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John Branston

John Branston is a senior editor for The Memphis Flyer. He writes the City Beat column and other stories on business, government, and the courts. He has worked as a reporter in Tennessee and Mississippi for 25 years. A collection of his reporting, Rowdy Memphis: The South Unscripted, was published in 2004.



You CAN Make This Stuff Up
COMMENTARY | November 20, 2007
A Wall Street Journal editorial page column last week said George Wallace was shot dead while campaigning for President. A correction was issued soon enough, but John Branston, a Memphis writer and longtime WSJ reader, is mystified by the error.

These news stories brought to you by…
COMMENTARY | October 17, 2007
The Memphis Commercial Appeal ran items that were identified as being sponsored by a local firm. Then apparent resistance in the newsroom helped block an attempt to run sponsored stories on a larger scale.

Once again, corruption is Topic A in West Tennessee
COMMENTARY | January 26, 2007
A 2-year federal investigation (including a sting with secret tapes), seven current or former elected officials involved, racism charges, and, on the reporting end, bloggers joining in as tipsters, reporters, and media critics.

Iraq war, coverage of it, loom large at media reform convention
SHOWCASE | January 13, 2007
The press gave up its one weapon, skepticism, and lost its way in coverage of the run-up to the war, says Helen Thomas. Improved coverage, she says, is in part responsible for the public’s turning against the war.

Propaganda as a juicy item on the ‘red meat’ panel in Memphis
SHOWCASE | January 13, 2007
In the morning, panelists shoot zingers at Bush, at Fox News, and at fake news. Then an afternoon panel focuses on 'youth media.'

Reform speakers take on the big media
SHOWCASE | January 13, 2007
Bernie Sanders says it’s time to turn up the heat on media conglomerates; FCC Commissioner Copps says there is ‘too little news, too much baloney passed off as news.’

From creep to floodgate: Product placement and fake news
SHOWCASE | January 12, 2007
Panelists at Media Reform convention ridicule actors giving their all for Oreos, Crest, etc.; Donald Trump’s show was said to be the worst. And then there’s those corporate- or government-produced VNRs.

Media reform movement seen as ‘bursting at the seams’
SHOWCASE | January 12, 2007
At Memphis convention, Bill Moyers and Jesse Jackson invoke the spirit of Martin Luther King in talks to a diverse crowd of more than 3,000 people

Media reform conference opens in Memphis
SHOWCASE | January 12, 2007
Event runs Friday to Sunday; some speakers and sessions may be seen online. Among the topics are media ownership, the war on the press, and independent media supplanting the mainstream. Participants include well known journalists and bloggers and political and entertainment figures.

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