Tuesday, January 24, 2017. Last Update: Fri 2:51 PM EST

Monthly Archive

August 2006

Newsweek Fingers Armitage as Novak’s Source, Bloggers React

For some bloggers, the news that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was columnist Robert Novak’s mystery source raised more questions than it answered.

On Monday, Newsweek's Michael Isikoff shed new light on the endlessly protracted Valerie Plame CIA leak scandal, revealing for the... More

What Couric Left Behind

Think she’ll be nostalgic for “Today?” Think again.

Hazing happens in many a fraternity -- journalism included. And, with five days until Katie Couric's debut as anchor of... More

Post Props Up Falsehoods, Then Shoots ‘Em Down

When should reporters ignore partisan spin, and when should they confront it head-on with a little reality-based reporting?

We sometimes worry about all the trees felled in order to provide newspaper reporters with enough space to write around... More

Setting Fire To Straw Men

Why can’t the Wall Street Journal get the Democrats right on Iraq?

As the president prepares to roll out a new PR offensive to try and stop the slide in public support... More

Who Needs Business Reporters When You Have Spammers?

According to the Economist, many folks appear to be getting their financial news from … unsolicited email. That’s right, spam.

On a typical day here at the Audit, we spend our time scouring television, print, radio, and the Internet in... More

Rumsfeld Launches PR Campaign. Bloggers Not Appeased.

Rumsfled fires a shot across the bow of critics of the Iraq war, and bloggers on the left fire back.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld trotted out the big guns yesterday, so to speak. Though he's taken turns at being both... More

Katrina Coverage, by the Numbers

Over the past year, television news coverage of the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast has been uneven — and the numbers prove it.

Danny Heitman, a columnist for the Baton Rouge Advocate, took to the pages of the Christian Science Monitor yesterday to... More

The Reporter Who Came In From the Cold

In Germany it can be difficult to tell a journalist from a spy, as the story of one German reporter shows all too well.

Weilheim is a cozy Bavarian village, where geraniums drip from window boxes and onion-domed churches and Alpine chateaus line the... More

After the Circus

The press needs to ask itself some questions about the Mark Karr coverage. Here’s a starter: Suppose he was guilty after all - would that justify all that ink, all those minutes?

Another one of those good old media shamings has begun. Since the news came out yesterday that John M. Karr,... More

What’s More Important — Plants, or People?

There’s an immigration crisis brewing in Spain, yet the New York Times sees fit to bury it in a larger piece about biodiversity.

On page four today the New York Times carries an 887-word piece from the Canary Islands -- Spanish territory off... More

What’s the Object of Objectivity?

Context is king in solid, well-reasoned reporting. Anything less fails to tell the whole story, and fails to provide a window on reality. Especially in Iraq.

We understand -- and generally support -- the conventions behind the idea of objective reporting; but given the complexities of... More

NBC Crashes and Burns in Emmy Sketch

Some bloggers reacted angrily to an Emmy sketch last night, some not at all …

A plane crashes on Sunday morning in Kentucky, killing 49, and the blogopshere erupts in anger at Conan O'Brien and... More

Roger Weisberg on Waging a Living and How the Press Covers Poverty

The award-winning documentary filmmaker discusses the process and challenges of depicting poverty in America.

Producer/director Roger Weisberg joined public television station Thirteen/WNET New York in 1976. He produced dozens of programs on subjects including... More

Economist Predicts a Dim Future for Newspapers

The magazine this week adds a nail to the proverbial coffin containing your daily newspaper — now shot, stabbed, and drowned a thousand times over.

The Economist this week adds a nail to the proverbial coffin containing your daily newspaper -- now shot, stabbed, and... More

A Breath of Fresh Air

This month’s New York Times guest columnist Tom Frank brings some much-needed vitality to the paper’s often staid Op-Ed page.

Slow news month or not, August has turned out to be an exciting time for the New York Times op-ed... More

Mystery Beast Slain in Maine, Resurrected for Media Sideshow

The first installment of CJR Daily’s newest feature takes a look at a contagious, strange story that has already inspired a line of collectibles.

(An occasional look at the most popular, most blogged, and most emailed stories on the Web.) A few weeks ago,... More

The New Yorker Business Section Takes on Pensions

Malcolm Gladwell’s current essay in the New Yorker is thought provoking, but in the end is little more than a new way to tell an old, and somewhat more complicated story.

In this week's New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell offers an interesting, if perhaps not entirely scientific, analysis of the pension mess... More

Fox Looks Into Future, Concludes It’s Cloudy

Fox News weighs in on the favorites in the 2008 presidential race, and has a hard time making up its mind.

As 2008 creeps ever closer, speculation about presidential contenders will surely heat up, especially after November's midterm elections. But for... More

Putting a Story Archetype To Rest

ABC provides convincing evidence why — past media coverage otherwise — people are much more dangerous than sharks.

Been hankering for a good shark-attack story infused with fear, hype and trend-mongering? If so, ABC News' Web site is... More

Psst! Iran Helped Plan September 11 …

Today’s front-page stories concerning the Bush administration’s saber rattling over Iran raises the question: Is the press going to repeat the mistakes of 2002?

As today's page-one stories in both the New York Times and the Washington Post make clear, the Bush administration has... More

Isay: Listening is an Act of Love

Many people can tell stories, and some can tell them well, but a precious few can spin a tale without speaking at all.

Many people can tell stories, and some can tell them well, but a precious few can spin a tale without... More

Bloggers Defend Career Women

Forbes tells its male readers to avoid career women if they want to be happy, which doesn’t make for a very happy blogosphere.

On Tuesday, Forbes' Web site published a piece by Michael Noer, arguing that according to a number of sociological studies... More

This is Not an Umbrella

At what point does a conceptual cliché become an empty reference, rubbed raw by ubiquity? Our answer, in the case of columnists’ tired overuse of Munich and 1938, is now.

We spend a lot of time lambasting journalists for using clichéd phrases -- the "recent surge of violence" and "the... More

AP Forgets Men, and Context

What happens when a reporter, in the interest of writing a focused story, jettisons any attempt at putting data in context? The AP has the answer.

We understand that wire reporters are expected to deliver quick turnaround times, but when the hunger for fresh copy outweighs... More

No Slaves Here, Folks, Move Along Please

Apple Computer Inc. recently investigated itself, with enviable PR results.

Apple Computer Inc. recently investigated itself, concluding (lo and behold) that there was no evidence of "forced labor" at a... More

For Frontline Producer, Katrina’s Wrath Topped Iraq

“I was affected more by Katrina than Iraq, by the vastness of the devastation,” Martin Smith told an audience at Columbia’s J-school Tuesday evening.

Martin Smith is hardly a neophyte when it comes to making documentaries. He's been in television for over 30 years,... More

David Ignatius Ponders al-Jazeera. Bloggers React

When a pundit talks about the Arab media, you can bet the bloggers will weigh in with their own views on the subject.

This morning in the Washington Post, columnist David Ignatius takes an in depth look at the current state of the... More

Ain’t No Science to Guessing Price of Oil

When it comes to war-gaming the price of oil, analysts and reporters rely on little more than educated guesses.

Exactly a month ago, we commented on a topic of intense -- and never-ending -- interest to reporters: the specter... More

The Daily News Takes on Lung Disease and 9/11

A hard-hitting editorial campaign, lambasting the city in full-throated tabloid style, gets results.

As the five-year anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the city and the nation are gearing up to memorialize the tragedy. The... More

Look Who’s Fair And Balanced

On the news broadcasts of the Arab world’s dominant all-news channels this summer, polarizing language was rarely heard.

The summer of 2006 marked an important milestone for Arab media. Israel and Hezbollah were locked in a bitter conflict... More

Spike Lee Documents Hurricane Katrina, Bloggers Cry

The latest Spike Lee joint spurs the normally hard-hearted blogosphere to show some compassion.

Last night HBO aired the first two parts of Spike Lee's new documentary chronicling Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans.... More

No Media Frenzy for Fox’s Kidnapped Journalists?

What happened to those two reporters kidnapped in Gaza? Theories abound as to why the media seems to be laying off the story.

It's been a week now since kidnappers seized Fox News correspondent Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig off the streets... More

Photographer Aric Mayer on Shooting New Orleans

Having spent weeks in the wreckage of New Orleans last September, a photographer puts his work into perspective.

Aric Mayer is a Brooklyn-based freelance photographer who recently returned to New Orleans to exhibit a collection of photos he... More

No Downy-Soft Treatment for Ridge, This American Morning

In an interview the former Secretary of Homeland Security kept bobbing and weaving in his own defense, while CNN host Miles O’Brien kept on the attack.

Typically nothing gets our head shaking first thing in the morning quite like the soft pitter-patter of the early broadcast... More

The War You See, and the War You Don’t

Editors and producers ought to put their foot down: ignore demands for censorship, and make judicious decisions about battle footage case by case.

On July 25, Fox News reporter Bill Hemmer stood on a balcony and pointed to a hilltop on the Lebanon... More

Trying to Draw Conclusions About a Fluid Situation

Nailing a story in a headline is hardest when a situation is in flux — and nothing better describes what is happening in south Lebanon than “flux.”

Nailing a story in a headline is always hardest when a situation is in flux -- and nothing better describes... More

Media Covers Previous Coverage of Ramsey Case

A sudden arrest in Thailand led all three network newscasts last night. And with little fresh to go on, self-referential reporting dominated.

JonBenet is back -- or, at least, the "story that dominated the headlines when it happened and is doing so... More

More on Iraq, and Moving Back to K Street

Blogospheric reactions to theNew York Times’ news on Iraq and the Washington Post’s K Street coverage.

There is another big story in the New York Times this morning that has sent keyboards a-clattering. This time, the... More

With Analysis, Anything Is Possible

We know “speculation” is a powerful force capable of many things (attracting anonymice and influencing journalists, for example) — but, merging companies?

The sub-hed on a story this week in the Chicago Tribune about potential upcoming consolidation in the airline industry reads... More

Post’s Farhi Scores Clean Tackle - on a Teammate

A Style writer takes on a celebrated sports columnist with a bone-crunching review.

For most players, the best part of preseason football games is the opportunity to stop hitting your teammates and, for... More

Times Reports Iraq Carnage, Bloggers Ask for More

Good news or bad news — which to report? Plus, why aren’t Iraqis more supportive of the occupation of their country?

Sometimes, it seems like reporters just can't win. Long tagged with the criticism that they aren't reporting enough good news... More

News Flash: Some People Want to Be Rich

A USA Today story about being rich proves once again that August really is a slow news month.

Though August has a reputation for being a quiet news month, "the truth is it has never been true," Rome... More

Wallace Flashes Style Over Substance

The 60 Minutes newsman used his trademark gruffness to break down the smiling defenses of the Iranian president — but never really pressed him about anything.

How do you interview a dictator? How do you pin down someone unused to being challenged, a leader familiar only... More

ABC Shows That Little Errors Add Up

Copy editors, reporters needed at ABCNews.com. Any takers?

It's been a while since we took a major TV network to task for producing less than stellar online content.... More

Hurricanes, Hezbollah, and Apartments in New York City

The New Republic examines Katrina one year later, the New Yorker publishes Seymour Hersh’s latest, and the Believer highlights how one talented journalist practices her trade.

It's hurricane season across the southeast United States, and the New Republic has dedicated its latest issue to the one-year... More

Falsely Accused, the Washington Times Falsely Accuses Another

Two people falsely accused of the same crime might be expected to share a certain empathy for one another. But two newspapers? Not so much.

Two people falsely accused of the same crime might be expected to share a certain empathy for one another. But... More

There’s a PR War Going On in the Middle East Too

Throughout the back channels of cyberspace, the Israeli Foreign Ministry is trying to counter the rise of Lebanese blogs.

The war for public opinion may not be as deadly as the military one being waged on Lebanese and Israeli... More

Reporter Qualifies for Wal-Mart Job … in China

Reuters bests the AP in the race for the week’s most repetitive and mediocre article about people who work for Wal-Mart.

We were pretty sure that an Associated Press story that we critiqued yesterday had secured its spot as the week's... More

Neil Vigdor on Joe Lieberman and Living in Greenwich on a Reporter’s Salary

The politics reporter for Greenwich Time and The (Stamford) Advocate discusses covering the Connecticut Senate race and the impact of blogs.

Neil Vigdor covers Connecticut politics for Greenwich Time and The (Stamford) Advocate, sister daily newspapers owned by Tribune Publishing Co.... More

A Chicago Paper Faces Up to the Facts

A Chicago daily faces up to some unpleasant facts about its parent company’s finances.

Here's a fun little guessing game, inspired by a story we read yesterday about a Chicago newspaper company's business troubles.... More

Parroting the Party Line

As reporting on the Connecticut Democratic Senate primary shows, coverage of Campaign 2006 is already falling prey to the pathologies that plagued the press during 2004.

In early June, a prickly Jim Lehrer told CJR Daily's Liz Cox Barrett that "My part of journalism is to... More

Reporter Qualifies for Wal-Mart Job

How many times can one story mention Wal-Mart is raising pay for some of its employees? Apparently, quite a few.

On Monday Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced that it will implement a 6 percent wage increase for new employees at 1,200... More

Code Red, Fear-Mongering and Fat Babies

It’s business as usual in the blogosphere, where the punching bags du jour include the media, politicians and fellow bloggers.

Today's punching bags in the blogosphere? The media. Politicians. Fellow bloggers. In other words, business as usual. Nathan Goulding of... More

Nora Ephron, on Zebras … Lions … Coyotes … and Vultures

The essayist and screenwriter, in an interview with New York magazine, comments on mainstream journalism versus the blogosphere.

Nora Ephron, in an interview with New York magazine, commenting on mainstream journalism versus the blogosphere: " ... I think... More

Media Stutters While Pipelines Creak

In the midst of this year’s largest domestic oil crisis, the Washington Times is happily taking its cues from an accounting firm’s PR department.

It wasn't long ago that American journalists were busy chronicling the record windfalls of big oil companies and American columnists... More

Lamont Wins, and the Breast-Beating Begins

Bloggers celebrate Ned Lamont’s victory in the Democratic Senate primary in Connecticut and suggest the media have joined Joe Lieberman in Loserville.

Ned Lamont has won the Democratic Senate primary in Connecticut. Joining Lamont in a victory dance? Some bloggers. And joining... More

Who’s Least Sincere - Politicians, Journalists, or Readers?

David Brooks becomes a one-man wrecking ball for journalism’s credibility.

On last weekend's Chris Matthews Show, New York Times columnist David Brooks made the following loose-lipped declaration: "One of the... More

All the Bloomberg News that’s Fit to Print

Bloomberg News is apparently evaluating its editors, in part, on how their stories play in the New York Times.

Most news writers hoping for a promotion strive to keep their editors happy. But at Bloomberg News ambitious go-getters would... More

Contemplating Hell … Heaven … And the End of the War on Terror

Life in hell, thoughts on heaven, and what President Bush has on his nightstand and in his dressing room.

One man's life "in hell." One man's thoughts on heaven. These and other goodies in this week's newsmagazines. First, the... More

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

A lame attempt to slam liberal bloggers makes the WSJ editorial page look even more desperate than usual.

Adding a stunningly inept chapter to the growing literature trumpeting the alleged "blogofascism" of the liberal blogosphere, Lanny Davis attacks... More

Reuters Takes a Hit in the War on the MSM

Was it really political bias that led a Reuters freelance photographer to doctor a picture of bomb damage in Beirut?

The right side of the blogosphere scored a few points yesterday when it drew on about a hundred sets of... More

Getting It On Time and Online

The New York Times Magazine tries something different: publishing a story online well ahead of the print edition.

On the Web page of the New York Times Magazine this weekend, up in the top left hand corner was... More

Weighing in on Bono and His New Toy, Forbes.com

Bloggers opine on the U2 rocker’s major investment in Forbes Media.

U2 rocker Bono has taken a major investment in Forbes Media, and the earliest returns from the blogosphere are mixed.... More

Another China Story, and We’re Still No Smarter

Predicting the economic future of China is about as easy as swimming to it, but reporters need to delve beyond the safe and shallow waters of common knowledge.

Predicting the economic future of China, in all its vastness and complexity, is about as easy as swimming to it.... More

An Appreciation of Peter Jennings, One Year Later

The senior broadcast producer for ABC’s flagship newscast reflects on the legacy of Peter Jennings on the anniversary of his death.

A year ago today I received a call from my colleague Jon Banner, the executive producer of World News Tonight... More

How to Twist Words By Not Using Them

Some critics are doctoring quotes in order to slam Rep. John Dingell for “condemning” Hezbollah, while not “denouncing” the terrorist group.

On Wednesday, the Washington Times ran an editorial slamming Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) for his "appalling refusal to condemn Hezbollah"... More

Pondering Shutdown of White House Press Briefing Room

Bloggers react to the final curtain call of a 20th-century relic.

With a number of special guest stars (five former press secretaries), surprise appearances (President Bush, Laura Bush, and Sam Donaldson)... More

Is It Life Imitating Art — Or Is It Journalism?

Few subjects in life bring out the trend-mongering instinct in a reporter like misbehaving teenagers.

Few subjects in life bring out the trend-mongering instinct in a reporter like misbehaving teenagers. Show us a teenager doing... More

Court Imprisons Lone Wolf Blogger

The case of a jailed video journalist and blogger has repercussions that extend to the entire journalism — and blog — community .

A 24-year-old blogger and video journalist was imprisoned yesterday in San Francisco for refusing to hand over video footage he... More

It’s Gonna Be a Long Morning

Would it be too much to ask that morning news shows use some news judgment when it comes to placement given and time spent covering Mel Gibson’s DUI arrest? Of course it’s too much to ask.

On all three major networks yesterday morning, the news stories that kicked off the seven o'clock hour were, not necessarily... More

Carter Pleas for Peace, Bloggers Step Up Attack

The former president issues an op-ed plea to “Stop the Band-Aid Treatment,” which bloggers receive with characteristic restraint and maturity.

With the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in Lebanon now three weeks old, former President Jimmy Carter stepped into the breach yesterday with... More

Larry Kudlow Goes Stark Raving Mad

A National Review writer and CNBC talking head takes an odd look at the conflict in the Middle East.

CNBC host Larry Kudlow, writing in the National Review, has some advice for those of us trying to make heads... 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

  • If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $19.95 (6 issues in all).
  • If not, simply write cancel on the bill and return it. You will owe nothing.

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.