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Monthly Archive

December 2005

New York Times Discovers Another Trend - Far, Far Away, and Seven Years Too Late

The Times tells us housing is cheap - until you read deeper into the article, where it becomes apparent housing is actually getting more expensive.

Thursday, the New York Times, with a page one national story inexplicably datelined "Portland, Me.," told us that "families in... More

A Bad Year? Yeah, But, Oddly Enough, Good Work Kept Popping Up

Surveying the year-end lists by media critics, we found ourselves dismayed that so little of the good work done by journalists came through.

With the exception of ourselves -- who are a cheerful lot, unfailingly kind to small children and dogs and always... More

“If You Use My Name, They’ll Make Fun of Me”

The New York Times grants sources anonymity because they don’t want to be mocked for “the sumptuousness of their lives.”

Our most recent award for Best Explanation for Why A Source Requested -- And Was Granted -- Anonymity in a... More

Fifty Areas Where You Fall Short

U.S. News brings us a list that feels like what might happen if one’s personal insecurities were handed to a newsroom of reporters to pick apart.

The winter holidays are a good time for reflection -- a moment of reprieve to think back on the past... More

The Times and the Post Go Silent On Us

Why won’t the papers discuss the meetings they had with the president about whether to publish two major stories?

Howard Kurtz let us know yesterday in the Washington Post that Bill Keller and Arthur Sulzberger were not the only... More

Ilena Silverman on Editing “The Lives They Lived”

The editor of the New York Times Magazine year-end obituaries issue discusses how the subjects were chosen, written and edited.

Ilena Silverman has been an editor at the New York Times Magazine for the past five years and is editing... More

Press Plays Hot Potato With Seven Year-Old Scoop

No one seems to want to claim responsibility for the scoop that bin Laden was using a cell phone to call his minions.

The death of a cell phone rarely happens under mysterious conditions. There's no autopsy required, for instance, when you drop... More

The Wiretap Debate Takes Familiar Shape

Bloggers turn over the wiretap debate, some using facts, others bringing their own biases to bear.

The clamor over domestic wiretapping grows by the day, with a few Democrats now openly talking about impeachment (or what... More

Electricity: For Real, or Fleeting Fad?

No one ever accused pollsters of asking the right questions. A new Associated Press-Ipsos poll is a case in point.

As the holidays descend upon us, pollsters, who have taken a lot of heat the past couple of years for... More

The Pajama-Clad Opine Upon the Frozen Hordes

There’s maybe only one group of people living in the New York metropolitan area that has not been terribly affected by the transit strike: Bloggers.

There's maybe only one group of people living in the New York metropolitan area that has not been terribly affected... More

Congo, Corruption, Republicans, and Bono

A landmark election in Africa, a tour of Republican Washington, McCain’s and Giuliani’s presidential prospects in ‘08, and Time’s “People of the Year.”

This week the Economist takes us to a war-torn part of the world filled with feuding militias and an abysmal... More

Bias Study Falls 43.7 Percent Short

Sizing up the media’s shortcomings is a fuzzy sport. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone came up with a meter you could point at a passing story to get a readout on the velocity and direction of its bias?

For years, sizing up the media's shortcomings has been a popular if fuzzy sport, full of subjective observations, grand generalizations,... More

Bush Hypnotizes Blogs into Nuance

Maybe it was the mesmerizing hand movements, but President Bush’s Oval Office address last night elicited less partisan zeal in the blogosphere than usual.

Maybe it was the mesmerizing hand movements, but President Bush's Oval Office address last night elicited less partisan zeal in... More

Seth Mnookin on Judy Miller, Arthur Sulzberger and Outward Bound

Seth Mnookin discusses his recent Vanity Fair article about Judith Miller and the New York Times.

Seth Mnookin (Photo: Nancy Crampton) Seth Mnookin is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, a former senior writer for... More

Barred From Meeting, Reporter Gets Mad

The New York Times has printed yet another story about itself, and the best thing we can say about it is at least there’s no mention of Judith Miller.

The New York Times has printed yet another story about itself, and the best thing we can say about it... More

The Dark Prince Is Gone - Or Is He?

With the announcement that Robert Novak is moving to Fox News we wonder: can Roger Ailes convince Bob to tell us what he told the special prosecutor about the Valerie Plame affair?

With the announcement today that CNN is not renewing Robert Novak's contract, and that Fox News is bringing him aboard,... More

They’re Coming Out of the Woodwork

Two columnists turn out to have been cashing checks from scandal-plagued lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Who’s next?

It's beginning to get tiring, watching the outing of a steady parade of journalists who turn out to be on... More

Post Gives Up, Admits Stock Market Utterly Defies Explanation

It’s not every day that a business columnist cooks up a suspect trend and then tells his readers repeatedly he has no idea why the trend is so.

It's not every day that a business columnist cooks up a suspect trend and then tells his readers repeatedly he... More

In Defense of Wikipedia

At the end of the day, Wikipedia looks less like the reputation-munching monster it’s being portrayed as, and more like the future of information in the Internet age.

Reading the news lately, you may have been left with the impression that Wikipedia, the collaborative online encyclopedia, is an... More

A Top Speed Race to Report the Numbers - and Reuters Crashes

Faced with scant details on a breaking news story, should a business reporter run with speculative numbers, or wait to get those numbers right?

Here's a quick, one-question pop quiz. Faced with scant details on a breaking news story, should a business reporter run... More

NPR’s Dvorkin’s Dubious Exercise in Labeling

National Public Radio’s ombudsman, Jeffrey A. Dvorkin, posted a curious piece of ombudsmanery yesterday concerning NPR’s habit of turning to think tank flacks for commentary.

National Public Radio's ombudsman, Jeffrey A. Dvorkin, posted a curious piece of ombudsmanery yesterday concerning NPR's habit of turning to... More

The New York Times: It Reads Your Mind So You Don’t Have To

We can always count on the New York Times’ Thursday Styles section to provide us with low-hanging fruit.

Here at CJR Daily we can always count on the New York Times' Thursday Styles section to provide us with... More

The Froomkin Follies

Dan Froomkin’s “White House Briefing” column on WashingtonPost.com has the staff of the paper - and bloggers - in a tizzy.

This past Sunday, the Washington Post's freshly-minted ombudswoman Deborah Howell wrote an article in which she meditated on the differences... More

The British Biz Press Digs Up Some Good Stories on Agricultural Policy

Agricultural policy is hugely important, both in the U.S. and abroad. So why has the American press failed to help us understand what’s going on at the latest round of WTO talks?

This week's Economist takes a comprehensive look at the European Union's "strange fondness for agricultural subsidies," reaching the conclusion that... More

On Novak’s Cue, Blogs Demand Bush Spill Beans

Robert Novak says people should “bug the president” to reveal who leaked Valerie Plame’s name to Novak, and bloggers happily comply.

During a luncheon yesterday in Raleigh, North Carolina columnist Robert Novak reportedly told the audience that everyone should stop harassing... More

A New Arab Media Rises From the Rubble

In the explosion that killed An Nahar publisher Gebran Tueni in Beirut Monday could be heard the echoes of a new battle being waged over the media in the Middle East.

CAIRO -- In the explosion that killed An Nahar publisher Gebran Tueni in Beirut Monday could be heard the echoes... More

The Best of Several Bad Options Is Still a Bad Option

Cable services shouldn’t let the Federal Communications Commission bully them into offering “family-friendly” programming packages.

After staying quiet for the last couple months, the Federal Communications Commission seems to finally have awakened, squinting and tossing... More

Tortuous Waffling, Abroad and At Home

Condoleezza Rice goes abroad, political magazines debate torture and Ken Auletta subjects the publisher of the New York Times to an interrogation of his own.

This past week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice toured Europe, where she faced question after question about the U.S military's... More

Deconstructing Press Performance on the White Phosphorus Story

Why did the British press beat American news outlets on the story of white phosphorus use by the U.S. military against Iraqi civilians?

Propaganda is not a name we would lightly use to describe a documentary that purports to break news. But the... More

Forbes Elbows Weekly Reader Aside

How does Forbes stack up against the popular children’s magazine? Not very well, it turns out.

For that perfect combination of intellectual gravitas and good old-fashioned fun, we usually turn to the decades-old and always reliable... More

“Take Back That Compliment, You Cur!”

Blogs bash the New York Times for having the effrontery to accuse them of being skillful and effective.

This past weekend, the New York Times Magazine published a piece by The New Republic's Michael Crowley titled "Conservative Blogs... More

In Dowd World, Only the Babes Shall Prevail

Apparently, in Dowd World, it’s more than okay for a multi-million dollar newscaster to be a babe, but not so good at all to be a pretty-boy or a hunk.

New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd, described by more than one admirer as a babe herself, has been thinking... More

Who’s the Grinch? Microsoft or the Media?

Is the world’s most successful company committing one of the greatest inventory screw-ups ever? Or is the Xbox shortage just a shameless publicity stunt?

It wouldn't be Christmas without endless media stories about desperate parents scouring store shelves for the must-have but impossible-to-find toy-of-the-year.... More

Anthony Shadid on Reporting in Baghdad and Telling the Story of Ordinary Iraqis

Anthony Shadid, foreign correspondent for the Washington Post, has reported from the Middle East for a decade. He has... More

Remembering Lennon, and Trying Not to Forget Pearl Harbor

As we poked around for some blog posts about the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death, it was striking how... More

Talkin’ ‘Bout MySpace Generation

Last month, BusinessWeek loved baby boomers. This week, the magazine loves another demographic group — young people. But why, exactly, that’s worthy of a cover story, we’re not sure.

Last month, BusinessWeek loved baby boomers. We know this because it published a cover story called "Love Those Boomers!" There... More

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like … Some Sort of Holiday

Last week, the Washington Times did some war reporting -- on the "War on Christmas," that is. Today, DC's other... More

The Farmer You Keep Reading About, and the Reporters Who Love Him

How did Jon Vessey and his California farm come to be featured in five major news outlets over the past two months?

In a post Monday at Political Animal, Kevin Drum remarked that the Los Angeles Times had just run a story... More

Rummy’s Compassionate Side Comes Out

The Secretary of Defense, it turns out, really just feels sorry for those confused reporters working in Iraq.

After all this time, it turns out that Donald Rumsfeld actually feels sorry for all those befuddled reporters in Iraq.... More

Iraq, Vollman and Resurrecting a Forgotten Conservative Icon

Time looks at the insurgency, New York Review reviews Vollman and conservatives bite back.

Time's Michael Ware, the magazine's Baghdad bureau chief, takes on an ambitious story this week, tackling the changing face of... More

The Sunday Times Rocks!!!

The best thing about the Sunday Times is this writer they have named Ben Stein. He makes business and financial stuff really simple so even we can understand it!!

Hey everybody!! You'll never guess what we've been doing on Sundays. We've been reading the New York Times business pages!!!!!!!... More

Iraqi Pro’s and Con’s, and a Christmas Betrayal

Daniel Drezner has been thinking about the eventual withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, and Time magazine's long look at... More

The Pitfalls and Perils of Dancing to Wall Street’s Tune

Finally, a backlash against all of the one-trick ponies occupying executive suites at media companies has begun to emerge.

It's been a dreary exercise lately, reading Jim Romenesko's collection of media industry news on Poynter.org. Some days, it has... More

When Spooks Were Reporters and Reporters Were Spooks

It’s been a busy week for Fake News. But at least one commentator is pining for the days when even more news was fake.

It was a busy week for Fake News (Jon Stewart, are you listening?), what with revelations first in the Los... More

The Business Media Misses a Big Story in Washington

The battle over the FCC’s decision to support “a la carte” cable for consumers should make for a great story - if only the press would write it.

At a Senate hearing on indecent programming earlier this week, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin shocked the cable industry by suggesting... More

Treating Ghost Detainees As Invisible

To the new terms “extraordinary rendition” and “black sites” we can now add “ghost detainees.” So why isn’t the rest of the press learning along with us?

In the still-unfolding and still-murky story of the detention practices used by the U.S. government in the war on terror... More

Does It Even Know What It’s Selling?

As Bill Gates recently wrote, “the next sea change is upon us.” For newspapers, that means they must do no less than reconceive their basic business model.

Bill Gates, the most successful businessman in the world, recently wrote in a memo to the troops at Microsoft that,... More

Stan Tiner on Calling for Help in a Headline, Editing the Daily Disappointment, and Forming a “Newsroom Trust”

Stan Tiner Stan Tiner has been the executive editor and vice president of the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Mississippi... More

The Latest Numbers Are Out - and Our Eyes Glaze Over

Every executive on the planet -- except those on Wall Street -- already knew it. But now it's official: quarterly... More

Christmas Sends Washington Times On a Search For That Slippery PC Crowd

‘Tis the season for stories about how Christmas is purportedly under attack from politically correct liberal heathens.

This week, all the familiar trappings of the holiday season, from Christmas lights to Bing Crosby Albums to mistletoe wreaths,... More

Bribing Iraqi Editors? Hey, No Big Deal

Buying the news: Big deal or no biggie? Of ongoing reports that the Pentagon hired a PR firm to offer... More

Why one editor won’t run any more op-eds by the Heritage Foundation’s top economist - A reply to Paul Krugman on state taxes and job growth made some incorrect claims

This is how Tehran Bureau covers Iran - Its reporting model, using undercover journalists and distant editors, is one way to cover closed societies

Alessandra Stanley’s troubling history of error - Scrutiny alone isn’t enough to solve the problem

Why Bill Simmons might leave ESPN - Other outlets would jump at the chance to gain his following

Simon & Schuster should come clean about discredited Monroe/DiMaggio book - C. David Heymann’s Joe and Marilyn is full of highly dubious information—just like many of his previous books


The Recollectors

Remembering parents lost to AIDS

Swedish scientists sneak Dylan quotes into articles (The Guardian)

Whoever nets the most before retirement wins a free lunch

Mag for dog haters is a hit in Germany (WSJ)

Poop and Pooches. That is all

A data viz reading list (Susan McGregor)

Useful resources for journalists

Bloggingheads

Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

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Who Owns What

The Business of Digital Journalism

A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Study Guides

Questions and exercises for journalism students.