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Christopher Harper

Christopher Harper

Christopher Harper is a professor of journalism at Temple University. He worked for The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and "20/20" for more than 20 years. He can be contacted at

Articles by Christopher Harper

** FILE ** In this April 17, 2007, file photo, exhibitors of the Google company work on laptop computers in front of an illuminated sign of the Google logo at the industrial fair Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File)

HARPER: A lack of coverage when media giants misbehave

Google, Facebook and Amazon — a triumvirate the media tend to exalt — have been engaged in some questionable practices that have received relatively little news coverage, even though they were significant events that came to light during the slow summer news period. Published July 9, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gestures as he speaks, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 to a joint meeting of the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches and the Palm Beach County Bar Association at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. Alito said the high court should never worry about its popularity when deciding cases. Alito told an audience of more than 1,100 people that the nine justices would undermine the court's standing if they were concerned about public opinion. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

HARPER: A justice's argument overridden by a media agenda

The Supreme Court decision in a narrowly drawn case this week on contraception created a firestorm in the media, with the dominant narrative that rulings against women loom ahead in the courts — a viewpoint not borne out by a review of the case. Published July 2, 2014

A couple embrace before a memorial service for the victims and families of Friday's rampage at Harder Stadium on the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 in the Isla Vista area near Goleta, Calif. Sheriff's officials said Elliot Rodger, 22, went on a rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara, stabbing three people to death at his apartment before shooting and killing three more in a crime spree through a nearby neighborhood. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

HARPER: Newsrooms make tough calls in covering mass murders

The replays of the infamous YouTube video and the excerpts from the manifesto of the Santa Barbara killer underline an ethical debate news organizations should have: How much coverage should murderers get? Published May 28, 2014


HARPER: The New York Times won't fix its problem with one firing

Although he has been rocked by the public relations disaster over his firing of New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has proved himself a survivor when dealing with most of the questions about his tenure as leader of the news organization over the past two decades. Published May 21, 2014


HARPER: The press needs to focus on an out-of-control EPA

The Environmental Protection Administration, arguably one of worst-managed federal agencies, has also become one of the government's most powerful entities with only limited oversight from journalists. Published May 14, 2014


HARPER: Campuses send off graduates with messages of censorship

Despite the media's fascination with racial issues, many news organizations have failed to understand the importance of two cases involving black women whose political views got them bounced from providing words of wisdom to graduating students at two universities. Published May 7, 2014

The Supreme Court (Associated Press) ** FILE **

HARPER: No need for truth panels to police campaign speech

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week on an important lawsuit concerning freedom of speech, but many news organizations failed to report on the issue. Maybe that's because a pro-life group brought the lawsuit and may win a significant victory before the court. Published April 23, 2014


HARPER: Despite lousy reviews, media give Hillary Clinton a pass

The U.S. Department of State — mostly on Hillary Clinton's watch — improperly monitored or completely lost an estimated $6 billion, which is nearly 12 percent of the department's annual budget of $51 billion. That's according to a recently-released report from the Office of the Inspector General. Published April 9, 2014

FILE - This March 1, 2014, file photo shows part of the website for as photographed in Washington. The new health care law helps some people, hurts others and confuses almost everyone. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

HARPER: A little late, media step up on Obamacare's woes

As the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, lumbers toward its rather flexible deadline Monday when individuals are supposed to sign up for the federal exchange, the public has become increasingly critical of the media's coverage of the program. Published March 26, 2014

Students from the Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino High School walk on a mural depicting the missing Malaysia Airlines plane Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at their campus at Makati city, east of Manila, Philippines. Officials revealed a new timeline Monday suggesting the final voice transmission from the cockpit of the missing Malaysian plane may have occurred before any of its communications systems were disabled, adding more uncertainty about who aboard might have been to blame. The search for Flight 370, which vanished early March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, has now been expanded deep into the northern and southern hemispheres.  (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

HARPER: Flight 370 disappearance stymies reporters

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has posed some significant hurdles for Western reporters for of a variety of reasons. Few Western reporters have sources in Malaysia. Speculation has run amok since the beginning of the story. The aircraft has not been found, creating huge logistical problems for the governments looking for the plane and for journalists trying to cover the search. Published March 19, 2014

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler eyes new rules that threaten the survival of black-owned TV stations. (Associated Press)

HARPER: Misguided study highlights 'fourth branch' overreach

The Federal Communications Commission — part of what some consider the "fourth branch" of government — reared its head recently with an ill-conceived and ill-advised plan to question journalists about how they report the news. Published February 26, 2014