David Folkenflik | KERA News

David Folkenflik

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

Based in New York City, Folkenflik serves as media correspondent for NPR News and as host and editor of On Point from NPR and WBUR, along with Meghna Chakrabarti. He broadcasts from New York each Friday.

His stories and analyses are broadcast on the network's newsmagazines, such as All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Here & Now, and are featured on NPR's website and mobile platforms. Folkenflik's reports cast light on the stories of our age, the figures who shape journalism and the tectonic shifts affecting the news industry. Folkenflik has reported intently on the relationship between the press, politicians and the general public as well as the fight over the flow of information in the age of Trump. Folkenflik brought listeners the profile of a Las Vegas columnist who went bankrupt fending off a libel lawsuit from his newspaper's new owner; conducted the first interview with New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet after his appointment; and repeatedly broke news involving the troubled Tronc company, which owns some of the most important regional newspapers in the country. In early 2018, Folkenflik's exposé about the past workplace behavior of the CEO of the Los Angeles Times forced the executive's immediate ouster from that job and helped inspire the sale of the newspaper.

Folkenflik is the author of Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires. The Los Angeles Times called Murdoch's World "meaty reading... laced with delicious anecdotes" and the Huffington Post described it as "the gift that keeps on giving." Folkenflik is also editor of Page One: Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalism. His work has appeared in such publications as the Washington Post, Politico Magazine, Newsweek International, the National Post of Canada, and the Australian Financial Review. Business Insider has called Folkenflik one of the 50 most influential people in American media.

Folkenflik joined NPR in 2004 after more than a decade at the Baltimore Sun, where he covered higher education, national politics, and the media. He started his professional career at the Durham (N.C.) Herald-Sun. Folkenflik served as editor-in-chief at the Cornell Daily Sun and graduated from Cornell with a bachelor's degree in history.

A five-time winner of the Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism from the National Press Club, Folkenflik has received numerous other recognitions, including the inaugural 2002 Mongerson Award for Investigative Reporting on the News and top honors from the National Headliners Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2018, the Society of Professional Journalists recognized Folkenflik with its 2018 Ethics in Journalism Award. In 2017, Penn State University named Folkenflik as the nation's leading media critic with the Bart Richards Award. He also served as the inaugural Irik Sevin Fellow at Cornell. Folkenflik frequently lectures at college campuses and civic organizations across the country and often appears as a media analyst for television and radio programs in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia and Ireland.

One of the nation's oldest and most prestigious regional newspapers, The Chicago Tribune, could soon have a unionized staff. On Wednesday morning, journalists from its newsroom informed management that they are preparing to organize and that they have collected signatures from dozens of colleagues.

This is a historic move at a paper that, for decades, had taken a hard-line stance against unions.

As Franklin Delano Roosevelt was to radio with his reassuring "fireside chats" during the Great Depression, as John F. Kennedy was to television with addresses to the nation in moments of crisis, so too is Donald Trump a master of his mass medium of choice.

Trump proves his mastery of it daily. Sometimes hourly.

"There's really no way to understand the administration except through the president's Twitter account," says Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Center at Columbia University Law School.

The entertainment value would appear to dominate.

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Last month, local TV news anchors across the country turned to face the camera and share what appeared to be their personal concerns about journalism. They all had the same concerns.

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The murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich in the summer of 2016 remains unsolved, still under investigation by police in Washington, D.C. It is the inspiration for round after round of baseless speculation about the cause of his death, linking it to the leak of thousands of Democratic Party emails that year. And those theories are generating yet another lawsuit.

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The parents of slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich have filed a lawsuit against the Fox News Channel for coverage linking their son to the leak of thousands of party emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign. The lawsuit also names Fox reporters Malia Zimmerman and a periodic Fox commentator.

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An outside legal review of NPR's handling of allegations against its former top news executive, Michael Oreskes, found that questions were raised about his behavior toward women even before he was hired. And concerns about misconduct were reportedly flagged throughout Oreskes' 2 1/2-year tenure at the network right up to the day he was fired.

The business editor of the Los Angeles Times made a triumphant return to the newsroom to applause Thursday after several days away, telling colleagues she had been whisked away and suspended as part of the newspaper's investigation into the leak of taped remarks made by the paper's editor-in-chief in November.

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On the Friday before Christmas, Fox News confirmed that its chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen, had left the network. He had worked there for 18 years and become something of a legend. The U.S. Justice Department under the Obama administration was so frustrated by his reporting on U.S. intelligence about North Korea that it conducted a leak investigation into his sources.

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Ultimately, it was the Mouse that roared — and the Fox that beat a retreat from the global stage.

The Walt Disney Co. has struck a deal valued at $52.4 billion to acquire much of the Hollywood holdings of 21st Century Fox, the global television and entertainment conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family. The deal occurs against a backdrop of swift changes to the industry's finances and uncertainty about succession plans at both companies.

Two major network news divisions are addressing problems at the organizations after unrelated incidents. ABC News President James Goldston denounced his own journalists on Monday for a botched story about the federal investigation of President Trump's inner circle. NBC News is facing skepticism from staff as the organization addresses the backlash over the Matt Lauer sexual harassment scandal.

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NBC's Matt Lauer is the latest big name in media to fall in the wake of sexual harassment complaints. Lauer's co-host on "The Today Show," Savannah Guthrie, began the broadcast this morning like this.

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As NPR's Board of Directors meet in Washington, D.C., this week, the network finds itself confronted by a series of dispiriting developments: a CEO on medical leave; a chief news executive forced out over sexual harassment allegations; the sudden resignation of a board chairman; fresh complaints over inappropriate behavior by colleagues; and a network roiled by tensions over the treatment of its female workers.

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President Trump has made it very clear how he feels about CNN.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Fake news. CNN. Fake.

The U.S. Justice Department has informed AT&T that it will block the telecommunications giant's planned $85 billion takeover of Time Warner unless it sells off CNN — a network frequently targeted for derision by President Trump. The move has therefore triggered concerns within CNN that the administration is taking action against a media outfit simply because it has angered the president with its coverage, raising First Amendment implications.

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn apologized to angered staffers in a contentious meeting Friday afternoon even as additional women accused the network's former top news executive of sexually harassing them.

"I've let you down," Mohn said, according to people present. "I should have acted sooner and I should have acted more forcefully."

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NPR has placed its senior vice president for news, Michael Oreskes, on leave after fielding accusations that he sexually harassed two women seeking career opportunities nearly two decades ago, when he worked at The New York Times.

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