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Monthly Archive

January 2007

Press Gives Bush’s CENTCOM Nominee A Pass on Iraq

What was left out in this morning’s papers …

With the flurry of congressional hearings, debates over nonbinding resolutions, strangely racist utterances by soon-to-be-ex-Democratic presidential hopefuls and the Libby... More

Fox 5 and 24, Together Again

The New York City Fox affiliate’s promotional obsession with 24 is still going strong.

Last night Fox aired another exciting episode of 24, the Kiefer Sutherland hit now in its sixth season. In the... More

Michael Gordon’s Molehill Becomes A Mountain

When can reporters speak — and about what topics — without fear of being admonished by their employers?

In his Public Editor column in Sunday's New York Times, Byron Calame tackled a problem that he has dealt with... More

Insightmag, A Must-Read

A lesson in how easy it is — even for publications with no history of credibility — to start a scandal.

It's a pretty dubious distinction to be credited with publishing "the first anonymous smear of the 2008 presidential race," by... More

Bloggers Distressed Over Globe’s Pullback From World

The Boston broadsheet announces that it will close its last three foreign bureaus, leaving bloggers feeling relatively unified that the move is a great loss.

In the latest drawdown by American newspapers, the Boston Globe announced last week the closing of its last three foreign... More

Muslim-American Groups Protest GMA’s Hiring Of Glenn Beck

As of yet, ABC has not granted the groups a meeting with network executives.

ABC was apparently so impressed with Glenn Beck's appearances on Good Morning America, that it decided to hire him as... More

How Does GMA Love YouTube? Let Us Count The Ways

Some television news producers are falling in love with the free — if decidedly unnewsworthy — content on the Web.

Ah, television news' infatuation with YouTube goes on (wherein lazy producers fill air time with amateur video, hoping to pass... More

NYT’s Story Speaks Volumes About Iraqi Army

Two embedded reporters get to the heart of the issue.

"One Iraqi soldier in the alley pointed his rifle at an American reporter and pulled the trigger. There was only... More

Cowardly Wolf or Cowardly Cheney?

Wolf Blitzer surely succeeded in “making news” with his interview of the V.P. on last night’s Situation Room — though, perhaps, not in the way the CNN anchor intended.

Wolf Blitzer surely succeeded in "making news" with his interview of Vice President Dick Cheney on last night's Situation Room... More

In Memoriam: Hrant Dink (1954-2007)

A Turkish free speech advocate is killed, but hope hasn’t died with him.

Friday's murder of Armenian-Turkish editor and columnist Hrant Dink -- though not the only instance recently of a foreign journalist... More

A Girl’s Got the Gavel! But What’s She Wearing?

Despite being an accomplished, powerful woman, some members of the press still can’t get over the fact that she’s, you know, a girl.

Here we were, wishfully thinking that the appearance of a certain New York Times' Thursday Style article last week ("Speaking... More

Is Being Controversial More Important Than Being Right?

Dinesh D’Souza’s new book, which is being skewered by both the left and the right, probably won’t hurt his career in punditry.

Conservative writer Dinesh D'Souza has made a career of poking a stick in the eye of liberals, and he's done... More

The Fine Line Between Hype and News

The New York Post criticizes, while its own house is hardly in order.

In the name of an "exclusive" with the man charged with kidnapping a Missouri boy and suspected of kidnapping another... More

My Kingdom For A Storyline

Is John McCain still a “Maverick?” According to the Wall Street Journal, the answer is a resounding “yes!”

As we've seen so often in horse race political coverage, once the press sinks its teeth into a certain storyline... More

The (D)evolution Of a Story

Was the flap over the AP’s source in a recent story behind some changes in a Washington Post story this morning?

Given the recent ugliness over the AP's use of Iraqi police source Jamail Hussein in some sixty stories, and the... More

Is Technology Ruining Your Morals?

Two recent articles by Lakshmi Chaudhry and Michael Agger show cultural criticism at its boorish, insipid worst.

We are hoping that Lakshmi Chaudhry is ninety years old. Somehow misanthropy, a deep mistrust of technology, and a snarling... More

Sarah Olson On Her Role In A Court Martial

A journalist talks about free speech, and the role of a reporter in a democratic society.

In May 2006, freelance journalist Sarah Olson interviewed Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada for Truthout.org and National Radio Project's "Making... More

Bloomberg to Press: Write What You’re Told

Mayor Bloomberg’s press aides laid down some ground rules yesterday when announcing some new initiatives, and most of the media played along.

You're mayor of New York City. It's the day before your annual "State of the City" address. You want certain... More

The Perils of Compassion Fatigue

Can reporters cover the daily grind of death and destruction in Iraq with an unwavering urgency, while not falling into a war-as-entertainment approach?

The fourth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq is swiftly approaching. According to a recent Pentagon assessment, attacks against... More

Reporting (and Blogging) Across the Pond

There are some very real differences in the practice of journalism between the United States and the U.K. — a fact not lost on the bloggers.

Each week, CBS' Public Eye invites an outsider to comment on CBS news and the media at large. Last week,... More

Overreaching in a Critique of Iraq Coverage

Eason Jordan criticized two newspapers for a lack of coverage of the war on Sunday, but there’s something missing.

On Sunday, Eason Jordan, who recently launched IraqSlogger.com, a great new site whose aim is to produce and aggregate as... More

Bloggers Cost Radio Station Advertisers, Money

A few bloggers stick it to a San Francisco radio station, and advertisers respond.

Apparently, talk isn't cheap, as a talk radio station is finding out the hard way. The station, KSFO-AM, has been... More

Cordesman’s Op-Ed Belongs On Page 1

Anthony Cordesman’s annotation of the president’s speech in today’s Times allows us to take a step back from the rhetoric and actually dissect what we are hearing.

Even though almost everyone knew by Wednesday exactly what the president's prescriptions for Iraq were going to be, there was... More

If They Print (Or Air) It, Is It News?

Just because you can publish something doesn’t mean you should. This has been revised.

"Analysts and investors on Wednesday speculated on which suppliers might benefit from Apple Inc.'s launch of its new iPhone device,"... More

Pundits Love to Let It Fly, But It’s Got to Land Somewhere

The curse of the uninformed pundit strikes again, this time in the inevitable navel-gazing after the president’s latest speech.

After every presidential speech, the pundits descend from on high to deliver their considered wisdom about what the president said,... More

Bloggers Score Credentials, Pat Selves on Back

Bloggers across the nation have achieved another victory in their quest to dethrone the MSM.

Bloggers across the nation have achieved another victory in their quest to dethrone the mainstream media. When the Lewis "Scooter"... More

Striking a Unilateral, Preemptive Blow Against the Future

Max Boot says that, like Vietnam, journalists are probably going to be blamed for the failures in Iraq.

William Faulkner once said, "The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past." It's a good line, and... More

Before Bush Speaks, Bloggers Take Usual Sides

Long before President Bush utters a word of his much-anticipated speech tonight, the rhetorical troops of the blogosphere are already abuzz with opinions.

Long before President Bush utters a word of his much-anticipated Wednesday night speech in which he will reportedly announce the... More

Have Video, Will Air It

Hey, TV news producers and reporters: Absurd amateur video footage does not a news story make.

Hey, TV news producers and reporters: Absurd amateur video footage does not a news story make. All three networks (plus... More

CNN Overcome With ‘Gadgetation’

The confluence of stunning products and stunned reporters at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas makes for easy pickings.

"Gadget Geeks Unite! Consumer Electronics Show Opens," a friendly ABC News headline informs us. Yes, the huge annual trade show... More

Insurgent TV Coming to a Satellite Near You?

A controversial TV channel that is the voice of Iraq’s anti-American insurgents tries to open another front in the propaganda war against the U.S. — in the U.S.

A controversial TV channel that is the voice of Iraq's anti-American insurgents looks set to open another front in the... More

Parsing the “Surge”

The Bush administration has refined the art of distilling new initiatives into a single word or phrase that at once defines the idea while obscuring its various downsides.

The Bush administration has aggressively refined the art of distilling any new initiative presented to the public into a single... More

Time.com Gets New Start, Bloggers Faintly Critical

As Time magazine launches its revamped Web site, bloggers weigh in.

Time magazine launched its revamped Web site today, hoping to capture a wider share of the digital news-seeking audience. The... More

Recent Events in “You”

A couple sad episodes in the recent history of the blogosphere haven’t made anyone look good.

It's been two weeks since Time magazine ill-advisedly named "You" as its Person of the Year, and we have to... More

As Macworld Approaches, Reporters Rev Up

The latest round of buzz, rumor, and speculation surrounding wondrous, soon-to-be-unveiled product(s) from Apple is upon us.

"The world according to Steve: Speculation swirls about Apple event," a Contra Costa Times headline tells us today, meaning the... More

Chi Trib Readers Seem to Believe

Out in Chicago, a highly intriguing front-page piece about a UFO sighting over O’Hare quickly became a record-setting phenomenon for the Tribune.

On Monday, the Chicago Tribune rang in the new year with a highly intriguing front-page piece by transportation writer Jon... More

Security Contractors and Reporters, Together Under the Law

An “overly aggressive interpretation” of a new law aimed at security contractors in Iraq could, theoretically, ensnare embedded reporters.

For the past several years of occupation in Iraq, the largely lawless corps of private security contractors has emerged as... More

We Report (What Pat Robertson Says God Told Him), You Decide

For cable news, the televangelist’s eye-grabbing prediction for 2007 was a gift from the gods.

For cable news, it was a gift from the gods (or, rather from God, via televangelist Pat Robertson) -- an... More

WaPo’s Obama Piece Takes Old News, Adds Nada

When do some 11-year-old, widely-known facts become news? When it’s a slow news day …

With the field of presidential contenders just beginning to form and the press corps hungry for some new political red... More

It’s Time For the AP to Produce the Phantom Iraqi Source

It’s been five weeks since a controversial AP story from Baghdad hit the wires, and there is no resolution to be found.

The saga over whether or not Iraqi police Captain Jamail Hussein exists continues to chug along, much as it has... More

‘Shrinky-Dink’ WSJ Debuts, Bloggers Muse

Blogospheric reviews of the redesigned Wall Street Journal range from starry-eyed (“wowed me”) to cynical (“three years too late”).

The new Wall Street Journal debuted today with a "slimmer size" -- its page width reduced by 20 percent --... More

The Limits of Live

The Research Report

Two recent studies, one American and one British, indict TV news for its growing emphasis on live, unscripted reporting. Fast-breaking,... More

Ode to the Author’s Query

They fueled her childhood dreams; now they’re vanishing.

It was tiny, the slightest piece of prose ever published under my name. If you were nearsighted or preoccupied, you... More

Benevolent Dreamer

Ben Yagoda on St. Clair McKelway, who wrote with lucidity about his own mental illness.

Last summer James Wolcott reviewed The Complete New Yorker on DVD for The New Criterion. He concluded with a list... More

Under the Skin: A History of the Vaccine Debate Goes Deep but Misses the Drama

Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver by Arthur Allen.

At this point, it’s safe to say, most people in the United States have not been on the receiving end... More

Time To Go: Why Tribune is like Rumsfeld

The Tribune Company’s Donald Rumsfeld moment.

In the military you shut up and follow orders; otherwise, things fall apart. Still, there can come a point when... More

Owning Up: A New Book Stops Short of Deepening the Discourse on Media Concentration

Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media by Eric Klinenberg

American democracy is lost unless citizen Davids do battle against the corporate media Goliaths. We have heard this rallying cry... More

The New Arab Conversation

Young bloggers in the Middle East are talking to the ‘enemy,’ and possibly sowing the seeds of reform.

Bombs don’t discriminate between combatants and children. This sad fact became an inconvenient one last summer for Israel, which had... More

Digg This

A top ‘Digger’ worries about his power to drive traffic.

As a young journalist, I begin my day by perusing stories written by top reporters at the major newspapers, as... More

Darts & Laurels

Send tips and comments to dartsandlaurels@cjr.org

Dart to the Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard, for thumbing its nose at the news. Knocking down still further the ad-edit wall... More

Beyond the News

Journalists worry that the Web threatens the way they distribute their product. They are slower to see how it threatens the product itself.

Call it the morning letdown. Your muffin may be fresh, but the newspaper beside it is decidedly stale. “Chavez bashes... More

The Tales We Tell

A young reporter winces when his big story lands on the Dr. Phil show.

I first began to notice the wisp of a girl with long black hair as I drove home from work... More

The Shame Game

“To Catch a Predator” is propping up NBC’s Dateline, but at what cost?

It was just before 3 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon last November when a contingent of police gathered outside the... More

Official Secrets

On treason, secrets, and the press, from Suez to the war on terror.

When, in mid-2006, a Wall Street Journal editorial suggested that The New York Times’s disclosures about warrant-free National Security Agency... More

The Communist Way

Vietnam: the subtleties of censorship

I was accustomed to being censored as an editor, but not as a writer. It pained me that Lam was... More

Vanity Fire

Graydon Carter’s political outrage has fueled a resurgence in Vanity Fair’s serious journalism. But how far can he push the signature high-low mix of this Conde Nast cash cow?

David Hirschman’s question for a 2004 Media Bistro article was the same one reporters had been asking Graydon Carter for... More

Hey millionaire tech bros: Have patience with the editorial process - Chris Hughes probably wanted to enable great journalism at first. Then the dust settled and before you know it, he’s shaking everything up again

Serial creators don’t know what will happen to Adnan Syed - New developments in his legal case suggest that the outcome is wide open

Price hike at UC Berkeley’s journalism school - Governing body approves additional fee of $7,500 starting 2016

Will Denver really have a newspaper war? - As a billionaire floats reviving the Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post might buckle its chin strap

FOIA reform dies while the press looked the other way - RIP Improvement Act of 2014


The traffic lure of outrage (Slate)

“I didn’t become a journalist to peddle indignation on Facebook. But it sells—the page views don’t lie.”

NBC news producer’s sons were in the besieged school in Peshawar (NBCnews.com)

“I remained silent and didn’t know what to say — I know how such attacks on schools usually end”

Hero mom calls into CSPAN to berate her arguing pundit sons (WaPo)

“This was not planned. She called in on the normal line.”

Dick Cheney doesn’t want to call it torture but the media doesn’t have to follow (Vox)

“People deserve to know that the American government (proudly!) did things that in any other context are called torture”

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.