Monday, January 23, 2017. Last Update: Fri 2:51 PM EST

Monthly Archive

July 2007

On Milblogs

A clarification, and a larger point

There was quite a bit of discussion, to put it mildly, over the weekend about my post from Friday concerning... More

Quarrel Between ACORE and CEI Draws Inhofe’s Attention

Are free speech and the future of renewable fuels at risk?

Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma may have called global warming a "hoax," but those who oppose him, and would like... More

Why the Dow Jones Vote Matters

It’s about the stories

NEW YORK -- Last Nov. 14, 38-year-old Martin A. Siegel, one of Wall Street's leading investment bankers, was spending the... More

We Like Turtles, Too

The Washington Post hearts YouTube

It’s always amusing to see how serious newspapers find ways to write about the elements of pop ephemera or celebrity... More

Refreshing Fare

Two commendable articles on the presidential race

With so much time and attention spent chronicling the latest barbs in the Obama-Clinton spat over their respective diplomatic chops... More

Clinton v. Obama

The campaign’s first throw-down is thin stuff

Looks like we have ourselves a fight. All three major dailies today have accounts of the rhetorical rumble between Hillary... More

Cuomo Mugs the Times Union

AG’s selective quotes raise paper’s hackles

There’s a standard set of gripes that journalists hear from people who feel maligned by a story: “The information was... More

YouTube Debate Has Legs

Incredibly weak ones

Newspapers and bloggers continue to pick over Monday's YouTube debate, arguably the most sensational story thus far of the campaign... More

More Beauchamp! (sorry…)

Why do conservatives hate the troops?

This is great. The conservative blogosphere and it's kissin' cousin, the milblog community--who always criticize the left for not supporting... More

Howard Kurtz’s shorthand

And the New Republic controversy

Howard Kurtz weighs in again today on the story that a soldier in Iraq who wrote a series of articles... More

Nature Watch

The journal takes on Darfur and The Simpsons—not at the same time

I couldn't help of but think of the theatrical masks representing tragedy and comedy after reading two articles in this... More

Don’t Listen to Searby

Or other Wall Street analysts about newspapers

The New York Times Co. reported yesterday that its second-quarter earnings fell from the same period a year ago.... More

Rumors at Fermilab and CERN

How science, media, and gossip affect cutting-edge physics

The gossip mill is spinning in the particle physics world, with journalists, bloggers, and scientists all taking turns speculating about... More

Norman Pearlstine, Company Man

An editor revisits his role in Plamegate

Norman Pearlstine was not a happy camper. It was spring 2005, and for almost a year the editor-in-chief of Time... More

Tastes Great, Less Filling

Cut the boilerplate quotes, save a news story

One small thing that newspapers could do to help break their addiction to the pointless he said-she said story frame... More

When We Were Clark Gable

A former Times columnist dissects journalism

Russell Baker, the one-time New York Times columnist has a long multi-book review in The New York Review of Books,... More

TNR And ‘Scott Thomas’

Someone needs to step up with some proof

By now you're probably familiar with the flap over whether or not a soldier reportedly serving in Iraq, who has... More

The YouTube Debate

After all the hype, coverage is sober, possibly boring

The arc of the YouTube debate phenomenon is a classic case of what the press does almost reflexively--help build something... More

Beirut’s Daily Star Responds

Defending their article about Lisa Goldman’s “incursion” into Lebanon

Last Friday, I wrote about an article in Beirut’s Daily Star critical of Lisa Goldman, an Israeli journalist, who had... More

Blowing Off Steam

MSM and citizen journalism collide in coverage of Manhattan steam pipe explosion

In those rare, often tragic instances when the words “explosion” and “midtown Manhattan” make their way into same headlines, many... More

An Israeli Reporter in Lebanon

No good deed goes unpunished

My friend, Lisa Goldman, is a blogger in Tel Aviv. Lisa, who moved to Israel from Canada almost a decade... More

NYT, CBS parse new Clinton poll

In very different ways

Today's New York Times/CBS poll on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was reported, as expected, by both outlets. But despite identical... More

Clinton’s Letter to the Pentagon…


It being summer and all, we realize that a lot of people are basically phoning it in at work, but... More

What the Bancrofts Owe Dow Jones

In return for a century of dividends, a “no” and a graceful exit

It's on the Bancrofts now. That hard-bargaining Dow Jones & Co. board has agreed to sell the Bancroft's patrimony for... More

Pottered Out

No more magic in the Times

It’s easy enough for me to pick on The New York Times. It’s the paper that greets me every morning... More

Darts & Laurels

Send tips and comments to

Laurel to the countless gatherers, makers, and consumers of news who over the years have brought to this column, along... More

Conrad Black’s Apologist at the Sun

Lipsky’s overwritten ode to a friend and funder

Yesterday, the New York Sun's president, editor-in-chief, and co-founder Seth Lipsky waxed nostalgic about his dinner buddy, ideological fellow-traveler, and... More

The Grim Tigris

The BBC travels “Iraq’s river of death”

As vital as are hard-news stories about the complex situation in Iraq, I’ve come to appreciate even more the coverage... More

More on Our “Innovation Ecology”

Taking Science from Lab to Market

Yesterday, I posted a column applauding two recent articles that investigated what William A. Wulf, former head of the National... More

The Halberstam You Didn’t Know

A master of the Big Book, sure, but of friendship, too

For years, he would call at any time of the day or night. In the last few months, however, after... More

Prisoner 345

What happened to Al Jazeera’s Sami al-Haj

On December 15, 2001, early in the morning on the last day of Ramadan, a reporter and a cameraman from... More

The shadowy “critics” who set the record straight on the North Korea deal

Victory Lap

In Sunday's New York Times, David E. Sanger took to the front page to give the skinny on the North... More

Selling Science

Two Articles Wonder How to Encourage More Research

Two weeks ago, The New York Times Magazine ran a cover story called "The Amateur Hour" about how "America's basement... More

Calling Captains Nemo and Ahab

Tales from the deep

This week, reporters raised two fascinating stories from the ocean depths. The first, which got a lot of press coverage,... More

Covering Iraqi politics

We don’t see enough of it

Throughout the war in Iraq, there has been a noticeable lack of coverage of the political angle of the fight... More

Not So Fast

The Times calls out the president on his distortions

On the cover of today’s New York Times is a story that critics of the war (and the media’s coverage... More

The Right Prescription in the Journal

The Wall Street Journal gives Big Pharma’s state house lobbying an MRI

Kudos and a smart salute to Sarah Rubenstein and the WSJ for a tough and intelligent story on Big Pharma... More

The Trying Game

Can we please get Mars and Venus down to earth?

The latest symptom of Campaign Coverage Fatigue—the media malaise born of a too-early, too-intense presidential race—seems to affect the candidates... More

D.C. reporters again fail to ask penetrating questions

Miss another opportunity at the president’s presser this morning

During today's White House press conference, the Washington press corps failed (yes, again) to force President Bush to explain the... More

Bill Gentile on covering Afghanistan

A veteran foreign correspondent talks about his documentary on western journalists on assignment in Afghanistan

Bill Gentile, producer and director of the documentary "Dateline Afghanistan: Reporting the Forgotten War", which follows several Western journalists on... More

Front page blues

The Post fronts some disheartening stuff this morning

As if any of us needed a reminder of how screwed up, confused, and contradictory the reports of the situation... More

Fountains, Faucets, and Leaks

Novak on the care and feeding of primary sources

The best story that Bob Novak broke during Watergate was about the eighteen-and-a-half-minute gap on a tape, and he got... More

The Gorian Knot

The environment and Al Gore, not the same thing

Remember Al Gore, Press Pariah? The Al Gore derided as wooden and pompous and, worst of all, boring? Well, Press... More

Surgeon General’s Warning

Politics always trumps science in the Bush White House

Both The New York Times and The Washington Post today front devastating stories about the former surgeon general, Dr. Richard... More

Parsing the Anonymice at Dow Jones and the Journal

The Times lets unnamed “senior editors” and a “person close to Dow Jones management” nudge the Murdoch sale along

This New York Times piece from Monday says an unnamed person connected to Dow Jones management and unnamed senior editors... More

Memorial Day Mush

It’s time for the networks to get real about the war

As is their custom, the national TV news programs spent the Memorial Day weekend offering tributes to U.S. soldiers and... More

Listening to Live Earth

Did Audiences “Hear” the World’s Biggest Concert?

As the twenty-four-hour, seven-continent, do-something-about-climate-change Live Earth concert was drawing to a close on Saturday, Microsoft reported that the event... More

What Is a “Post-Surge”?

Bush chooses a name for defeat

So it looks almost certain that Bush won’t be waiting for September 15th – the date set for a reassessment... More

Of Bootlegged Liquor and Heavy Cars

What Sweden Will and Won’t Sacrifice for the Environment

Forget France, the U.K., Germany, and Italy. They may be G8 members, but Sweden is the country out to make... More

Déjà Bill

The Clintons, the Clintons, the Clintons

Every once in a while you read an article and have the strange sensation you’ve read it somewhere before. With... More

Rolling Stone Breaks Climate News!

Well, sort of …

A couple weeks ago, Rolling Stone unveiled a sixteen-page report on "The Climate Crisis," following a long line of national... More

Expand the conversation?

PBS’s “All American Presidential Forum”

Last Thursday night, Tavis Smiley set out to "expand the conversation," in his words, when the eight Democratic presidential hopefuls... More

What’s Up, Doc?

We shouldn’t be surprised when terrorists turn out to be doctors

What was most alarming in the stories last week about the uncovered al-Qaeda terrorist ring in London and Glasgow was... More

Bending to Power

How Rupert Murdoch built his empire, and how he uses it

“There might be other buyers more palatable to them. But who’s to say Rupert Murdoch is all that bad?” Brian... More

Adverb Placement

Two schools of thought seem to exist on the placement of adverbs with compound verbs. One is easy: just stick... More

Adverb Placement

It Should Usually Be Early

Two schools of thought seem to exist on the placement of adverbs with compound verbs. One is easy: just stick... More

Damage Report

Most of the two hundred journalists who left The Dallas Morning News landed on their feet. Those who stayed are not so sure.

Linda Stewart Ball left The Dallas Morning News in 2006, and she couldn’t be professionally happier. “I’m extremely satisfied,” says... More

At Scientific American, Shirt Now Matches Socks

A Q&A with Editor in Chief John Rennie

This month, Scientific American unveiled a redesign of its monthly magazine. While not at all radical, the changes said a... More

Independence Day

No time for sunshine patriots at Dow Jones

Yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. —Tom Paine, The... More

Freedom to Wait for Your Information Act

FOIA requests take years to get answered

The Freedom of Information Act (or FOIA) turns forty this 4th of July. In these past four decades, FOIA has... More

Adviser/Advisor; Historic/Historical

Distinctions and Differences

Some distinctions between similar words need to be maintained because they're useful; examples abound in the archives of this font... More


Adverse Effect

Big companies are adverse to publicity — and the bigger the company, the more adverse." Nope. "Adverse" means "negative" or... More

Al-Alam’s Game

Iran bets it can woo Arab hearts with its own gloss on the news

After confessing to the world on camera that she and her British crew had trespassed into Iranian waters this past... More

Missed Story in Iraq

When diplomats are in danger

Every March since the war in Iraq began, the Foreign Service Journal—the house organ of the American Foreign Service Association,... 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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