The Oberlin Review

Heidi Brown, OC ’93, Investigator

Gabby Greene, Staff Writer

March 2, 2018

Filed under Off the Cuff, Recent Stories

Heidi Brown, OC ’93, is a former journalist for Forbes Magazine in Russia. She covered the Russian business environment after the collapse of the Soviet Union and has written extensively on Russia’s oligarchs and governmental corruption. She now works for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority as an investigator. Brown delivered a talk on Russian politics, titled “Beyond the Oligarchs” in King Building Monday. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.  What drew you to Russia’s business scene? I did not have any interest in business or being a business journalist when I was at Oberlin or when I decided to commit to journalism as a profession. After I graduated, I went to New York, and ...

Journalism Must Acknowledge Hate

Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura, OC ’15

December 8, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: College junior Kameron Dunbar recently wrote an impassioned criticism of disproportionate whiteness within media publications, which he argues leads to “uncontested platforms” promoting whitewashed perspectives (“Whiteness of Student Publications Threatens Integrity”, The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017.) In reference to The New York Times article “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” he writes, “It allows the bias of sectarianism and segregation to freely enter the American subconscious without opposition, priming us to respond to these irrational and abhorrent ideologies not with alarm, but with dereliction and indifference.” While I fully support greater diversification of loca...

Whiteness of Student Publications Threatens Integrity

Kameron Dunbar, Columnist

December 1, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

When’s the last time you saw a Nazi at the grocery store? If not yesterday, maybe you saw a picture of one in The New York Times’ profile of Tony Hovater — bonafide and self-avowed white nationalist. In their article “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” originally titled “In America’s Heartland, Nazi Sympathizer Next Door,” the Times willingly gave a white supremacist an uncontested platform for his unabashedly racist views. When faced with criticism over the style of reporting and lapses made in nearly all respects, the Times defended their coverage of bigoted Hovater in “Readers Accuse Us of Normalizing Nazi Sympathizer, We Respond.” They responded, and responded poorly. “Our reporter and hi...

Sensationalist Media Compromises Credibility for Click Bait

Editorial Board

September 22, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In the past, the College has been a target for outside news sources that cherry-pick the Review’s pieces on topics ranging from the cultural appropriation of food in the dining halls to the contentious dismissal of former professor Joy Karega. Their goal is to malign the credibility of colleges like ours. Last week, The Washington Times marked another chapter in the on- going manipulation of our reporting by twisting our story on Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan’s email revealing the deficit and consequent declaration of financial cuts (“Enrollment Drop Creates Financial Shortfall,” Sept. 8, 2017) to argue that the College’s underenrollment results from a reputation fostered by its studen...

College Newspapers Best Illustrate Campus Life

Editorial Board

May 19, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Oberlin students are often presented as coddled, spoiled and so obsessed with political correctness that we have lost touch with reality, choosing to embrace a liberal utopia instead of facing the “real world.” If four years working at The Oberlin Review have taught us anything, it is that this portrayal could not be further from the truth. Stories like alleged cultural appropriation in dining halls have been lifted by national media outlets in a way that grossly misrepresents reality on campus. Major news organizations would have most believe that protests wildly erupted in food fights, with students quivering in dorm rooms for shelter. In reality, students were proactive. They identified a problem, initiated d...

Journalists Must Remain Adversarial

Editorial Board

February 3, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

“You’re not supposed to be sycophants,” Barack Obama told journalists in his final press conference as president. “You’re supposed to be skeptics; you’re supposed to ask me tough questions.” President Obama’s message could not be more timely for those covering President Trump’s administration, as now more than ever, journalists must remain vigilant in reporting on the facts — and no, not the alternative ones. With the day-to-day antics of the Trump administration — from perpetuating myths about the inauguration turnout to Kellyanne Conway’s ludicrous sound bites — it is pivotal that journalists commit themselves not only to producing holistic news stories, but to highlighting the stories that r...

Off the Cuff: Michele Norris, Author and Former NPR Host

Off the Cuff: Michele Norris, Author and Former NPR Host

September 16, 2016

Michele Norris is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist who spent nine years as the host of All Things Considered, NPR’s longest-running program. After graduating from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Norris began working as a print journalist at the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. Norris then accepted a job at ABC News, where she worked for 10 years. Norris was NPR’s first African-American female host, and was awarded Journalist of the Year by...

Holistic Approach to Journalism Necessary for Campus Newspaper

Editorial Board

September 2, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Oberlin students likely spent the summer plagued by the question, “Is Oberlin really like that?” in reference to The New Yorker journalist Nathan Heller’s investigation of student activism on campus (“The Big Uneasy,” May 30, 2016). Though Heller faced backlash for supposedly favoring outspoken activists, the Review Editorial Board applauds the way he curated voices from all walks of life at Oberlin and allowed these accounts to drive the piece. Heller’s piece reflects what we hope to accomplish at the Review this year: to strive for a holistic narrative that gives agency to those involved in the story. Instead of reaching for an unachievable goal of pure objectivity, we want to let the voices of stude...

Off the Cuff: Joshua Pribanic, Journalist and Filmmaker

Off the Cuff: Joshua Pribanic, Journalist and Filmmaker

April 22, 2016

Joshua B. Pribanic is a photographer, investigative journalist, artist and filmmaker. He co-founded the Public Herald, an investigative journalism nonprofit, and co-directed the documentary Triple Divide. The film, which was screened last Wednesday as part of the Ecolympics series, covers the water contamination and health effects rural Pennsylvanians face as a result of fracking. Pribanic is currently the editor-in-chief of the Public Herald in Pittsburgh, PA. His work in investigative journali...

Columbia’s Review of Rolling Stone Article Promotes Questioning Survivors Beyond Comfort

Editorial Board

April 10, 2015

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Content Warning: This editorial contains discussion of sexual assault. Six months after the initial publication of Rolling Stone’s exposé “A Rape on Campus,” the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University released a 25-page review detailing the missteps Rolling Stone made in its account of an alleged sexual assault at the University of Virginia. Writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely, her editors and the alleged victim, known as Jackie, all came under fire when evidence surfaced that Jackie’s account was factually inconsistent. Columbia’s review described the story as a “journalistic failure” after The Washington Post published evidence that called the validity of Jackie’s story into question. Accord...

Exploring Nuances: A Column on Columns

CJ Blair, Columnist

March 6, 2015

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

When you sign on to write a weekly column for your college’s newspaper, it’s all but guaranteed that you’ll occasionally struggle to think of topics. When that happens, you can either sit out for a week, or you can write something no one would really expect, like a column about writing columns. That’s what I’ve done here. As I thought about writing this piece, I realized it didn’t have to be an inaccessible look at my writing process. I hadn’t really noticed along the way, but column-writing necessitates inductive reasoning and a search for new perspectives. This is essential to developing an influential voice and sense of self. I’m sure this sounds like a lofty skill to gain from a mere 700 words...

Williams Controversy Highlights Perils of Fame in Objective Journalism

Editorial Board

February 20, 2015

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Media lenses turned inward last week when NBC announced its Feb. 10 decision to suspend Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. Revelations that the Emmy Award–winning news personality had repeatedly misrepresented his experiences reporting on a 2003 Iraq War mission left the news network reeling, trying to assess damage done to the network’s credibility. Williams delivered an on-air apology on Feb. 4 for what he called a “mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago,” but his words were quickly overshadowed by a media cycle determined to scrutinize stories from throughout the anchor’s Nightly News tenure. On the same day as the suspension, revered newsroom comedian Jon Stewart announced that he would be l...

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