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 techtonic 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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3:00pm

Fri August 5, 2011
Media

CNN's Morgan Under Pressure Amid Hacking Scandal

CNN's Piers Morgan is under growing pressure to return to the U.K. to face questions about whether the Daily Mirror engaged in hacking voicemails while he was editor.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

For years, CNN's Piers Morgan has alternately prospered and flopped on the basis of how readily his roguish charm could get him out of scrapes.

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3:00pm

Fri July 29, 2011
Media

In Britain, News Corp. Remains Under Pressure

News International executive James Murdoch testified at a parliamentary hearing that he was unaware of a wider problem of cell phone hacking until a lawsuit in 2010.
Warren Allott AFP/Getty Images

Rupert and James Murdoch appear to have won important corporate backing for their continued leadership of News Corp. amid the voice-mail hacking and police corruption scandal besetting the company in the U.K.

James Murdoch oversees the company's British, European and Asian operations, and it owns 39 percent of shares of the giant British broadcaster BSkyB. He is also that company's chairman. On Thursday, BSkyB's board delivered a vote of confidence in him while moving to mollify investors with a major stock buyback.

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3:00pm

Wed July 27, 2011
Media

In 'Muzzled,' Williams Tells His Side Of The Story

In his new book, Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate, the journalist Juan Williams argues that his contract was terminated by NPR as part of a larger pattern of the suppression of unwelcome opinions.

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6:48pm

Fri July 22, 2011
Media

How Has 'Wall Street Journal' Fared Under Murdoch?

The News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal blasted critics for double standards and insisted that the phone-tapping scandal in Britain should not tarnish all of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

The news Friday that the U.S. Justice Department is preparing wide-ranging subpoenas in the News Corp. phone hacking case was first disclosed by The Wall Street Journal. The paper is owned by News Corp. and Rupert Murdoch considers it the jewel in his crown.

And although the Journal has not been directly linked to any journalistic misconduct, the scandal has raised the question of how it has fared under Murdoch's ownership.

Murdoch's Acquisition Brought Big Changes

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12:01am

Wed July 20, 2011
Media

Does British Scandal Risk Murdoch's Hold On Empire?

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch (right), testifying alongside his son James, said his appearance Tuesday before a British parliamentary inquiry in London was "the most humble day of my life."
Parbul AFP/Getty Images

As News Corp. executives Rupert and James Murdoch gave testimony to members of a parliamentary panel in London on Tuesday, they were also speaking to a different audience: The people who own their company's shares and sit on its board.

From the opening moments, Rupert Murdoch made clear even in crisis that News Corp., while a publicly traded company, is very much propelled by the vision of one man. He interrupted his son James to make the point.

"I'd just like to say one sentence: This is the most humble day in my life," he said.

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5:54am

Tue July 19, 2011
Media

CNN's Morgan Breaks Silence On 'News Of The World'

In the mid 90's, Piers Morgan cut his teeth as an editor at Murdoch's London tabloid the "Sun" and then became the top editor of its sister Sunday paper "News of the World." Two of his successors have been arrested and a third lost his job along with his staff when the paper closed.

3:00pm

Mon July 18, 2011
Media

A Look At The Relationship Between Britain's Police And Press

Britain's phone-hacking scandal has put the spotlight on the relationship between News Corp. and the police. London's two top police officers have resigned amid the scandal.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Two top British police officials have resigned amid the News Corp. hacking scandal, throwing the problematic relationship between the media giant and the police into sharp relief.

British Home Secretary Teresa May told Parliament on Monday that both Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, and Assistant Commissioner John Yates had resigned. The Metropolitan Police is commonly known as Scotland Yard.

A Two-Fold Scandal

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8:00am

Sat July 9, 2011
Media

Rupert Murdoch Rules More Than The 'World'

The scandal that has collapsed the British tabloid, News of the World, and rocked the News Corp empire, brings into question the pervasive influence of Rupert Murdoch's media holdings on British media and politics. NPR's David Folkenflik examines the extent of Murdoch's influence and his cozy relationships with politicians.

4:18pm

Fri July 8, 2011
Europe

Cameron Vows Full Probe Of Phone Hacking Scandal

Investigators carry bags of evidence from the home of Andy Coulson, a former News of the World editor and Cameron aide, in London on Friday. Police arrested Coulson in the phone hacking scandal.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced two investigations into the phone hacking scandal that brought down Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid and led to the arrest Friday of the paper's former top editor, a former Cameron aide.

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12:01am

Fri July 1, 2011
Media

New CNN News Chief Takes Stock

CNN is known for its coverage of breaking news, like the killing in May of Osama bin Laden.
Bay Ismoyo AFP/Getty Images

It's pretty easy to see the winning formula for Fox News and MSNBC. They spend their evening hours stoking outrage from the political right and left, respectively.

But it's not as clear what the missing secret sauce should be for CNN. The cable news pioneer now continually lags in ratings during prime time, the most heavily watched hours.

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3:00pm

Tue June 7, 2011
Media

Familiar Role For Conservative Provocateur Breitbart

Andrew Breitbart, who runs BigGovernment.com, speaks to the media before a press conference held by Rep. Anthony Weiner on Monday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) clearly brought the scandal over his digital dalliances upon himself, but the media's coverage of the story from the moments after he sent that errant tweet has been orchestrated almost entirely by one person: conservative blog entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart.

Breitbart, the other famous guy at the center of this scandal, has made the scandal a national fixation.

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7:32pm

Thu June 2, 2011
Media

Keller To Hand Off 'New York Times' To Chief Deputy

New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, seen at a benefit in 2008, is stepping down to become a full-time writer for the paper.
Scott Gries Getty Images

New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller is stepping down to return to writing for the newspaper. He will be replaced by his chief deputy, Jill Abramson, the managing editor for news.

By all accounts, Keller is departing voluntarily after a successful but challenging eight-year tenure. In an interview, he said he went to Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the paper's publisher and the chairman of its parent, the Times Co., to reveal his decision.

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3:52pm

Tue May 17, 2011
The Two-Way

Blogger's 'Ugly' Conclusions Anger Some In The Black Community

A blog posting on the website of Psychology Today asserted that black women were "objectively less physically attractive than other women" and then, as a backlash built — it vanished.

The posting was written by Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychology scholar associated with the London School of Economics, on a blog for the publication called The Scientific Fundamentalist. The posting's headline was initially tweaked and the entire essay was subsequently removed altogether on Monday.

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12:01am

Mon May 16, 2011
Media

Livelihood 'On The Line,' Anchor Reveals He's Gay

CNN anchor Don Lemon says his mentors and agents challenged him to consider whether he was willing to wear "the gay anchor" label throughout his career. " And I'd have to say, at this point, why the hell not?" he says,
CNN

CNN weekend anchor Don Lemon is many things: A 45-year-old African-American native of Baton Rouge, La., he was raised Southern Baptist, attended Catholic schools and graduated from Brooklyn College in New York, and subsequently prospered in the competitive world of television news.

One more facet of his life that he reveals publicly for the first time today: He is gay.

"Do I want to be 'the gay anchor'?" Lemon said.

He said his mentors and agents challenged him to consider whether he was willing to wear that label throughout his career.

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7:09pm

Mon May 9, 2011
The Two-Way

New Numbers Indicate Broadcast News Is Beating Print On The Web

Some new numbers about the digital news wars suggest that cable news channels are increasingly beating major newspaper brands for online audiences — at least among the legacy news shops.

CNN.com is far and away the leader, with nearly 8.5 million unique U.S. visitors each day. (These estimates come from the audience measurement company ComScore for U.S. visitors for the first three months of 2011.)

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3:33pm

Fri May 6, 2011
The Picture Show

The Perilous Job Of Conflict Photography

The journalists who cover war make up a tight-knit community. And they say they are still sifting through their emotions in the wake of the deaths last month of two experienced colleagues, Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington, who were killed documenting the uprising in eastern Libya.

The dangers weigh heavily. So, too, does the knowledge that no story or photo is worth a life. But an assignment involves an adventure and a paycheck.

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3:00pm

Wed April 27, 2011
Media

Role Of Media In The 'Birther' Controversy

President Obama Wednesday released his long-form birth certificate in an effort to put to rest the controversy surrounding his citizenship. The controversy was given new legs by Donald Trump who Wednesday took credit for forcing the president's hand.

3:46pm

Thu April 21, 2011
Monkey See

Donald Trump Is Thinking About Running For President ... Or Maybe Not

Donald Trump is making the rounds on TV and in key states to explain that he may — just possibly — be interested in running for president.

Many voters are taking his presidential aspirations seriously, but does Trump himself?

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5:08am

Tue April 19, 2011
Media

'LA Times' Story Wins Pulitzer, Community Applause

The Los Angeles Times won two Pulitizer Prizes Monday. One was for its exposure of deep-seated corruption in the poor city of Bell, California. Reporters Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives investigated how much city officials in Bell made. The city manager there was making $1.5 million.

5:15pm

Mon April 11, 2011
Media

British Newspaper Apologizes For Phone Hacking

Rupert Murdoch's News International company is apologizing to politicians and celebrities who were victims of a phone-hacking scheme centered at the News of the World, one of its most popular papers.

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1:53pm

Wed April 6, 2011
Media

Glenn Beck To Leave Daily Fox News Show

At long last, we have an answer to the enduring question: Is it possible for someone to be too incendiary, even for the Fox News Channel?

And the answer is yes.

Glenn Beck's daily spot on the nation's leading cable news station is coming to a close little more than two years after his start on Fox News. While his contract runs through December, his show is not expected to last that long.

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