Keith Oppenheim

Commentator

Keith Oppenheim, Associate Professor in Broadcast Media Production at Champlain College, has been with the college since 2014.  Prior to that, he coordinated the broadcasting program at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan (near Grand Rapids). Keith was a correspondent for CNN for 11 years and worked as a television news reporter in Providence, Scranton, Sacramento and Detroit. He currently produces documentaries, and his last project, From Somewhere Else, looked at how global changes in media and communication have changed the immigrant experience.

A couple of my students just completed a documentary about a police corruption case in western Massachusetts. But in the movie, people who spoke on camera were either unwilling – or maybe too afraid – to condemn a police chief jailed for embezzlement.

In all my years as a reporter, I was never thrown out of a public meeting.

I recently attended my 40th High School Reunion. I grew up in Western Massachusetts and I’ve been a regular to these events every five years.

It’s an ancient proverb that comes from the 4th century A.D. – “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

In Vermont, there was relief when the State Police got a tip that may have prevented more school violence.

The target was Fair Haven High School near Rutland; the suspect was an 18 year old former student who had laid out his plans in a journal.

John Locher / AP

It was in April almost three years ago that Bernie Sanders last gave an interview to Seven Days. Since then, he’s pretty much refused.

Denis Finley, editor of the Free Press, got into dicey territory when he responded on Twitter to Vermont’s plan to offer a third gender identity option on driver’s licenses.

As a candidate for Michigan Attorney General, Detroit lawyer Dana Nessel made the case that given there could be an all female democratic ticket next year for several big races in Michigan, being a woman should not be a disadvantage.

I want to begin by saying I was a former employee of Time-Warner and I’m not a fan of big media mergers. While I personally had a good experience at CNN, big media has become so big, it’s just scary.

Keurig Green Mountain, the Waterbury company known for K-cups and coffeemakers, has been advertising on Fox News, specifically on Hannity. Hosted by Sean Hannity, the program is the most watched show in cable news – and that’s actually a big deal.

James Murdoch and his brother Lachlan, top executives at parent company News Corporation, say they’ve been trying to clean things up at Fox News.

When you watch a local TV station, chances are you associate it with newscasters or on-air personalities. You might not think about the big, sometimes very big media company, that owns your local outlet.

ESPN is similar to cable news networks, where executives like personalities, people who go beyond merely reporting facts, but show passion, spout opinions and keep things lively.

In 1998, I was working in Atlanta – and took a trip to Stone Mountain, a confederate monument about a half-hour east of the city.

When I was in the third grade, kids in my class were spreading a rumor. It was 1968, Hubert Humphrey was running against Richard Nixon – and in Massachusetts, where a Nixon Presidency was widely feared, my classmates insisted if Nixon got elected, we would have to go to school on Saturdays.

In the hills of Entebbe, the sound of children’s voices fill a courtyard between a compound of small buildings. Now and then, a lanky man with a short pony-tail emerges. He is Robert Fleming, the founder of Malayaka House, currently home to 39 children, ranging in age from infancy to late teens.

In the world of local television, WCAX has been a rarity. It was the last independently owned and operated CBS station – and one of the few mom and pop shops left in the country.

Bill O’Reilly’s ouster really is a big deal. Time was when the FCC had a regulation called The Fairness Doctrine - a rule that required broadcasters to present controversial issues in an evenhanded way. But in 1987, a time of deregulation, that doctrine was scrapped – leading to intense partisanship in broadcasting and notably the birth of Fox News.

The President of Middlebury College, Laurie Patton, is disappointed, and for good reason.

Recently, I went to a performance in Burlington by Lewis Black, the comedian from The Daily Show known for an onstage delivery filled with agitation and outrage.

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