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Monthly Archive

November 2006

Will Al-Jazeera English Find Its Groove?

With its coverage of an assassination in Lebanon, Al-Jazeera English showed signs of finding its footing after an uncertain first week.

Bad news is often good news for journalists. Last week's assassination of Lebanese opposition leader Pierre Gemayel may have been... More

Did Someone Say Hackneyed?

Charlie LeDuff is back, and he brought along his purple prose…

It is with great consternation that we acknowledge that our least favorite cartoonist at the New York Times has been... More

Fox Host Argues With Self, Wins

John Gibson delivered a rigorously constructed rebuke of supposedly spineless Americans the other day.

If you're in the mood for a ridiculous bogeyman of an argument, look no farther than the "My Word" segment... More

Of Phone Books and Reporters

Bloggers react to the Supreme Court’s refusal to keep federal prosecutors away from the phone records of two reporters.

For the federal investigation that refuses to go away, proceedings continued to roil the press this week. On Tuesday, the... More

“Bad News” Media Strike Again

We don’t know what “media” Neil Cavuto was consuming, but we couldn’t escape the Black Friday excitement in the press — in outlets from sea to shining sea.

Chris Matthews’ end-of-program, seated-upon-a-stool Sunday musings on NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show (recent quote: “Celebrity, celebrity, it's crawling all over... More

Post Buzzes About Next Mayoral Campaign

It’s never too early to speculate about an election, as the New York tab proved yesterday.

While we have repeatedly jabbed the political press for its endless speculation on the 2008 presidential race, we haven't yet... More

K Street Switches Sides — and the Press Notices

While it took Time magazine a couple years to discover K Street, they’re all over it now.

By now, the "K Street Project" -- the Congressional Republican effort during the first half of this decade to stack... More

As Iraq Study Group Meets, Bloggers Uniformly Cynical

Bloggers of all stripes seemed to come together to express cynicism and unease at the prospects of the commission’s upcoming recommendations.

The New York Times reported this morning that the Iraq Study Group, led by James Baker and Lee Hamilton, will... More

More Evidence That Non-Stop News Is Win-Win

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, which means cable news channels are running a continuous loop of generally useless pre-Turkey Day travel reports.

It's the day before Thanksgiving, which means that cable news channels are running a continuous loop of generally useless day-before-Thanksgiving... More

Bloggers Revel in New Legal Immunity

A California Supreme Court ruling grants immunity to those who repost defamatory material on the Internet, giving bloggers around the country a sense of both relevance and security.

The California Supreme Court's ruling on Monday of Barrett v. Rosenthal, which grants immunity to those who repost defamatory material... More

“Envy Malaise” Grips Awestruck Journalists

Today we give thanks for something that American journalism is doing well of late: allocating resources to examining jealousy in the economic stratosphere.

With Thanksgiving nigh, let us take a break from the journo-scolding for a moment to give thanks for something that... More

CNN Goes Full-Court Press Over a Non-Story

CNN’s Paula Zahn takes a proposal by Rep. Charlie Rangel and morphs it into an intra-party Democratic feud — despite all evidence to the contrary.

Cable news networks -- hell, journalists in general -- love it when a politician sticks his foot in his mouth.... More

A Syndicated Column Preaches Beyond the Green Choir

Doug Moss, editor of E — The Environment Magazine, talks about how to present environmental and scientific issues to the public, and promoting his magazine.

"EarthTalk," a weekly, syndicated, Q&A-style column about the environment, might seem a little earthy-crunchy at first. Its publisher, E --... More

Bloggers Doubt TVNewser’s Abilities as Trade Columnist

The New York Times prints a gushy profile of Brian Stelter, and bloggers respond to his success with admiration and jealousy.

On Monday, the New York Times' Julie Bosman printed a gushy profile of the unassuming editor of the blog TVNewser,... More

The Local Press Takes Up the Cause of Faulty Voting Machines

The national press corps seems to have forgotten all about its pre-election concern with persistent problems found in electronic voting machines.

In the days and weeks following the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, and after the 2002 midterms, the issue... More

Kristof Becomes Own Worst Enemy

Responding to an unhappy reader, Nick Kristof lets his fangs show.

Nick Kristof is frustrated. One need only read his column (warning: TimesSelect) in yesterday's New York Times to know that.... More

Jim O’Neill On One Woman’s Dark Struggle

A former Dallas Morning News reporter on his eight-part series detailing one woman’s struggle with schizophrenia.

Jim O'Neill's eight-part series on one woman's decades-long struggle with schizophrenia, "Rosie's Journey," was just published in the Dallas Morning... More

Murdoch Goes Green, and His Empire Follows

Rupert Murdoch, traditionally no friend to the science of climate change, has begun to change his tune, will NewsCorp?

It was like the sun rising in the west. For over a decade, Rupert Murdoch had disputed the science of... More

Blogs Ain’t Everything, But They’re Something

How can CBS News make their Web site, CBSNews.com, better? By following the lead of ABC and NBC, and offering more reporter-written blogs.

This article is cross-posted (complete with author photo!) at the PublicEye blog at CBSNews.com. I've been thinking about CBS News... More

The Juice is Loose, and That’s a Problem

Bloggers let Judith Regan have it for deciding to publish OJ Simpson’s new book.

In a statement published on the Drudge Report Thursday evening and printed in the New York Post this morning, publisher... More

A Fistfight (or Two) a Day

A week after the midterms and it’s back to business on cable news — the business of hyping fluff, that is.

A week after the midterms and it's back to business on cable news -- the business of beat-downs, that is.... More

The Al Jazeera Worldview, Now in English

The first 10 hours of Al-Jazeera English sent a number of messages — some subtle, others less so — that caught our eye.

Al Jazeera's English-language channel launched yesterday as (AJE) Al-Jazeera English, not Al-Jazeera International as previously hyped. While viewers around the... More

Fox Memo Leaked! Tells Us Nothing We Didn’t Already Know!

The leak of another internal news memo doesn’t really do much for the eternal War on Bias — but it does give lefties something to crow about.

Last night, as denizens of the liberal blogosphere likely know by now, the Huffington Post published an internal memo from... More

How Pastor Ted Got Outed

The tale of how this latest clerical fall from grace nearly failed to make headlines is a cautionary one for every journalist who has ever wondered when she has enough to go with a story.

The unraveling of Pastor Ted Haggard, replete with allegations of gay sex and meth use, may have contributed to last... More

Time Provides Lunch — and Stunning Copy

The magazine’s “Person of the Year” will probably be a person, Advertising Age told us today.

"'Time Person of the Year' Likely to Be, Well, a Person." We know this thanks to Advertising Age, which went... More

The Times Does Two Academics One Better

A two-part series in the New York Times about the ties that bind the United States and Israel goes deeper than most in assessing the motivations behind, and the tensions within, the relationship.

As happens every few years, intense attention has turned recently to the United States' extraordinarily close relationship with Israel --... More

Tierney Gives Bloggers What They Want to Hear

Predictably, many bloggers applauded the announcement of the Times Op-Ed columnist’s departure.

New York Times Op-Ed scribe John Tierney finally gave readers what they wanted to hear on Tuesday. Tierney filled most... More

The Liberal Bias of the Washington Post’s Style Section

Lifting headlines to point out “liberal bias” at a newspaper is tricky at best, disingenuous at worst.

In a favorite pastime of media critics everywhere, the National Review's Byron York and Nathan Goulding have taken a couple... More

Pelosi Backs Murtha, Bloggers Give Punditry

Afterwards, a number of liberal bloggers supported the Democratic leadership, while other commentators found themselves less excited about Murtha’s prospects.

This morning, the Washington Post reported that incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will throw her support behind Representative John... More

Henry Weinstein On What Great Journalism Can and Cannot Do

The 2006 John Chancellor Award winner discusses Dean Baquet’s exit, a newsroom carrying on, and the limits of great stories on the bottom line.

Veteran Los Angeles Times reporter Henry Weinstein will receive the 2006 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism Tuesday night... More

Tim Russert — What’s Going on Over There?

Meet the Press has chosen some odd guests for its first show after the big midterm elections.

We're not in the business of telling reporters what to write, or what to broadcast, or when to write or... More

Bloggers Chide Bush For Dissembling, Post For Deletion

Bloggers debate how plainly the press should state the president’s acknowledgment that he misled reporters.

While many pundits have taken to discussing the foreign policy implications of a new secretary of defense, others have been... More

The Rummyosphere Responds

Following the Congressional midterm election and president Bush’s sacking of Sec. of Defense Donald Runsfeld, the blogosphere debates the legacy of good old Rummy.

Following a crushing defeat for Republicans on Tuesday, President Bush announced yesterday the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld... More

In the U.K., a Bang; In the U.S., Whimper

There are roughly 3,500 miles between Washington, D.C. and London. For journalists, those miles might as well be light years.

There are roughly 3,500 miles between Washington, D.C. and London -- for journalists, those miles might as well be light... More

No Joy in Foxville Last Night

As Democrats celebrated, Fox News carried election night coverage that was deeply uninspired and strangely disengaged.

Around 11 o'clock last night, as Brit Hume, grandfatherly reading glasses perched on the edge of his nose, finally conceded... More

CNN Pulls Out All the Stops, Crushes the Competition

Of all the long hours of election coverage last night, CNN won the race to the top.

Things didn't start out so hot. Wolf Blitzer hovered stiffly in front of an intimidating, CENTCOM-worthy bank of screens, headset-laden... More

Networks Struggle to “Get” Bloggers

At some point television news decided that it could no longer ignore political bloggers. But that doesn’t mean it has figured out how to cover them.

Somewhere along the line in recent years, television news decided that it could no longer ignore bloggers. Especially political bloggers.... More

Pearls From the Pundits

Given all the airtime devoted to the elections last night, you knew that the talking heads would sprinkle some gems among their punditry.

It ain't easy filling all that airtime on election night. And if, by and large, our broadcast brethren avoided major... More

And Now Back to the Economy

Like much of the election season debate over the war in Iraq, much of the recent discussion about the U.S. economy has been willfully distorted along partisan lines.

No matter what happens in today's elections, the great tundra of American punditry will soon be teeming with debates over... More

Why Are These Two Men Still Talking?

This morning, Terry McAuliffe and Ken Mehlman squared off on the Today Show. Again.

As predicted back on October 25, we had not then seen the last of McAuliffe v. Mehlman (in which television... More

Does Anyone Get America Like Tucker Carlson?

We tuned in to MSNBC last night, forgetting that we would likely encounter Tucker Carlson, and his nonsensical brand of fact-free analysis.

We're with Jack Shafer, who wrote yesterday that despite the fact that by Election Day reporters have already filed... More

Bloggers Confront Exit Polls, Pollsters, Each Other

As MSM polling specialists go into lockdown, bloggers give their thoughts.

Today's Wall Street Journal reports that, "Two-by-two, polling specialists from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News and the Associated Press... More

CNN’s Mama Would Be Proud

It’s Game Day for “The Best Political Team on Television.”

Who has "The Best Political Team on Television"? For viewers of a certain cable news network, the answer should be... More

John Kerry: The Man Behind the Curtain

Howard Kurtz forgets the role that editors and reporters play in keeping a story front and center in the public mind.

In Howard Kurtz' chat this morning with readers of the Washington Post, one questioner took the "news media" to task... More

Rumsfeld Takes Editorial Fire, Bloggers Take Sides

With Election Day imminent, the Military Times Media Group calls for the defense secretary to resign, leading many bloggers to defend him.

The Military Times Media Group published an editorial in all four of its daily newspapers (Army Times, Navy Times, Air... More

The Pigeon-Holing of Keith Ellison (Congress’ First Muslim?)

The 43-year-old frontrunner from Minnesota’s 5th District is set to make history on Tuesday, and the national press cannot get enough of him.

"Muslim Candidate Plays Defense," read the headline in the Washington Post. "Democrat Poised to Become First Muslim in Congress," said... More

Giving a Little More Than the Latest Casualty Number

What happened to those daily roundups of the body count in Iraq? While John Kerry may have distracted most, a few reporters keep the sad tally.

Anyone remember the last two weeks of October, when television and print reporters couldn't stop talking about the number of... More

A Day’s Worth of BotchedJokeGate Coverage on CNN

In which our tireless reporter spends a day in front of the tube, waiting for the choicest moments of John Kerry coverage.

The sheer volume of coverage devoted this week to Sen. John Kerry's "botched joke" has been stunning, even to our... More

Times Publishes, Pentagon Investigates, Bloggers Debate

With the paper again under fire for publishing classified intelligence, bloggers consider the importance of the latest leak.

According to an article this morning on FoxNews.com, the Pentagon is investigating the leak of a classified slide on the... More

Matthew Currier Burden on the Endangered Milblog

With the military increasingly cracking down on military bloggers, one prominent milblogger collects some of the best examples of the form.

In September, Matthew Currier Burden, a former Army officer and author of the popular military blog, Black Five, released a... More

Friedman’s French Friend Stages Intervention

Thomas L. Friedman’s go-to reporting move (quote-the-cabbie) is stymied. Could it be the end of an “era?”

Thomas L. Friedman is frustrated. And Friedman's frustration festers throughout his New York Times column today -- titled, we kid... More

Bloggers Critical of Media’s Handling of Hotel Scuffle

A scuffle in a hotel lobby in the Virginia Senate race makes the pages of the Washington Post, adding fuel to the blogging fire.

A scuffle in a hotel lobby in Charlottesville, Va. yesterday between a liberal blogger and supporters of Republican Senator George... More

The Embeds

What is gained, and what is lost

Dan Murphy The Christian Science Monitor Embedding is a fancy word for letting journalists go see what the military... More

Turning Points

Everyone has a story about when things began to go bad

Dexter Filkins The New York Times I remember the whole period from October, November, December 2003, everybody — all the... More

Enemies and Civilians

How big stories could hide in plain sight

Anthony Shadid The Washington Post It was before Saddam’s capture. I think it was November 2003. I remember I was... More

The Good News

The clamor for ‘positive’ stories didn’t fit the reality of Iraq

Anthony Shadid The Washington Post When I hear this term “good news” [that the press allegedly fails to report], I... More

Reporting in Iraq

The mundane and the profound

Nir Rosen Freelance writer I met a young Iraqi guy [in April 2003], college student, secular Shia guy, very street-smart,... More

The Continuing Story

How Iraq is different from, and the same as, other wars

Richard Engel NBC News I’ve been in Iraq for a while. I’ve been there longer than any of the... More

Liberties and Ambiguities

As Iraq began to unravel

Chris Hondros Getty Images Once the fighting stopped, it seemed like the country was getting more pacified. By mid-April or... More

In the Beginning

The early days of the Iraq war gave journalists freedom to report, but also hints of something darker

Dexter Filkins The New York Times If you look at the whole arc of this thing, it used to be... More

Assignment Iraq

A note from the editors

In the middle of 2003, not long after President Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln in May to tell... More

Inside Jokes

A new take on news and late-night comedy, and a parsing of journalistic courage

AAfter White House-bound Bill Clinton donned shades and played the sax on The Arsenio Hall Show in June 1992, a... More

Fear of Yoga

Today, everybody, including the press, loves the Hindu practice of health and spirituality. But it took a couple of centuries to get there.

Yoga is the Survivor of the culture wars: unbloodied, unmuddied, unbothered by the media’s slings and arrows, its leotard still... More

The Desegregation Drama

The white news media came late to the scene. But when they finally did arrive, the battle was joined.

The Race Beat The Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation by Gene Roberts and Hank... More

The Death of Supply Column 21

A lesson from the Vietnam War on the press, the military, and authority.

The Associated Press bureau that operated out of Saigon starting in mid-1965 was a great one — a place of... More

Darts & Laurels

Send tips and comments to dartsandlaurels@cjr.org

Dart to the Palo Alto Daily News, for blindly toeing the local line. “Everybody,” as was noted on Slate’s... More

Omens and Incidents

Negotiating cultural fault lines in Iraq

Borzou Daragahi Los Angeles Times I know how religious the people in Iraq are, how traditional they are with... More

The Reign of the CPA

An effort to spin the war occasionally veered into the absurd

Patrick Cockburn The Independent (London) At a certain point, in 2003, I remember the exact moment the British had moved... More

Apple can’t hide from a 20-year-old reporter - The University of Michigan student gets behind the tech titan’s newest products

Al Jazeera America struggles to get off the margins - A quality-first strategy faces huge hurdles

Finding James Foley - This 2013 story takes a look at GlobalPost’s search for the photojournalist

Gannett cribs from Advance Publications playbook for struggling newspapers - Staff compete for fewer jobs; ‘readers become the assignment editor’

Cop corruption probe sparks newspaper feud - A spiked story is at the center of a bitter fight between Philadelphia’s two dailies


The impact of watching executions (PSmag)

“[E]xecutions, even for people who support capital punishment, and even when the criminals being put to death evoke little personal sympathy because of the nature of their crimes, take a toll on witnesses”

Times of India demands employee social media passwords (Quartz)

The company will possess log-in information and will be free to post any material to the account without journalists’ knowledge

Reconnecting with a story source, 17 years later (Hartford Courant)

“People who say reporters exploit people? You are right, we do. We parachute into people’s lives, sidle up, convince them that we care — and then disengage when the story is over. But that doesn’t mean we don’t connect, in a genuine way.”

The McDonald’s in Ferguson (LAT)

“Lately, the restaurant has taken on the appearance of a battered frontier outpost”

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.