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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 [email protected].

Articles by Christopher Harper

In this June 17, 1994 file photo, a white Ford Bronco, driven by Al Cowlings carrying O.J. Simpson, is trailed by Los Angeles police cars as it travels on a Southern California freeway in Los Angeles. Cowlings and Simpson led authorities on a chase after Simpson was charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. (AP Photo/Joseph Villarin, File)

Twenty years on, a penetrating look at media missteps

One of the country's best media watchers has turned his attention to some major reporting debacles, missteps and missed opportunities which have had continuing repercussions over the past 20 years. Published December 31, 2014

University of Virginia students walk to campus past the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. Rolling Stone is casting doubt on the account it published of a young woman who says she was gang-raped at a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity party at the school, saying there now appear to be discrepancies in the student's account. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) **FILE**

Media ethics take a back seat to sensationalism in sex assault stories

Sensational stories about alleged sexual assaults at the University of Virginia and Oberlin College have raised serious questions about how two prominent writers apparently chose to ignore long-standing ethical standards and reporting practices. Published December 10, 2014

A television news reporter conducts a broadcast outside the Buzz Westfall Justice Center where a grand jury is expected to convene Monday to consider possible charges against the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Clayton, Mo. Ferguson and the St. Louis region are on edge in anticipation of the announcement by a grand jury whether to criminally charge officer Darren Wilson in the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown. (AP Photo/David Goldman) **FILE**

Ferguson coverage brings out the worst in reporters, pundits

The coverage of the turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri has provided some of the worst excesses of journalistic practice, starting from the death of Michael Brown in August to the aftermath of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson. Published December 3, 2014

Paul Krugman accuses reporters of being tougher on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton than her Republican rival, Donald Trump. (Associated Press/File)

Obamacare commentators deaf to strong voice of voters

Ignoring an overwhelming mandate in the midterm elections opposing the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, liberal pundits launched the opening — albeit errant — salvos in the battle over possible changes to the law. Published November 12, 2014

Rebecca Yam, left, and Hannah Quire watch a television update for Senate races across the country at Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn's election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Tulis) **FILE**

Preferring 'The Voice,' networks MIA on election night

Political coverage on the major television networks continued the slide toward its inevitable demise this week as ABC, CBS and NBC decided that programs like "Selfie," "The Voice" and "NCIS: New Orleans" were more important than the midterm elections. Published November 5, 2014

 President Barack Obama shakes hands with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie before speaking outside at Asbury Park Convention Hall ,Tuesday, May 28, 2013 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Obama traveled to New Jersey to join Christie to inspect and tour the Jersey Shore's recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) **FILE**

Media move on, but Sandy problems linger

The flotsam and jetsam that lay strewn across much of New Jersey and New York may be gone for the most part, but the ramifications of Superstorm Sandy persist despite much of the media's lack of attention to the storm's aftermath two years later. Published October 22, 2014

In this 2010 photo, Fox News Channel commentator Geraldo Rivera speaks on the "Fox & Friends" television program in New York. (Associated Press)

The extent of the media's Ebola idiocy

The media frenzy over the Ebola virus has created so much fear and loathing among the public that it won't be easy to dial back from the panic mode any time soon. Published October 15, 2014

Abu Mosa, Islamic State Press officer. (Image: YouTube, Vice News)

Breaking the rules and making money is media's Vice

If you want to see the future of news, take a look at, a media conglomerate aimed at millennials. It is brash, in your face and unabashedly liberal on topics such as the environment. Published September 17, 2014

FILE - In this May 23, 2014, file photo, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, right, speaks alongside his wife, Janay, during a news conference at the team's practice facility in Owings Mills, Md. A new video that appears to show Ray Rice striking then-fiance Janay Palmer in an elevator last February has been released on a website. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

HARPER: Tabloid TV outhustles the networks on NFL's misdeeds

Even though he played football just up the road from the media epicenter of the world, former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's off-the-field crimes went virtually uncovered until the self-described gossip and entertainment website,, came up with a videotape showing Mr. Rice knocking out his then-fiancee earlier this year. Published September 10, 2014

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2012 file photo, Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana addresses activists from America's political right at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington. Jindal planned to file a lawsuit Wednesday Aug. 27, 2014 against the Obama administration, accusing it of illegally manipulating federal grant money and regulations to force states to adopt the Common Core education standards. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Media earn failing grade for poor Common Core coverage

If concerned citizens want to inform themselves on one of the most important issues in their lives — the education of their children — they would be hard-pressed to get any significant help from the national media. Published August 27, 2014