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Monthly Archive

January 2006

Handicapping the State of the Union Address

In advance of the president’s speech, the press produced endless (and pointless) State of the Union preview pieces.

President Bush will spend tonight addressing the nation. So how did the press spend today? Why, by producing endless (and... More

Fortune Pumps Oil Fears, Rich Sources Get Richer

A Fortune correspondent warns readers to be “Be very afraid” of $262/barrel oil.

When speculating about improbable, abstract disasters, journalists like nothing more than kicking things off with a pointed, bone-chilling question. What... More

On Oprah, Frey, Henri-Levy and Unreal Reality Shows

With Oprah flaying James Frey alive on nationwide TV late last week, “truthiness” is in the air.

With Oprah flaying James Frey alive on nationwide TV late last week, truthiness is in the air. Stephen Colbert's portmanteau... More

The Crimson Whips the Big Boys

Harvard’s student newspaper gets the real story about the resignation of the school’s Dean of the Faculty - and beats the AP and Boston Globe.

Harvard Dean of the Faculty William Kirby officially resigned over the weekend, the latest development during the tumultuous administration of... More

The Woodruff Story: Snark Takes a Rest, Anger Doesn’t

Bloggers debate the press coverage of the attack on ABC’s anchor and cameraman and the impact their injuries might have on the network.

Considering the blogosphere's conflicted relationship with what its more rabid members derisively call the "MSM," it's not surprising that news... More

Alastair Macdonald on Iraqi Journalists Finally Freed

Reuters’ Iraq bureau chief discusses the U.S. military’s months-long detention of three Iraqi journalists, and their release earlier this month.

Alastair Macdonald and Samir Noor Alastair Macdonald, Reuters' Iraq bureau chief, recently welcomed back three newly freed journalists who... More

AP Spots Another U.S. Politician in Europe!

Those pesky Associated Press correspondents who trail American politicians around Europe, eager for a non-scoop about the 2008 presidential race, are up to their old tricks.

Those pesky Associated Press correspondents who trail prominent American politicians around Europe, eager for a non-scoop on the presidential race... More

News Corp. Has a Problem, Fox News Keeps Mum

In the recently announced merger of the WB and UPN networks, News Corp. appears to be the loser - and Fox News isn’t reporting it.

On Tuesday, executives at CBS and Warner Bros. announced plans to fold their respective struggling television networks, UPN and WB,... More

Couric Leads With Chin, Then With Butt

Katie Couric conspicuously failed to explain to her audience the specifics of the Abramoff scandal in a segment this morning — and then changed the subject to the human anatomy.

This morning, NBC's Katie Couric conducted a five-minute interview with Howard Dean touching on a range of timely topics. At... More

Yahoo! Throws In the Towel - Or Not

Is Yahoo! conceding the Internet search market to Google? Bloggers argue over the meaning of a quote from the Yahoo! CFO.

The blogosphere continues to buzz today as Web scribes ferociously debate the possibility that Yahoo!, weary of the search engine... More

“The Party’s Pretty Much Over”

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - Chivalry and black-framed glasses may fly in New York City, but it’s a different game in Baghdad.

This is part of a continuing series about the life of an embedded reporter in Iraq. BAGHDAD, IRAQ -- Chivalry... More

Financial Journo Watches Stock Ticker - and Needs a Tissue

The financial press often seems to cater to the short-term trading community at the expense of comprehensive reporting.

Scanning through the recent financial news, we were happy to learn that at least one American car company had enjoyed... More

Osama’s Return, Bush’s ‘Third Term,’ And One Long History Lesson

The nation’s magazines take a look at the latest tape from Osama bin Laden, next week’s State of the Union address, and a president not named Bush.

He's baaaack! Osama bin Laden, that is -- and Time ("Osama: Back From the Not-So-Dead") and Newsweek ("What's Bin Laden's... More

Time Pulls a Big Tease On Us

The magazine gets a look at some photos of Jack Abramoff with President Bush – but do the pictures confirm the sort of relationship the White House has denied?

There was something strangely missing yesterday from Time magazine's breaking news that it had discovered photos of the president fraternizing... More

The Jill Carroll Watch

Three days after her kidnappers’ stated deadline for her execution passed, all is quiet on the Jill Carroll front.

Three days after her kidnappers' stated deadline for her execution passed, all is quiet on the Jill Carroll front. While... More

ABC Probes Porn Industry, Fails to Satisfy

The network takes a look at the shady industry’s revenues, but gets cold feet when it comes to giving any answers.

In a front-page story today, the New York Times reports that the Justice Department has asked Google "to turn over... More

Asking the Wrong Questions About Abramoff

Why doesn’t the press seem very interested in looking into Jack Abramoff’s contacts with the White House?

In his New York Times column today (for Times Select subscribers only), Paul Krugman ends with an admonition to his... More

Getting Out of Baghdad Is As Hard As Getting In

BAGHDAD, IRAQ — For reporters, Iraq turns out to be a very small world

Part of a continuing series reporting on the life of an embedded reporter in Iraq. BAGHDAD, IRAQ -- Once I... More

Thudding Mallet Attacks Velvet Hammer

How many times does the president have to deny that Laura Bush is running for office before the AP decides it might not actually be a story?

Breaking news flash from the Associated Press: Laura Bush has no intention -- absolutely none -- of running for elected... More

Marriage Boosts Income, Says Media Because Someone Said It

On a slow news day, reporting on the results of some scientific study or another - no matter how silly - can make for quick, easy filler.

On a slow news day, reporting on the results of some scientific study or another can make for quick, easy... More

Waiting for CNN to Burst Into Flames

Like poking a stick into a beehive, CNN’s announcement that it had hired conservative radio host Glenn Beck to host a show had bloggers riled up.

On Tuesday, CNN announced that syndicated conservative radio personality Glenn Beck would be joining the network to host an hour-long... More

Reports on Wiretapping Suits Leave Us on Hold

What, exactly, are the motivations of the plaintiffs in a case against the federal government over the NSA’s domestic wiretapping program?

Why would President Bush want to eavesdrop on Christopher Hitchens? To bask in all the glorious things the lefty-cum-neocon has... More

Neil Cavuto Doesn’t Look Any Better from Iraq

BAGHDAD, IRAQ — Camp Stryker is a place where travel plans go to die

This is the third installment in a series of posts about the life of an embedded journalist in Iraq. BAGHDAD,... More

Who Needs a Brochure When We Have the New York Times?

In an article about two new obesity drugs, the paper omits a crucial detail about one of its sources.

About one-third of the way into her piece in the business section of Tuesday's New York Times, Stephanie Saul, it... More

Press Takes a Pass on CAFTA

The Central American Free Trade Agreement, the most important trade agreement of Bush’s presidency, is well behind schedule. So why isn’t the press paying attention?

Last summer, as Congress debated the Central American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. press overwhelmingly treated CAFTA as a domestic... More

Coverage of Al’s Speech Gets Gore’d

While the White House rallied to criticize Al Gore for his remarks attacking the administration, bloggers rallied to criticize the media’s coverage of the speech.

On Monday, former Vice President Al Gore gave a speech at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. in which he criticized... More

Times to Expose “Bloggers With Fingers”

The paper invents a non-trend: business travelers who don’t blog!

We're guessing it went something like this: New York Times reporter pitching story to editor: Everyone has a blog. In... More

Dispatches from Iraq

All the entries in Paul McLeary’s series

In 2006, CJR staff writer Paul McLeary reported from Iraq on how the press was doing its job there. These... More

Lunching with Huey, Skiing with Bode and Riding a Wholphin

Kurt Anderson ponders the future of magazines while Time and Newsweek cover a skier-turned-author and a new DVD magazine falls short.

There's nothing like the fresh, glossy pages of a well-designed magazine to serve up the kind of story we news... More

Kuwait, Coffee, and C-130’s

CJR Daily’s correspondent, on his way to Baghdad, gets a military-sanctioned tour of Kuwait City - including plenty of Starbucks franchises.

CJR Daily’s Paul McLeary is reporting from Iraq on how the press is doing its job there. This is his... More

Bloggers Read Ralph the Riot Act

While some conservatives are casting Ralph Reed out over his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, bloggers are welcoming him into their warm embrace.

This morning, a front-page article in the Washington Post honed in on another potential loser in the ongoing Jack Abramoff... More

Reporter Spots Hanging Curve Ball, Hits Home Run

When the White House announced Thursday that the federal deficit would top $400 billion, only one reporter remembered his history - and cut through the spin.

Yesterday, in a conference call with reporters, White House officials estimated that this fiscal year's federal budget deficit would likely... More

Mysterious Company Remains a Mystery

Despite all that has been written about the Lincoln Group and its PR contracts with the Pentagon, we still don’t know much about the company.

This week's Fortune offers a tantalizing glimpse of a company we are dying to read more about. Bearing the alluring... More

Gabriel Sherman on Getting Thin-Skinned Journalists to Talk

The New York Observer reporter talks about cracking the New York Times and Conde Nast, and getting linked by Romenesko.

Gabriel Sherman is a media reporter at the New York Observer, where he has covered Judith Miller's resignation from... More

And Now, a Few Golden Oldies from 1998!

The Washington Times reprints another paper’s 7-year-old editorial to make a point about the Iraq war. So what, exactly, was the Times itself publishing on that same day?

In general, newspaper opinion editors tend to pride themselves on publishing pieces that are fresh and original. But yesterday the... More

Saved by the Sobs

Bloggers want to know: Were Martha-Ann Bomgardner’s tears during her Supreme Court nominee-husband’s confirmation hearings for real, or staged for effect?

Had Martha-Ann Bomgardner not begun to weep in the middle of her Supreme Court nominee-husband's confirmation hearings yesterday, we're not... More

Down the Rabbit Hole

For the most part the story of the West Virginia mining tragedy is not a political one, so comments about press performance are, for once, not filtered through a political prism. What results is a revelation.

The continuing fuss over press failures in reporting the West Virginia mining tragedy has produced some unlikely conclusions from some... More

To Be Or Not to Be: Does It Even Matter?

Who is JT Leroy? A critically acclaimed young fiction writer noted for his “stark portrayal of child prostitution and drug use” — or a cruel composite hoax?

Who is JT Leroy? A critically acclaimed young fiction writer noted for his "stark portrayal of child prostitution and drug... More

Woe, Woe Is Pfizer, Says the Journal

The paper reports that the pharmaceutical giant is in trouble. But the evidence that the Journal presents doesn’t back that up.

In a page-one story months in the making, the Wall Street Journal reported (subscription required) Thursday that Pfizer, the world's... More

Surprise - Palestinians Revile Sharon

Stories about “the Arab street” don’t tell us anything we don’t already know.

The upper right-hand photo on the New York Times' Web site this morning was of a man in a bazaar... More

Anonymice Plague the Shallow, the Vacuous and the Vain, Too

Three anonymous sources who claimed an enemy of Paris Hilton “went berserk” and is “losing her looks” turn out to be - surprise! - Hilton herself.

Usually when we write about the potential pitfalls of anonymous sources, we're writing about political reporting. But apparently the same... More

“World News Tonight” Fails to Implode, Critics Disappointed

Media watchers ponder whether “kiddos” Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff have the requisite “gravitas” to carry ABC’s flagship newscast, which they began hosting Tuesday.

"Good luck, kiddo." So said Charles Gibson (the 62-year-old almost-anchor of ABC's "World News Tonight") to 43-year-old Elizabeth Vargas (who,... More

“If Your Mother Says She Loves You, Check It Out”

If there’s one lesson to be learned from press coverage of the Sago Mine tragedy, it’s that the faster a news outlet admits fault, the better.

If there's one positive development in this post-Jayson Blair/MemoGate media world, it's the realization that the faster a news outlet... More

Is the NSA Wiretapping Reporters?

Andrea Mitchell asks some curious questions that suggest at least one journalist may have been caught up in a recently disclosed domestic eavesdropping program.

On Tuesday, NBC's Andrea Mitchell conducted what is quickly becoming an infamous interview with the New York Times' James Risen,... More

Two Thumbs Down For Coverage of the Movie Industry

Members of the media have greatly exaggerated rumors of Hollywood’s impending demise.

Hollywood had an awful year in 2005 -- and it's going to get worse. The studios are delivering one dud... More

Bill O’Reilly and Microsoft: Both 60 Percent Crap

David Letterman takes on Bill O’Reilly and Microsoft takes down Chinese bloggers.

The Liberal Media strikes again! That tool of the Left, David Letterman, took Fox's Bill O'Reilly to task on the... More

The Journal Provides Yet Another Senseless Survey

The new year brings us the annual crop of silly stories making flawed predictions about the state of the economy during the next 12 months.

The holiday season is finally over -- and just in time, as far as we're concerned. One more story about... More

One Old House Tells a Sad, but Good, Story

It is not easy to humanize something as abstract as the real estate market, but the New York Times managed to do exactly that.

The frequent use of anecdotes to illustrate larger trends can sometimes make journalists' stories seem formulaic. But when this tried... More

Calame Wants Answers, Bloggers Want More

On Sunday, the New York Times’ public editor came out swinging over the paper’s handling of its wiretapping story, and bloggers were quick to add their own opinions.

On Sunday, the New York Times' public editor, Barney Calame, came out swinging, revealing that the newspaper's management, in the... More

How Forbes got to $475 million - That’s what a Hong Kong investor has agreed to pay for a firm that two years ago had trouble paying its rent

Are female journalists up to the job of a Jill Abramson interview? - Reporters avoid unflattering discussion about her firing

How to check if that viral video is true - Journalists don’t always verify user-generated content, so readers need to learn how to verify what they see online

The Grand Dame of Florida reporting has retired twice, but she’s still causing trouble - A conversation with the Tampa Bay Times’ Lucy Morgan

Brick by brick - After years of shrinking ambition at The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos has the paper thinking global domination


A First Look update (First Look Media)

“[R]ather than immediately launching a large collection of digital ‘magazines’ based on strong, expert journalists with their own followings, as we imagined earlier, we’ll begin by building out the two we’ve started and then explore adding new ones as we learn”

The White House deploys minders to interviews all the time (WaPo)

“Almost every officially sanctioned exchange between reporters and the proverbial ‘senior administration officials’ is conducted in the presence of a press staffer”

The down-and-dirty history of TMZ (BuzzFeed)

“TMZ’s real engine — what defines its mission, what legitimizes it and sets it apart — is a unique and controversial mix of scandal mongering and investigative journalism”

The 10 worst New Yorker longreads (Gawker)

“[A]pparently [Adam] Gopnik did not know you could bake fancy breads from France and other cultures. So he got his mom to teach him how to bake them. A fine anecdote, maybe, to tell a friend or a therapist. But in this case he wrote about it for the New Yorker, a magazine.”

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.