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Monthly Archive

March 2007

Romney Drops Meaningless VP Names, AP Gives ‘Em Meaning

In the latest sign of a presidential campaign in overdrive, the Associated Press ran a story last night on Mitt Romney’s potential VP picks.

In the latest sign of a presidential campaign in overdrive, the Associated Press ran a story last night on Mitt... More

The MSM Even Hates British Troops!

Bloggers say lots of stupid things — particularly when it comes to criticizing the hated “MSM.”

Bloggers say lots of stupid things -- particularly when it comes to criticizing the hated "MSM." But last night on... More

‘All-Knowing’ News Network Debuts to Mixed Reaction

The fake news business just got a little bigger.

The fake news business has flourished on TV and in print lately thanks to The Daily Show, The Colbert Report,... More

Amid Death Threats, Blogger Goes Offline

Kathy Sierra is considering never posting on her blog again because of the severity of threats she’s received online.

Kathy Sierra, a prominent technology blogger, is considering never posting on her blog again because of the severity of threats... More

The Worrying Case of an Ambitious Afghan Journalist

An Afghan journalist was kidnapped by the Taliban twenty-two days ago. What happened to him?

As calls grow for his release, Afghan journalist Ajmal Naqshbandi's whereabouts remain unknown, twenty-two days after he was kidnapped by... More

Partisan Research Dressed Up As News

It’s sloppy for reporters to use vague references to partisan opposition research in their stories without providing facts to either prop it up, or shoot it down.

Patrick Healy takes to the pages of the New York Times this morning to dissect Senator Hillary Clinton's relationship with... More

Navy, Meet Fact Checkers; Fact Checkers, Meet Timely Queries

A New York Times Magazine piece dropped the ball when it came time to fact-check some of the claims one of its subjects made.

It looks like the U.S. Navy isn't too happy with a recent New York Times Magazine story, and there's been... More

After Four Years, the U.S. Military is Still Learning How to Manage the Media in Iraq

A look inside the working conditions of an embedded journalist in Iraq.

Plenty of people have commented on how the United States -- particularly the American military -- is losing the propaganda... More

As Gore Looks to Future, Networks Stuck in Everyday Politics

Gore’s message of what could be done on global warming was almost completely lost on the big three’s evening news programs last night.

In a high-wattage return to Capitol Hill, Al Gore warned lawmakers from both houses of Congress yesterday that global warming... More

Politico’s One-Source Wonder

How often have you opened a newspaper and seen these words: “My apologies to our readers for passing on bad information”? Never.

How often have we opened a newspaper and seen these words: "My apologies to our readers for passing on bad... More

Viral Ads and the New Democratic Moment

Will user-generated political ads lead to more openness, or simply bring digital mudslinging into the mainstream?

While most people use their Sunday mornings to surf the Web or read the paper, an employee for an Internet... More

CNN Defends Chiquita on a Very Slippery Slope

In a jaw-dropping defense, a CNNMoney journalist argues that the iconic banana company has gotten “a raw deal.”

On Monday the iconic banana company Chiquita pleaded guilty in Washington to one count of doing business with a terrorist... More

The McCain “Maverick Watch” ‘08

While some reporters cast a wistful eye to yesteryear, when John McCain was a “maverick,” others can’t seem to let go.

At this point in election cycles past -- when the campaign would have barely begun -- the American reading public... More

Writing About, and Through, Cancer

Newsday reporter Lauren Terrazzano on how she writes her weekly column “Life, With Cancer,” and how the media usually portrays the disease.

Lauren Terrazzano, social services and child welfare reporter for Newsday, has been writing her "Life, With Cancer" column for Newsday... More

As Thompson Ponders Run, Bloggers Dissect His Chances

The Law and Order star’s indecision is creating chatter from bloggers hoping for or cringing at the thought of his run for the GOP nomination.

Former Tennessee Senator and current Law and Order star Fred Thompson is pondering a presidential run. Perhaps he is just... More

(not) WANTED: Careerist Journalists for a New Epoch

A new PEJ study looks at the future of journalism.

Media watchers heard from their Moses again on Monday when the Project for Excellence in Journalism came down the mountain... More

Globe Manufactures New Summers ‘Controversy’

Is a public figure with a lot of baggage in his past doomed to be haunted by “controversy” wherever he goes?

Is a public figure with a lot of baggage in his past doomed to be haunted by "controversy" wherever he... More

Clinton, Obama ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Eliciting Outrage

While both candidates have come under fire from gay rights groups and others who are calling the senators flip-floppers, most of the anger is directed at Clinton.

Just days after General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, drew criticism for saying that homosexuality was... More

Do You Know Why the U.S. Attorneys Were Canned?

The press needs to do a better job explaining what, exactly, happened.

With the release earlier this week of e-mails from the Justice Department about the firings and hirings of eight U.S.... More

How TalkingPointsMemo Beat the Big Boys on the U.S. Attorney Story

Can a mixture of “Web reporting” and old-fashioned investigative work be the wave of the future for journalism?

It's almost too perfect. A mainstream reporter mocks a story a blogger has been working to break, asserting that "it... More

Some Bloggers Get Debate Canceled, Other Bloggers Not Pleased

The Politico reveals why a Democratic debate in Nevada was scrapped, and bloggers are not particularly happy about it.

There must be a contest in Washington to see who can come up with the flimsiest excuse. Let's review the... More

A Cynic’s Take on Media Bias

It’s time for a spin war!

We just love to read dashed-off pieces of pop psychology that seek to diagnose why the press writ large is... More

NYT Gives Bush a Pass on New Bedford Raid

The Times’s account of what went down in an immigration raid in Massachusetts last week was notable for what it left out.

Today's New York Times story on President Bush's visit to Guatemala was driven by a conflict highlighted in the second... More

Bloggers Lavish Post Scribe’s Surge Assertion With Skepticism

Robert Kagan argues that President Bush’s Iraq troop surge is working, and bloggers are appropriately skeptical.

In a Sunday op-ed in the Washington Post, columnist Robert Kagan asserted that President Bush's January surge of 21,500 combat... More

Want a Well-Designed Newspaper? Go to Europe.

The president of the Society for News Design on why American newspapers are lacking, visually.

Every year, the Society for News Design, an international organization based in Syracuse, New York, hands out awards for excellence... More

Who’s A Journalist? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Every few months, media critics get themselves all in a twist over the single most overblown issue in contemporary journalism.

Apparently, we haven't heard the last of the tired debate, "Are bloggers journalists?" It seems that every few months, in... More

Obama’s Parking Tickets: Who Cares?

A little story about the candidate’s parking tickets during his law school days got way more play than it deserved.

At 2:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon the Somerville News, "Somerville's Most Widely read Newspaper!", published a scoop on its rudimentary Web... More

Quick, What’s AFRICOM?

Our mainstream press is dropping the ball on a big international story.

A few weeks back, we commented on the further shrinking, or outright abandonment, of American news bureaus around the world,... More

Kurt Eichenwald, $2K and the Curious Ways of Investigative Reporters

It’s disingenuous for the Times to suggest that the $2,000 was anything other than part of the reporting process.

We can't help but cheer when good investigative journalism actually does what it's supposed to do -- raise awareness about... More

Bush Has a Record in Latin America. So What Is It?

There was a gaping hole in Tuesday’s coverage of the president’s new effort to engage Latin America: what has his administration done there up to this point?

On Tuesday, papers across the country published accounts of President Bush's new effort to engage Latin America, which as a... More

Nightmare Over, the Press and Bloggers Consider Libby Trial’s Legacy

Many media outlets and bloggers are questioning the trial’s effect on journalism. The consensus: it doesn’t look good.

With the I. Lewis Libby four-count guilty verdict now "old news" and much talk turned to the possibility of a... More

What, Exactly, Is Stengel Doing to Time?

What kind of “understanding” did Time’s managing editor have with Apple’s CEO?

There's an interesting piece by Joe Hagan in this week's New York magazine about Time magazine's new managing editor, Richard... More

Cutting Katie Some Slack

Couric continues to inspire criticism as catty as the day she opened her first broadcast with a friendly, “Hi, everyone.”

This week marks six months since Katie Couric's debut as anchor of the CBS Evening News, yet she continues to... More

Coulter Attack Condemned in Blogosphere

Bloggers called the conservative pundit all sorts of names not fit to print — but more than a few were also disappointed in John Edwards’ response.

Ann Coulter's latest venomous attack, in which she called John Edwards a "faggot" in a speech at the annual Conservative... More

Gore’s Press Popularity Enters a New Phase

Whether or not Al Gore decides to run in ‘08, the press appears intent on keeping the possibility alive.

"Run, Al, Run," says Rolling Stone, while The Economist, "Waiting for Al," longs for the same thing. Maureen Dowd writes... More

McCain Quasi-Launches Campaign, Bloggers Largely Disapprove

The Arizona senator opted to announce his presidential run on Letterman, but many bloggers don’t quite see the point.

In an era when politicians like Barack Obama and John Edwards are utilizing the Web to announce their presidential candidacies,... More

Taranto and the Right Need a History Lesson on Digital Death Threats

Stupidity and classlessness aren’t ideological issues — they strike liberals and conservatives in equal measure.

The violent liberal blogosphere strikes again! Below a HuffingtonPost story about a bombing at the Bagram base in Afghanistan that... More

Army Tries to Spin Walter Reed Story, Gets Bitten in the Ass

The Army found itself facing an attack on two fronts, forced to answer not just the Post’s account, but the Army Times’s story as well.

The articles on Walter Reed Army Medical Center that ran last week in both the Washington Post and the Army... More

Beyond the Cartoon Controversy: Q & A with Flemming Rose

Fifteen months after he enraged the Muslim world, Danish editor Flemming Rose’s conscience is clear.

It’s been fifteen months since the publication by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten of a series of cartoons depicting the... More

Capturing Cuba

Ann Louise Bardach has spent fifteen years in relentless pursuit of the island nation, its dictator, its exiles, and their secrets.

I met Ann Louise Bardach at her house in Santa Barbara one afternoon in early January. I was running late... More

Darts & Laurels

Send tips and comments to

Dart to the Lowell, Massachusetts, Sun, for beclouded judgment. For its December 27 issue, the paper produced a special commemorative... More

The Race

Newspapers have a bright future as print-digital hybrids after all — but they’d better hurry.

By the usual indicators, daily newspapers are in a deepening downward spiral. The new year brought reports of more newsroom... More

Blinded by Dubai

While the press gawks, workers are dying.

“I realize I’m late to the party: Dubai is long past its media moment. The flurry of breathless write-ups—in Sunday... More

When Beats Collide

When an oil refinery blew, reporters at The Houston Chronicle got a lesson in synergy.

Virtually every story can be boiled down to one thing: money. Who has it? Who doesn’t? Who’s successfully lobbying for... More

A Long View of Layoffs

A reason to worry less about the future of the newspaper industry

The present wave of cost- cutting, job-eliminating, and bureau-closing is just one reason journalism is widely believed to be an... More

Before Jon Stewart

Fake news is back, but our tolerance for it isn’t what it was before journalism donned the mantle of authority.

Just before his famous confrontation with Tucker Carlson on CNN ’s Crossfire two years ago, Jon Stewart was introduced as... More

The Epidemic

That gee-whiz medical segment on your local TV news? It was produced and written by the very hospital it’s touting.

NOTE: This story has been corrected, as detailed in a note at the end of the piece When 19 thousand... More

Dark Days

Labor loses more ground in the newsroom

A week before Christmas, the mosaics and stained glass in the sanctuary of Congregation Rodeph Shalom framed a somber scene.... More

Missing Middle

That gaping hole in our national news report is called the Midwest.

In early January, more than 6,000 journalists from around the world descended on Detroit’s Cobo Center for the annual Detroit... More

The Opt-Out Myth

Most mothers have to work to make ends meet but the press writes mostly about the elite few who don’t.

On October 26, 2003, The New York Times Magazine jump-started a century-long debate about women who work. On the cover... More

Crude Realities

Two histories of the oil business.

Lisa Margonelli first became fascinated with oil while observing an experimental cleanup in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay oil field. The lab... More

Corps Values

Thomas E. Ricks’s 1997 book Making the Corps describes a society’s relationship to its warriors.

Early last year, my cousin, a Marine captain based in Okinawa, sent me a Wall Street Journal story about changes... 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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