairfax Media.
Rick Rycroft AP

Step up to any newsstand in Australia, like the one in Melbourne's Central Business District, and ask who Rupert Murdoch is, and you might get an appraisal like this one from Tom Baxter, an officer with a local disability foundation: "Long time in newspapers, ruthless; dedicated to their craft; a global citizen."

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3:49am

Thu April 5, 2012
Media

The Roots Of An Empire: Rupert Murdoch's Australia

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 7:44 am

Rupert Murdoch takes over the Daily Mirror, a Sydney tabloid, in May 1960. Sometimes soft-spoken, but invariably hard-driving, Murdoch acquired major papers in every Australian state. He bought TV stations and established the first truly national daily.
Keystone Getty Images

First of four parts

Ultimately, all roads lead home for Rupert Murdoch.

"The story of our company is the stuff of legend: from a small newspaper in Adelaide to a global corporation based in New York, with a market capitalization of about $44 billion," he said last October, when he addressed a News Corp. shareholders meeting in Los Angeles.

Australians view the company's history differently.

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3:03pm

Thu March 8, 2012
The Two-Way

A Scoop, Really? BuzzFeed, Breitbart.com Spar For Credit On Obama Video

A still frame from a video shot in 1990.
Frontline

Last night a bewildering debate broke out on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight over video posted online yesterday of a young Barack Obama speaking at a student protest at Harvard Law School more than two decades ago.

The debate focused on whether the new BuzzFeed website or Breitbart.com deserved credit for the scoop.

My bewilderment stemmed from the question of why anyone would consider this video to be a scoop at all.

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2:56am

Tue March 6, 2012
Media

Rush To Judgment: Advertisers Flee Limbaugh's Show

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 8:37 pm

Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh's apology for comments he made about a Georgetown Law student has done little to stem criticism.
Alexis C. Glenn UPI /Landov

An increasing number of corporations have announced that they will no longer advertise on the show of the undisputed king of political radio talk, Rush Limbaugh, in the wake of caustic and sexually charged comments he made about a Georgetown Law student.

An apology over the weekend failed to quell the controversy, as both corporations and conservative commentators denounced Limbaugh's latest provocative remarks. It is far from his first such episode. Part of Limbaugh's appeal involves getting listeners to tune in to hear just what shibboleth-bursting thing he'll say next.

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12:01am

Fri February 24, 2012
Media

With Sale, Phila. Reporters Fear Loss Of Integrity

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 4:50 am

The publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News has been accused of interfering with coverage of the newspapers' pending sale.
Joseph Kaczmarek AP

Philadelphia's financially troubled newspapers — the jointly owned Inquirer and Daily News — may be sold for the fourth time in six years. Circulation and advertising are down. A new set of layoffs has been announced, and the papers' newsrooms are about to be combined with the news site Philly.com.

But reporters and editors there are outraged by something else: the actions of their own publisher to influence their coverage of the company's sale.

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4:00am

Wed February 8, 2012
Election 2012

TV's King: Web Fails To Dominate Election Coverage

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 3:03 pm

Supporters watch primary results in Manchester, N.H., in January. According to a Pew study, Americans continue to get much of their election news from cable television.
Allison Joyce Getty Images

The twists and turns of the Republican presidential campaign have been practically made for — and watched on — live television. And despite predictions of new media tools like Twitter and Facebook dominating election coverage, Americans are continuing to rely on an old standby: cable TV.

After coming in second in the Nevada caucuses, Newt Gingrich assured reporters that national news exposure would be a surefire remedy for catching up with Mitt Romney.

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2:14pm

Tue January 17, 2012
Media

In Britain, Calls To Regulate A Freewheeling Press

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 7:19 pm

British tabloids such as The Sun are known for being brash, cheeky and salacious.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

The voice mail and computer hacking and police bribery scandal that has roiled the British newspaper industry has also led to calls for government regulation of the press in one of the world's greatest democracies.

Some newspaper executives, such as Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail and editor-in-chief of the Mail on Sunday, are attempting to draw the line.

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