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Monthly Archive

June 2006

The Challenge With Anonymice Is Getting a Lot of Them

Ron Suskind discusses his new book The One Percent Doctrine, his use of anonymous sources and how the U.S military targeted al-Jazeera.

Ron Suskind's new book, The One Percent Doctrine, has been a conversation starter for the two weeks since its publication.... More

New York Times Scoops Itself - In 2004

The Times two years ago published hints about a secret program monitoring financial transactions. So why has the paper only now become a political football?

In the scrum over the New York Times' decision to publish its story last Friday about the government's monitoring of... More

Bloggers Scorn Dobson, CNN

Online pundits react with scorn to a column on by Focus on the Family’s James Dobson.

Cable news anchor Lou Dobbs can generally be relied upon to provide a strongly worded, passionately argued, oft-inflammatory commentary each... More

The Journal Reports That Good Deeds Are Bad

Reporters scramble to find a black cloud to go with the silver lining of Warren Buffett’s decision to donate billions to charity.

Warren Buffett's groundbreaking decision this week to donate most of his wealth to charity (and specifically to his buddy Bill... More

Requiem for a Heavyweight

Yesterday at 4 p.m. Knight Ridder ceased to exist, and bloggers mourned what has been lost.

Knight Ridder is no more. For too many months now, we have witnessed the slow-motion implosion of that once-mighty newspaper... More

When Congressmen Try to Play Reporter

Some pundits are suggesting “bureaucrats with friends in the media” are sitting on information about WMD in Iraq. Problem is, their evidence has been public for two years.

There's an item from Monday's Wall Street Journal editorial page that has been floating around, and is just too priceless... More

Up In Arms Over a Four-Year-Old Story

Critics of reports about a secret government program tracking terrorists’ financial transactions are ignoring the fact that information on the effort has been public since 2002.

The editors of National Review, after years of bashing the media while showing blind fealty to the executive branch under... More

Will the Media Blow Off a Whistleblower?

Why is the nation’s financial press largely ignoring explosive allegations by a former SEC lawyer?

On Friday the New York Times broke a front-page story about possible insider trading at one of the country's largest... More

It’s Summertime and the Readin’ Is Easy

It’s summertime, which for the nation’s big newsweeklies means special issues devoted to random topics.

It's summertime, which for the nation's big newsweeklies means special issues devoted to random topics. In a double issue, Newsweek... More

This Word Just In From the Leisure Pursuits Beat …

Some newspaper columnists chronicle appalling injustices in faraway places. Others find them right under their noses.

Some newspaper columnists chronicle appalling injustices in faraway places. Others find them right under their noses. On Friday, the Wall... More

Kos: Yesterday’s Hero, Today’s Goat

Online scribes react to Newsweek’s profile of the influential lefty blogger.

The current issue of Newsweek features a provocative takedown of Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, also known as Kos, the titan of... More

You Mean Baby Boomers Get Old, Too?

Isn’t it about time that we retire journalism that celebrates everything baby boomers do as an event?

Looks like it was a slow news day at the Washington Post yesterday. How else to explain the front-page treatment... More

What Happened at Al-Jazeera’s Kabul Bureau?

In his new book, Ron Suskind alleges that the U.S. military intentionally targeted al-Jazeera. So why isn’t the press paying attention?

In November, 2001, at the outset of its military campaign to oust the Taliban and hunt down Al Qaeda in... More

The Sun Promises a “Furor,” Delivers a Whimper

A rival New York newspaper goes trolling for some criticism of the Times’ disclosure, without much success.

Let the pushback begin. In response to reports today about a secret Bush administration program that collects data about international... More

Press Sheds Light on Another Secret Program

A roundup of how four major newspapers covered today’s national security blockbuster.

Last night, the nation's newspapers reported the existence of a secret program run by the CIA and the Treasury Department,... More

The Media’s Pernicious Corporate Effects

A reader’s guide to the Corporate Effects (“Starbucks Effect,” “Kmart Effect”) continually being coined by our nation’s business reporters.

In its current issue, Fast Company magazine has a story about the first Starbucks to open in Dublin -- an... More

Justice Department Scoops Chronicle

The Justice Department has mistakenly revealed one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s sources in the ongoing Balco steroid scandal. Was it an accident?

If you thought Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi were the only people in the Balco steriods scandal guilty of bad... More

A Penny ‘Saved’ Is Media Credibility Burned

What do you get when you cross Britney Spears’ husband, a billionaire and a manufactured press event? Wall-to-wall coverage!

Kevin Federline, husband of Britney Spears and newly anointed expert on monetary affairs, recently rolled into Times Square in a... More

Salon Gives Us More Questions Than Answers

Salon provides an interesting look into a secret room at an AT&T building in St. Louis, but what it can’t provide is exactly what’s going on.

In Salon yesterday, reporter Kim Zetter penned a story describing allegations by two unnamed sources that the federal government has... More

Daily Kos For Sale?

Bloggers debate charges of some light corruption involving the eminent Markos Moulitsas.

It might not actually be the discovery of "The Blogosphere's Smoke-Filled Backroom," as Jason Zengerle writes on The Plank, but... More

The Future of News: New Relationships, New Pressures, New Potential

Reflections on Poynter’s recent Future of News conference - and what it means for newsroom leaders everywhere.

Reprinted from What's the future of news? For two days last month, 27 editors and publishers met at Poynter... More

Where’s the Thief? The ‘Options Scandal’ is a Dud

What do you get when you combine CEO stock option plans and a press corps that loves scandal? A scandal!

Remember that era long ago when the term "options" wasn't yet a dirty word? Yeah, neither do we. These days,... More

Exit Rather, Enter Coop and Plump Lips

You know we live in interesting times when Dan Rather and Angelina Jolie duke it out for serious, sober press coverage.

For those bloggers who seem to be in a permanent state of hand-wringing about what they see as broadcast journalism's... More

Mannies Return After Four-Year Absence

Male nannies are the “hot new thing” — at least among the nation’s reporters, who have lately produced a crop of thinly-reported trend-chasing pieces on the subject.

According to's Michael Y. Park yesterday, male nannies (aka, mannies) are the "hot new thing" -- there is a... More

BusinessWeek Online Pursues Sleep-Aid Market

Just as various people have begun to elevate the slideshow’s reputation, one publication continues to drag it down.

Within the world of television sitcoms, the dreaded family slideshow has long served as a reliable punch line -- a... More

CNN Makes Waves Where There Are None

Sometimes we are amazed what the news media will do to manufacture “controversy.”

Sometimes we are amazed what the news media will do to manufacture "controversy," an overused word that purportedly will ensnare... More

Time on Terror, Atlantic Monthly on One Terrorist

For those who can never get enough information on how the War on Terror is being fought, two magazine heavyweights come through this week.

We fearful, anxious masses can never get enough information on how the War on Terror is being fought. What is... More

Another Class Act by the White House Press Corps

The reporters of the White House press corps continue to do the people’s business, asking the hard questions. Or not.

Below is an unedited excerpt of today's White House press briefing by Tony Snow (as created by the Huffington Post's... More

Chipping Away at the Story of Guantanamo

In its lead story Sunday, the Boston Globe approached the legal black hole that is Guantanamo from an important fresh angle.

With the apparent suicides of three detainees followed by the Pentagon's clampdown on reporting at Guantanamo Bay last week, the... More

World Cup Captivates (Some) U.S. Bloggers

Anyone who thinks that Americans have yet to embrace the beautiful game of soccer and are basically ignoring the World Cup should check out the blogosphere.

Anyone who thinks that Americans have yet to embrace the beautiful game of soccer and are basically ignoring the World... More

Believe it or Not, First is Sometimes Worst

If reporters (and editors) could only wait a day, their first take on a story wouldn’t need an update.

The Contra Costa Times ran a little item yesterday that left us wondering what happened to the reporting that we... More

Press Politicizes, Instead of Examining, Death Toll In Iraq

The death toll for American soldiers in Iraq hit the 2,500 mark yesterday with the national press not particularly eager to make much of it.

The death toll for American soldiers in Iraq hit the 2,500 mark yesterday with the national press not particularly eager... More

Tim McGirk on Haditha

Time’s Tim McGirk talks about being the first reporter to break the story of the alleged massacre of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha.

Time magazine's veteran foreign correspondent Tim McGirk has reported from postings such as Islamabad, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Baghdad... More

AP Tells A Story Needed to Be Told

The Associated Press authoritatively reports an unsettling truth about thefts related to 9/11.

Picking up a trail seemingly gone cold, the Associated Press broke a story that needed to be told today, authoritatively... More

“Could You Repeat That One More Time?”

Talking points: they’re not just for politicians any more, as a Tribune Co. shareholder has demonstrated over the past week.

Near the end of this morning's New York Times article about the escalating "boardroom feud" at Tribune Co. we spied... More

Bloggers Pounce on the New Netscape

For anyone tracking the continued devaluation of “news anchors” in American public life, this morning marks a milestone of sorts - or is it a millstone?

For anyone tracking the continued devaluation of "news anchors" in American public life, this morning marks a milestone of sorts... More

Brian Ross Blotter Entry Brings Out the Vitriol

ABC reports that a secret military task force has changed its name and, for it trouble, gets accused of being unpatriotic.

Midday Monday, ABC News' Brian Ross posted a short, insiderish item entitled, "Secret U.S. Task Force 145 Secretly Changes Its... More

Rich Guy Hires Own Investigative Reporter

Bloggers react to the announcement of Mark Cuban’s new Web site devoted to business investigative reporting.

Earlier this week, with his team battling in its first ever trip to the NBA finals, Mark Cuban, new media... More

Putting the Focus on Another Paradox of War

The Dayton Daily News highlights a significant but unreported danger posed by Humvees to soldiers in Iraq: adding armor increases the likelihood the vehicles will roll over.

"[W]hy do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to... More

Jason Leopold Caught Sourceless Again

Now that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has said that he will not seek charges against Karl Rove, will rethink their affiliation with reporter Jason Leopold?

We wonder if the folks over at are rethinking their affiliation with reporter and serial fabulist Jason Leopold. Leopold,... More

Webby Gala Long On Brevity

The awards for the best Web sites taught us a few things: The world is flat, Arianna is anti-war and dudes like Rob Corddry.

The tenth annual Webby awards were handed out last night -- or, more precisely, the winners got to hoist a... More

From the Monster of Iraq to the Monster of Florence

A slain terrorist lives on at American newsstands, while The Atlantic provides an engrossing Italian crime story.

This week Abu Musab al-Zarqawi gazes out from American newsstands, where his image appears on the cover of Newsweek under... More

Sign of the Time (Inc.)

Time Inc. chooses pictures of the Brangelina baby over investigative reporting.

From a Richard Cohen column in this morning's Washington Post: "... and Time Inc., which reportedly paid about $4 million... More

Product Placements Move from Movies to Print

The New York Times adds to the recent evidence gathered by the business press suggesting that the book biz, marketing-wise, is just like any other.

For whatever reasons, it seems like the book publishing industry has been making some noise in the business press the... More

Bloggers Bask in Afterglow of … Themselves

Bloggers descend on Las Vegas to wax wondrous at their own self-importance and listen to various Democratic politicians vie for their affection.

"Amazing ... unique ... magical .... ruling the earth .... freak show .... crushingly boring." Those were just a few... More

David Axe on Why They Do It

The freelance reporter talks about working in Iraq and his new graphic novel based on his experiences.

Why does a reporter go to a war zone? Is it careerism? Vanity? Thrill-seeking? Or is it to push personal... More

Zarqawi: Master of the Massacre, or Inept Dolt?

As the bloody face of America’s enemy number one in Iraq dominated the front pages today, reporters struggle to answer a simple question: Who was this guy?

Who was Musab al-Zarqawi? Evil mastermind or bumbling fool? Intelligent or doltish? Enterprising terrorist or al Queda puppet? As the... More

Vanity Fair Covers Wall Street’s Vainest

Money, as they say, truly can’t buy taste. Power? Yes. The awe of financial reporters? In some cases, yes. Perspective or self-awareness? Nope.

This month, along with a cover story on Sandra Bullock's married life and Christopher Hitchens' "Oral History of the Blow... More

The Future Hurtles Toward Tribune Co.

With the dispersal of the Knight Ridder papers and Tribune’s possible breakup, we may be witnessing the beginnings of a decentralization of American journalism.

Leading with the turmoil at the intrigue-wracked Tribune Co. for the second day running, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday... More

Bad News Bears Bear - Good News!

How are critics who have suggested the press is reluctant to report good news from Iraq responding to the saturation coverage of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s demise?

It's long been a mantra of the Rightwingery that the media is pathologically reluctant to report on any good news... More

Press Pounces to Over-Interpret California Race

The special congressional election in California this week is a poor canary to place in the national coalmine - but that isn’t stopping the press from doing it anyway.

Journalists are always hungry for some politics. And you could see the saliva practically dripping off the page this morning... More

Kaplan Exits, Bloggers Hoot

Rick Kaplan steps down from MSNBC. Bloggers kick him on his way out.

After a difficult tenure at the top of perpetual cable news doormat MSNBC, broadcast news veteran Rick Kaplan stepped down... More

Biz Press Teaches Teens to Heed Dumb Statistics

Perhaps it’s a good thing teenagers these days aren’t reading newspapers - it can be confusing enough as it is to be 17 or 18.

Perhaps it's a good thing teenagers these days aren't reading newspapers -- it can be confusing enough as it is... More

Reporters Tire of Bad Political Reporting

As another election season kicks into gear, former Nieman fellows have offered up some worthy suggestions for how campaign coverage can be improved this time around.

The 2006 election season is already kicking into cranium-grinding gear. But before things get too messy, a group of media... More

The Toronto Star Dazzles on Terrorists Story

The paper bested its Canadian rivals on a huge story for one simple reason: it already had someone on the beat.

It's the kind of situation that can leave a newspaper reeling with embarrassment -- a major story with international implications... More

Magazine Makes News by Having a Name

What is there to say about a publication which was announced last August but won’t appear on newsstands until late April 2007? Apparently plenty.

Kudos to the people behind the rollout of Condé Nast's new business magazine for landing a friendly 1457-word piece on... More

Journalism Goes to Hell

For reporters across the country, today is a holy day for journalism by the numbers.

For people who take the Bible literally, today's date, 6/6/06, may be a scary one, rife with anxiety over a... More

Barnes Swoons, Gourevitch Laments and Time Says the Dems are in Trouble

Fred Barnes once again shows his fealty to the Bush clan this week, while other magazines opt for more substantitive fare.

Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard, is in love. He's in love not only with George Bush -... More

Pondering Haditha, Mass Graves and a War Without Remorse

Bloggers try to put into context allegations about Marine executions of civilians in Haditha, and ponder the point of introducing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

What's this? Stephen Spruiell over at the National Review's Media Blog praising the New York Times? Interesting times, indeed. Jokes... More

NBC, Williams Mum on Lawsuit by Armless Soldier

The network and its star anchor shouldn’t remain silent about a lawsuit involving the subject of several Nightly News stories.

In the fall of 2003, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams visited the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C.,... More

Herald Columnist Calls the Kettle Black

A columnist predicts doom for columnists - but the numbers he cites don’t add up.

Boston Herald business scribe Brett Arends posed a fretful question yesterday: "Will Web bloggers turn today's news columnists into tomorrow's... More

One Reporter’s Layered, Nuanced Work from Darfur

A look at how the press has covered the conflict in Sudan puts the lie to claims that the press has been going soft on one side.

The situation in Darfur is as dire as ever. As the New York Times reported Wednesday, there has been a... More

Paper Finds Christians in Clubhouse, Clubhouse Professes Disbelief

In professional sports, thanking God for victory is roughly as unusual as drinking water for hydration. So why was it front-page news?

During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, revered feature writer Gay Talese noted that when reading a newspaper he often... More

The MSM Blogs Up a Storm

Network news blogs bring us political prognostications, facts about obtaining press credentials in Caracas, and happy birthday wishes for a network news blog.

May 31, 2006 may forever be known at NBC, and around the world, as Katie's Last Day. But all the... More

Another Battle in the ‘Reader as Editor’ War

Why novelist and critic John Updike shouldn’t be so afraid of a digital library.

We hear it all the time: The media landscape is changing, and those who don't adapt will fall behind, or... More

Paulson’s Good for the Dollar, or Bad … or Whatever

Clarity and insight rarely last long in the helter-skelter world of financial news.

Last week we called for the abolition of "the daily market round-up story, the one purporting to explain the latest... More

New survey reveals everything you think about freelancing is true - Data from Project Word quantifies challenges of freelance investigative reporting

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

Why we ‘stave off’ colds - It all started with wine

The New Republic, then and now - Tallying the staff turnover at the overhauled magazine

Why serious journalism can coexist with audience-pleasing content - Legacy media organizations should experiment with digital platforms while continuing to publish hard news

The rise of feelings journalism (TNR)

“Bloom engaged in an increasingly popular style of writing, which I’ve discussed on my blog before, which I call “feelings journalism.” It involves a writer making an argument based on what they imagine someone else is thinking, what they feel may be another person’s feelings. The realm of fact, of reporting, has been left behind.”

Things a war correspondent should never say (WSJ)

“The correspondent retelling war stories surely knows that fellow correspondents had faced the same dangers or worse”

On WaPo trying to interview a cow (National Journal)

“‘I wasn’t milked on the White House lawn by a strange man,’ The Washington Post—the venerable institution that would later come to break the Watergate scandal and win 48 Pulitzers—quoted her, a farm animal, as saying”


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

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