Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Deutschland Radio reviewed the German-language edition of Peter Laufer’s book, Organic, published in Vienna by Residenz Verlag. The entertaining (and skeptical, review can be heard here.  And this is the compelling cover illustration from Bio? Die Wahrheit über unser Essen:

Sign that Post!

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

There are, of course, appropriate times for anonymity, but Peter Laufer contends, in this op-ed placed in his hometown newspaper, that the commentary section of responsible news publications is not one of them. Some 250 comments followed its appearance, most of them just bolstering Laufer’s assertions.  Samples include this from someone calling him/herself Webfoot Gary: “What a snot! That does tell us a lot, doesn’t it?” And this from the self-identified ULURU, “Hey professor: ever heard of freedom of the press? Perhaps not.”  The Register-Guard adorned the op-ed with this spot-on illustration:

KGB ≠ Nostalgia

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Taking a break from the World Press Freedom Day events in Riga, Latvia, Peter Laufer visited the former KGB prison in the Baltic capital city.  The reality, of course, was stark, as he reported in this Oregonian op-ed.

Riga under a springtime moon, 2015.

Organic Gluttony

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Peter Laufer responded to a headline in his local hometown newspaper that bashed “organic” foodstuffs with this op-ed.  The Register-Guard illustrated its article with this image of the story’s protagonist:

Slow Utne Reader

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Fabled Utne Reader highlighted an excerpt from Peter Laufer’s Slow News in the magazine’s September 2014 issue, noting, “We can rationalize flicking on 24-hour news for a fix of what’s supposedly important; there may be something happening that’s important to know.”

The image the Utne Reader chose to illustrate the excerpt is potently mundane.
The Utne Reader caption: Award-winning journalist Peter Laufer brings wit and clarity to the news in his latest book, Slow News (Oregon State University Press, 2014). Laufer argues that both the field journalist and the home consumer can benefit from taking time to ruminate on the news. In this excerpt from Part Two, “Who Are the Media & What Are the Sources?” he suggests that turning off the 24-hour news altogether allows consumers to make their own decisions about what news is worth investigating.

Organic on KQED

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Peter Laufer joined Michael Krasny on his KQED “Forum” to talk organic food with the public radio audience.  A few days earlier he did the same with Geoffrey Riley on “The Jefferson Exchange” to the Jefferson Public Radio audience.

From the book Organic:

We rarely ascertain the origins of most organic foods we consume. That provenance is suspect at best and tainted at worst. It’s time to advance the debate from “Is organic better?” to “Is what’s sold as organic really organic?” We need to question the organic guarantees the marketplace promises consumers who pay premium prices for organic food, question the integrity of the organic food chain, and question the morality of sourcing high-priced organic food in locales where farm workers and food producers labor in abusive conditions. If we are what we eat, we need to know what we’re eating and how it came to our dinner plates.

The Origin of Jefferson

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Oregon Humanities magazine checks in with a feature on the origin of a few famous Oregon myths.  Of course the Elusive State of Jefferson is on the list and Peter Laufer reports on its genesis.

Meanwhile, across the state line at Humboldt State University in the fine Jefferson outpost of Arcada, the Humboldt Journal of Social Relations devoted its Issue 36 to the study of Jefferson.  Peter Laufer checked in with an article titled “All We Ask Is to Be Left Alone.”

More Organic Ink

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Earth News Journal calls Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Discover the Truth behind Food Labeling an “outstanding book” and journalist Jerry Kay talks with Peter Laufer about the work and what “organic” really means.  Meanwhile, in the Heartland, Michael Chevy Castranova, the Sunday editor of the Gazette in Cedar Rapids concludes after reading Organic,  ”If you think ‘organic’ food from Kazakhstan will be as safe as items from, say, an Eastern Iowa grower, you’ve not been paying attention.”

NPR: Laufer “outright skeptic”

Monday, August 11th, 2014

On NPR’s “All Things Considered,” reporter Dan Charles noted how Peter Laufer’s skepticism led to the exposés in Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Discover the Truth behind Food Labeling.

The skeptical illustration from the NPR website about Organic:

Organic on the High Line!

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Check out the eye-catching billboard for Peter Laufer’s Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Discover the Truth behind Food Labeling across from New York’s High Line and looking down on Chelsea’s eateries and markets:

SLOW NEWS Provokes . . .

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Publishers Weekly calls Peter Laufer’s Slow News “a timely and provocative proposal for what journalist and broadcaster Laufer calls a slow news movement, featuring the author’s rules for a balanced and nutritious daily news diet beyond the frenetic blur of Internet headlines.”

More Organic Ink

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Salon quotes Peter Laufer calling the USDA Organic label “inappropriately seductive” in Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Discover the Truth behind Food Labeling.  A lovely example illustrates Lindsay Abrams’s wide-ranging interview.

Laufer’s hometown daily, The Register-Guard, calls him a “dogged truth digger” and and says his investigation “makes it clear that confusion and corruption are embedded within the $27 billion organics industry.”

Shelf Awareness awards Organic a starred review, telling its readers “Laufer shines a bright light on the lack of transparency and inconsistency in regulation and enforcement of the term [organic], the pervasive conflicts of interests (farmers and food processors must pay to be inspected and certified), and the comingling of conventional and organic products in the industry.”

Roundup Ready Milkweed

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

At Moses Znaimer’s ideacity think tank in Toronto,

Peter Laufer introduced his idea for Monsanto Roundup Ready milkweed to an appreciative — if surprised — audience of Canadians understandably worried about the survival of their iconic Monarch butterfly population and its magical migration to Mexico.

Organic: Growing . . . !

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Peter Laufer’s book Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Discover the Truth behind Food Labeling is deemed “a lively, highly-informative exposé” by Kirkus Reviews.  The New York Post calls it a “must-read” and Publisher’s Weekly cites Laufer’s “skills as a writer and reporter” for creating “an interesting and edifying book.”  And the newspaper of record in Eugene, The Register Guard, alerts its readers in the University of Oregon hometown that “Laufer’s investigation makes it clear that confusion and corruption are embedded within the $27 billion organics industry.” Meanwhile Laufer penned this op-ed for the Washington Post regarding organic food labeling.

UNESCO Press Freedom Day

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Check out the documentary made by Peter Laufer and his University of Oregon colleagues Gabriel Martinez and Dan Morrison along with their School of Journalism and Communication students produced at UNESCO World Press Freedom Day events in San José, Costa Rica.

The iPad as Frisbee

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

In an op-ed in his hometown newspaper, Peter Laufer recounts how his errant iPad is a reminder that privacy is passé.  Note the screen shot locating the iPad alongside Interstate 5 northbound, just south of the MacKenzie River crossing:

Jefferson in 1859

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

As Yuba County in California considers joining the quixotic Jefferson “statehood” movement, Peter Laufer again puts the myth into persecutive in 1859 magazine.

Kirkus lauds Organic

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Peter Laufer’s book Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Discover the Truth behind Food Labeling is praised by Kirkus in a review that promises: “A lively, highly informative exposé capped by trips to Kazakhstan and Bolivia, where Laufer settles his questions about the walnuts and black beans he purchased.”

Organic Fraud?

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Watch the trailer for Peter Laufer’s book Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Discover the Truth behind Food Labeling.

Bill McKibben says about Laufer’s trek along the food chain, “Ever wonder if that ‘organic’ sticker on your produce is legit?  Peter Laufer did the work to find out, and the answers are equal parts fascinating and disturbing.”

Solar Farm = Cooked Birds?

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Peter Laufer took on mega-solar-energy farms in this op-ed for High Country News that promotes rooftop solar.  ”Which should come first,” he asks, “protecting the threatened desert tortoise or creating expensive electricity for an already overpopulated California?”  In addition to the fowl (foul?), endangered Desert Tortoises are victims of the world’s largest solar plant along the Nevada-California border.

Roundup Ready Milkweed?

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Peter Laufer called on Ottawa, Washington and Mexico City to address to crises of Monarch butterfly habitat loss in this Toronto Globe and Mail op-ed.

Laufer offers paean to radio

Friday, February 28th, 2014

At UNESCO’s Paris headquarters, University of Oregon-UNESCO Institute for Conflict Sensitive Reporting and Intercultural Dialogue co-Director Peter Laufer spoke about his passion for radio as a timeless communication medium.

Laufer at the Turtle Ball

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Peter Laufer gave the keynote address at the second annual Turtle Conservancy fundraiser, the Turtle Ball at the Bowery Hotel in New York.

More Jefferson

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Peter Laufer joined the Oregon Public Broadcasting program “Think Out Loud” for an analysis of the status of the State of Jefferson broadcast live from Jacksonville, Oregon, where the precursor to Jefferson, Jackson Territory, was favored at a meeting of renegades back in 1854.

UNESCO World Radio Day

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

From UNESCO’s Paris headquarters, Peter Laufer discussed the unending potency of radio (no matter what new media innovations bring) for UNESCO World Radio Day.

Laufer & new UNESCO Institute

Monday, January 20th, 2014

UNESCO and the University of Oregon announced the new Institute for Conflict Sensitive Reporting and Intercultural Dialogue, co-directed by Peter Laufer with his University colleague Steven Shankman.  The U.S. Mission to UNESCO queried Laufer about the Institute.

The State of Garbo

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Peter Laufer analyzed the secession movements in Oregon, California and Colorado in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times and High Country News.

In his book The Elusive State of Jefferson, Laufer offers an alternative to the southern Oregon and northern California secessionists:

I propose the Jeffersonians jettison Jefferson and call their place in the sun (and—maybe more often—the rain), Garbo. She is famous for wanting to be left alone. They want to be left alone, or so they say. They want to invent a new state. Greta Gustafs- son invented her name: Greta Garbo. Or director Mauritz Stiller invented it. The origin is unclear, just as is the origin of the state names Oregon and California.

Garbo. It has a nice look and ring to it. The typography is appeal- ing when it is attached to place names, as is the sound when the new state name is spoken in conjunction with its major cities. Klamath Falls, Garbo. Yreka, Garbo. Port Orford, Garbo. Add the zip code and it looks official: Ashland, Garbo 97520. Eureka, Garbo!

Garbo: enigmatic and private with a wry nod to celebrity. For a place where history —in fact and fancy—was created by the deft use of publicity, the name change to Garbo would put the former Jeffer- son (look how bland Jefferson already looks compared with Garbo!) in headlines around the world.

Garbo, an ideal name for a place that claims it just wants to be left alone.

Another Big Cat Kills

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

At a wild cat sanctuary near Portland, Oregon, a cougar runs amok and kills a keeper.  Peter Laufer weighs in on the case and its ramifications with this op-ed in the Oregonian.

Elusive State of Jefferson

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Peter Laufer advocates changing the name of the elusive State of Jefferson to Garbo (after Greta) on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and in the Eugene (OR) Register-Guard and the Eureka (CA) Times-Standard.  Laufer’s book, The Elusive State of Jefferson is published by Globe Pequot Press.  The Medford (OR) Mail Tribune says Laufer finds the State of Jefferson “a pipe dream worth writing about.”

A fascinating account,” says Steve Bass at Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Lively, vivid and compelling,” says University of Oregon Professor Steven Shankman, who adds, “Laufer reveals how the way we report on events has a profound effect on the events themselves and may, in some cases, create them.”

Keith Scribner, author of The Oregon Experiment, says, “With uncanny skill and a sharp eye,” Laufer “reveals conflicts that resonate with all of us.”

Yesterday’s News Tomorrow

Monday, September 9th, 2013

“Join my Slow News Movement,” writes Peter Laufer in the Catamaran Literary Reader.  His book, Slow News: A Manifesto For the Critical News Consumer, is scheduled to be published in English early 2014 by the Oregon State University Press.  The Italian and Korean editions are in bookstores. Laufer talks about the Movement on the Jefferson Public Radio show “The Jefferson Exchange.”

The Accidental Tortoise

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Peter Laufer investigates the clash between the threatened Desert Tortoise and so-called green solar energy farms in the Mojave.  Read about the counterintuitive conflict in The Tortoise, the journal of the Turtle Conservancy.

Crowdsourcing Is Nothing New

Monday, September 9th, 2013

The customer is not the editor, writes Peter Laufer in the Gutenberg University publication Journalism and Media Convergence.

Old World Bicycles

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

While teaching at the University of Oregon outpost in Vienna, Peter Laufer suggested on the op-ed page of the Eugene Register-Guard that the university town learn some lessons from the Old World.

More Slow News Now!

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Peter Laufer discussed his Slow News Movement on the Oregon Public Broadcasting radio program “Think Out Loud” and the PBS forum “Need to Know” in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Ethiopian Journalist Jailed

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

With his University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication colleagues Gabriela Martinez and Dan Morrison, along with their students Michelle Goris and Max Brown, Peter Laufer produced this brief video at UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day in San José, Costa Rica, about the plight of Reeyot Alemu.  The Ethiopian journalist — imprisoned for writing commentaries critical of the government — was awarded the 2013 UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Day Prize.

Absurd: “Quote Approval”

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

In the Vienna newspaper Der Standard, Peter Laufer attacked the absurdity of journalists seeking “quote approval” from interviewees, a commonplace practice in Austria and a growing phenomenon in America.

What Is Radio?

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

With his University of Oregon colleague Professor Janet Wasko and Linfield College Professor Michael Huntsberger, Peter Laufer is a coordinator of the School of Journalism and Communication “What Is Radio?” conference.  Practitioners and scholars from around the world share ideas at the University’s George S. Turnbull Center in Portland, gathered together at the first academic conference in history with its own jingle package, thanks to the UO School of Music.

Laufer’s old KSAN (Jive95) mates from the early 1970s (note Laufer in the jaunty straw hat and pearl-buttoned cowboy shirt at the top of the fold):

In the San Francisco Chronicle one of those KSAN veterans, Ben Fong-Torres, answered an invitation to the conference with a column.

Slow News Updates

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Peter Laufer promoted his Slow News Movement (“Yesterday’s News Tomorrow”) in the op-ed pages of the Portland Oregonian and talked about his rules for switching off the 24-hour news merry-go-round on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Think Out Loud” talk show.  The op-ed and radio cameo were followed by speeches Universitat Abat Oliba CEU in Barcelona,

¡El periodista despacio!

the University of Oregon’s George S. Turnbull Center in Portland and the Washington State University/Vancouver Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

Sea to Shining . . .

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Peter Laufer’s film “Sea to Shining . . . “ documents the cross America journeys he took immediately after 9/11 and again ten years after.  On both trips Laufer spoke to some three dozen Americans. In 2011, he was able to find and interview about a third of the original group. On that second trip he found people “disappointed, deflated, often defeated and looking for diversion. I sensed a hopelessness mixed with a good old American attitude of ‘let’s make the best of it.’ When they did talk about the overarching themes of war and the economy, they bemoaned the status quo. But then, in the next breath, when I talked with them about their personal lives and their experiences with their friends and family, there was grand joie de vivre and the embracement of our continuing American dream. I didn’t come away from the trip with a negative feeling about our futures.”

7 Nights in Tunisia

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Peter Laufer participated in UNESCO’s 2012 World Press Freedom Day events in Tunis, working with University of Oregon students to create this documentary, produced by his colleague Dan Morrison at the UO School of Journalism and Communication.

Like a Horse & Carriage

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Despite another horse-drawn carriage wreck near Central Park, in this Oregonian op-ed Peter Laufer looks forward to a buggy ride in Portland.

Iraq J-school Reform

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

With his colleagues John Pavlik at Rutgers, David Burns at Salisbury and Ramzi Ataya from Beirut, Peter Laufer coauthored the journal article  “Reforming Iraqi Journalism and Mass Communication Higher Education: Adapting the UNESCO Model Curricula for Journalism Education to Iraqi Higher Education” in Journalism & Mass Communication Educator.

Baghdad University’s senior journalism professor signs the reformed curriculum.

Turtle Soup

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Peter Laufer participated in the launch at New York’s Waverly Inn of the journal The Tortoise; his article “Turtle Soup of Dinner: My Introduction to Chelonia,” is featured in the inaugural edition.

Lawless in Missouri

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

When Charla Nash in 2012 sought the right to sue Connecticut for the damages she suffered when Travis the chimpanzee attacked her, Peter Laufer looked back at the research he conducted for his book Forbidden Creatures.  In 2009 he traveled to Festus, Missouri, and met with the woman who bred Travis, querying her about her business ethics — or lack thereof.  Based on that interview, Laufer wrote an op-ed for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and another for the Hartford Courant questioning both Missouri laws and the business of breeding “wild” animals.

Interview Waltz

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Peter Laufer taught the Journalistic Interview to mid-career Austrian professionals at the Forum Journalimus und Medien Wien (FJUM).

Slow News: Vienna, Amsterdam

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Peter Laufer’s Slow News Movement (and his book Slow News) made news in Amsterdam and Vienna following his speech to fellow journalists at the Concordia Press Club in Vienna.

¡Innovative Teaching!

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

At the June 2012 University of Oregon commencement exercises Peter Laufer was surprised with (and honored by) the Jonathan Marshall Award for Innovative Teaching in Journalism and Communication presented to him by School of Journalism and Communication Dean Tim Gleason.

Notes from Tunisia

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Laufer's luncheon companion Ziyed with a photo of his father.

After a intensive work week in Carthage participating in UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day events, Peter Laufer wrote an op-ed on his initial impressions of post-revolutionary Tunisia for the vibrant English-language news service, Tunisialive.

The road from Tunis to Carthage, its sign amended with an editorial comment by passerby.

Journalism and Conflict

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Peter Laufer wrote an op-ed for the hometown Eugene Register-Guard after joining his University of Oregon colleague Professor Steven Shankman teachng a class inside an Oregon prison walls.

Op-ed supporting UNESCO

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Based on his experiences working with UNESCO and Iraqi journalism educators to update the university journalism curriculum in Iraq, Peter Laufer wrote this op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle calling for the U.S. to pay its UNESCO dues.