Media Criticism

Image from The Wildfire That Burned Yellowstone and set off a Media Firestorm
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The Wildfire That Burned Yellowstone and set off a Media Firestorm

Increasingly, wildfires affect populated areas. But 30 years ago, it was a huge fire in Yellowstone National Park that stoked media attention and political controversy.
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The Outrage Machine

In the digital age, where everyday people can suddenly become public enemy number one, how do we strike the balance between keeping free speech alive online and preventing a cyber mob from taking over?
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D&D: Lessons from a Media Panic

Dungeons and Dragons was once accused of leading children to Satanism, but today the game looks more like a solution to a problem plaguing modern parenting.
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Lessons from Columbine About School Shootings and Media Misinformation

The killing of twelve students and a teacher at Columbine High School in 1999 continues to shape how we view and understand school shootings today.
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From Crack Babies to Oxytots: Lessons Not Learned

In the 1980s, many government officials, scientists, and journalists warned that the country would be plagued by a generation of “crack babies.” They were wrong. More than 25 years later, the media is sounding a similar alarm.
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Vaccines: An Unhealthy Skepticism

An outbreak of measles that started at Disneyland turned a spotlight on those who choose not to vaccinate their children. Watch this Emmy-nominated backstory to understand how we got to a place where fears can triumph over established science.
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A Mother, a Dingo and an Australian Media Frenzy

In 1982, an Australian mother was convicted of murdering her baby daughter. She was later exonerated, but soon fell victim to a joke that distracted the world from the real story.
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The Preschool Sex Abuse Case that Changed How Molestation is Investigated

The nightmare began in 1983 when a 39-year-old mother called the police department in Manhattan Beach, California and accused a teacher at the McMartin Preschool, Raymond Buckey, of molesting her two and a half-year old son.
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How Hot Coffee Landed McDonald's in Hot Water

In 1992, Stella Liebeck spilled scalding McDonald's coffee in her lap and later sued the company, attracting a flood of negative attention. It turns out, there’s more to the story.
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Richard Jewell: The Wrong Man

The 1996 Olympics in Atlanta were rocked by a bomb that killed one and injured more than 100. In the rush to find the perpetrator, one man became a target. There was only one problem. He was innocent.