At a time when the media are purportedly monopolized by a few self-serving corporations, it's amazing how many books you can sell decrying self-serving media monopolies. Ben Compaine, co-author of Who Owns the Media? (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000), dissents from that pessimistic chorus ("The Myth of Media Monopoly," page 26). Compaine holds an MBA from Harvard and a Ph.D. in mass communications from Temple University, where he has also taught. He is currently a research consultant at MIT's Program on Internet and Telecoms Convergence. Although he gets most of his news from Google, Compaine turns on Fox News "whenever CNN gets too bland."
A product of Nancy Reagan's 1980s, Renee Moilanen was solidly on board with the "Just Say No" bandwagon until high school, when she and her peers began to see those dire warnings as propaganda. As an education reporter for the Torrance, California, Daily Breeze, she felt a sense of déjà vu as she watched today's "new and improved" drug prevention programs in action. In "Just Say No Again" (page 34), she reports on the still-dull cutting edge of drug education. Moilanen is currently earning a master's degree at UCLA's School of Public Policy and Social Research, where she studies drug policy.
Former reason intern Jeremy Lott is always fascinated when the media manage to get a big story grotesquely wrong. That and his exposure to archaeology as a Bible studies major at British Columbia's Trinity Western University drew him to the contradictory reports of artifact theft in postwar Iraq and the debate over how to deal with it. In "Found Objects" (page 52), he examines the mixture of principle and self-interest driving the conflict among archaeologists. The 25-year-old Lott now writes for The American Spectator, where he is both assistant managing editor and assistant managing Web editor.