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TODD SMITH — It’s harder to separate news from opinion online

The line between news and opinion is increasingly becoming blurred online. News organizations aren’t doing enough to help readers understand the difference between news, analysis and opinion, according to a recent Duke Reporter’s Lab study that found only 40 percent of large news organizations provide labels about article types – and nearly all of those only label opinion columns. The ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — Mississippi is a paradox in so many ways

August 10, 2017. It is the final morning of a wonderful vacation in Ireland. Up early, I reflect on the kind and welcoming people of Ireland we have met. I marvel at Ireland’s ability to attract businesses to the Emerald Isle. Google, Accenture, Facebook, Paypal. The list goes on and on. I compare and contrast Ireland’s business attraction efforts with ...

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Analysis: State symbols don’t have to go on the ballot

Defenders of the Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi flag have a ready-made argument that was handed to them nearly a generation ago by lawmakers who didn’t want to deal with the politically volatile issue of redesigning the banner. It goes like this: The people of Mississippi voted to keep the flag in a statewide election in 2001, and politicians ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Do governor’s appointees not give a squat about his standards?

Did you read Geoff Pender’s terrific column “Take some aspirin before searching Transparency Mississippi website” in the Clarion-Ledger?  If transparency in government spending matters to you, this is a must read.   Pender pointed to non-transparent disclosures on the transparency site by the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, then said, “Apparently, they don’t feel like telling the public squat about their travel. ...

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DAVID HAMPTON — 50 years after Delta tour, we still struggle to face the challenges

Given the facts and the right information, people will do the right thing. I have often said this in speaking to students about the importance of good journalism — reporting that examines and analyzes and helps people reach logical and helpful solutions to the problems we all face. Yes, we differ, we debate, we filter things through our political leanings, ...

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TODD SMITH — Social media users vault past 3 billion

The latest Global Digital Statshot from We Are Social and Hootsuite reveals that the number of people using social media around the world has just passed the momentous 3 billion mark. With he world population at 7.5 billion and counting, that’s quite a milestone. Here are top trends: » 3.8 billion Internet users – with a 51 percent penetration rate. ...

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DAVID BARIA: Time to remove Confederate battle flag from all official symbols of Mississippi

The events in Charlottesville evade simple description. The tragic loss of life and violent imagery are now part of our collective consciousness and already compare as one of the darkest chapters in modern American history.   For many of us who were not adults during segregation, these images seem ripped from a time we hoped was in the past. Sadly, ...

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Analysis: Financial questions for 2 of 3 charter finalists

  Decision time is drawing near for Mississippi’s Charter School Advisory Board. While a proposed school in Clarksdale has an impressive list of supporters, those who want to open schools in Canton and Drew may face questions. The board decides once a year on new applications to open the alternative form of public schools, which are run by private nonprofits. ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Will tax cuts ease economic distress and health disparities?

The 13-state Appalachian Regional Commission just released its latest county economic status rankings. Mississippi has 24 ARC counties with 12 ranked “distressed,” nine “at-risk,” three “transitional,” and none “competitive” or “attainment.” Rankings did not change from last year.   What do these rankings mean? ARC calculates the economic status of counties based on unemployment rates, per capita market income, and ...

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