Today's Top Stories

Newspaper ad spending down 7% in 2Q

Newspaper advertising spending fell 7% in the second quarter to $6 billion, the Newspaper Association of America said Thursday. Spending on print ads declined for the 20th straight quarter dating back to 2006, dipping almost 9% to $5.19 billion. Meanwhile, online ad spending advanced for the sixth straight quarter, rising 8% to $803.4 million. Classifed ad spending -- long considered the lifeblood of newspapers -- fell nearly 11%.

A Victory for Recording in Public!

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit last week issued a resounding and unanimous opinion in support of the First Amendment right to record the actions of police in public. The case grew out of the arrest of Simon Glik in 2007, when he openly used his cell phone to record three police officers arresting a suspect on Boston Common -- for which he wascharged with criminal violation of the Massachusetts wiretap act, aiding the escape of a prisoner and disturbing the peace.

Approval of Labor Unions Holds Near Its Low, at 52%

Republican, Democratic approval ratings diverge

In a year marked by contentious negotiations between state governments and public employee unions, a slim majority of Americans, 52%, approve of labor unions. Gallup has asked Americans whether they approve or disapprove of labor unions periodically since 1936, and annually since 2001. More Americans have always approved than disapproved, with the lowest approval rating of 48% measured in 2009. A record-high 75% approved in two separate measurements in the 1950s.

NLRB: Employers' Social Media Policies Can Violate Labor Laws

The NLRB has issued a 24-page report examining employers' social media policies, looking at various incidents involving employer-employee disputes involving social media that came to the NLRB's attention in the past year. And while the NLRB didn't side against employers every time, it did find that several companies' social media policies were unlawful because they interfered with federal labor law protection of concerted activty.

Rupert Murdoch's daily paper angers Australian government

The Australian government has reportedly put itself on a war footing with Rupert Murdoch's Australian newspaper division after it published, and then retracted, an erroneous report about the country's prime minister that linked her to a former boyfriend and the alleged embezzlement of union funds. There are also increased prospects to a wider review of media ownership amid concerns that Murdoch, who owns 70% of the country's papers, has too much power.

What journalists can learn from scientists and the scientific method

The scientific method isn’t a single thing. It’s a collection of conventions and best practices, rigorously applied. While the need for journalism and the demands on it differ in many ways from those of science, it is a discipline that -- like science -- seeks truth. There is no “journalistic method” to rival the scientific one. But in that body of conventions and practices, there’s much that journalists should emulate.

Most Americans Critical of Unions While Crediting Them for Improving Wages and Working Conditions

Labor unions are something that divide people. On one hand, a majority of Americans give labor unions credit for improving wages and working conditions for workers (65%). However, at the same time, most Americans also are very critical of labor unions which are seen as being to be too involved in politics (72%) and more concerned with fighting changes than trying to bring about change (71%).

This Labor Day we need marches, not parades

Labor Day is traditionally a time for picnics and parades. But this year is no picnic for American workers, and a protest march would be more appropriate than a parade. Perhaps there would still be something to celebrate on Labor Day if government was coming to the rescue. That's what it did in the first decade of the 20th century, when giant corporations threatened the economy, and then again in the 1930s, when American workers didn't have the money to keep the economy going. But this time Washington is paralyzed.