Saturday, July 26, 2014. Last Update: Fri 5:17 PM EST

Monthly Archive

October 2011

Cain’s Other Scandal

In case you missed it, frontrunner Herman Cain is facing allegations, reported last night by Politico, that he sexually harassed... More

More on the Myth of Income Equality

James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute responds to my criticism of his misleading post on "why income inequality is... More

Taking Names in Vain

Why we care, for Pete’s sake

You’re with your five-year-old at the ice cream shop, and she can’t decide which of the dozens of flavors to... More

Audit Notes: The Occupy-Rwanda Connection, Reckless Blame, Jarvis For Dummies

Speaking of Fort Smith's City Wire, the website reports on a talk by former Alltel CEO Scott Ford to the... More

Flack-Driven Local Coverage of a Factory Closure Fails

Fort Smith’s Southwest Times Record blows it on a huge loss to the community

Whirpool is laying off more than a thousand employees in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and shipping the work to Mexico and... More

Cracking the Case

Why is it so difficult to cover investigations of environmental crimes?

The federal civil and criminal investigations of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continue to be a... More

Weak Coverage of SEC Settlement With Wall Street’s Self-Regulator

This morning's coverage of the SEC's settlement with Wall Street self-regulator FINRA is frustrating. We're told that FINRA, which was... More

Plagiarism for Profit

California’s Reader Magazine has grown fat on second-hand news

For a quarterly coupon magazine—even “Southern California’s best coupon, calendar & news magazine”—Reader Magazine would appear to have landed some... More

Plagiary for Profit

California’s Reader magazine has grown fat on second-hand news

For a quarterly coupon magazine—even “Southern California’s best coupon, calendar & news magazine”—Reader Magazine would appear to have landed some... More

Audit Notes: Debt Collector Scams, Occupy Oakland Coverage, Jest

The Washington Post reports on two FTC complaints against California debt collector companies, which "highlight an increase in complaints about... More

Cataloging the Banks’ Crimes and Misdeeds

This excellent Daily Beast piece by Gary Rivlin catalogs the major crimes of the four biggest U.S. banks plus Goldman... More

Through the Years

Five decades of journalism, from the pages of CJR

1961 • Walter Lippmann writes three columns based on more than four hours of interviews with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.... More

POWs, Dead Dictators, and Journalistic Ethics

Would any journalist have turned down the opportunity to interview Gilad Shalit?

The young Iranian prisoner was no more than fourteen, still caked with a thick layer of dust from the battlefield.... More

The Moments

Fifty years of media culture, as captured by Magnum photographers

Magnum Photos, founded during the most glorious age of photojournalism, has always represented a dream of how journalism can be... More

Audit Notes: More on Inequality, Les Hinton’s Memory

The inequality I talked about earlier today has been caused on a couple of levels. While the market income of... More

Soda Scare

Association, causation confused in news about pop and violence

Here we go again. A study finds an association between A and B, but some news reports say that A... More

The Myth of Income Equality, Courtesy of AEI

New CBO data show what (almost) everybody already knows

This post by James Pethokoukis, who recently hopped over to AEI from Reuters, shows how to combine the worst tendencies... More

The Massachusetts Disconnect

Another health reform lesson from the Bay State

Much of the national press took a pass last week on another important “study says” story out of Massachusetts. This... More

Fermenting Revolution

Some terms associated with beer

With “Oktoberfests” popping up all over, it seems a good time to grab a “growler” and get “krausened.” The first... More

Notes from Underground

The posthumous memoir of an alternative press pioneer

My Odyssey through the Underground Press | By Michael Kindman | Michigan State University Press | 256 pages, $39.95 We’ve... More

Salazar Calls for Coverage

Interior Secretary highlights underreported environment stories

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar had a few tips for environmental journalists last week about under-covered stories on their... More

Austerity and Objectivity

Why are spending cuts contractionary overseas but not here?

The top story in The Wall Street Journal today is interesting for what it says about how American papers are... More

AP Gives Half a Loaf on Long-Term Care

More reporting needed from the wire service

When the CLASS Act, a part of the health reform law that would have begun to establish a national program... More

Audit Notes: Copying the NYT Paywall, WaMu, The 0.1 Percent

Jeff Bercovici of Forbes responds to my post calling on papers to follow the NYT's lead on charging for news... More

Newspaper Companies As Emblems of the 1 Percent

David Carr rips Gannett’s $37 million golden parachute

"Gannett paper" has long been a pejorative in journalism circles. So how about "Gannett executive"? The nation's biggest newspaper chain... More

Citizen Journos Level Up

Racking up points for participation

Video games are one of the world’s most popular forms of entertainment. They’re interactive, competitive, social, and have the power... More

A Grand Year for Free Speech

Gaddafi’s death just one indicator of the global surge in free expression

Not since the disintegration of the Soviet Union have so many opponents of free expression quickly fallen from executive power.... More

Get a Life (Beyond the Web)

Science writers struggle with time management

FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA — Freelance science writer Steve Silberman might not be physically addicted to Twitter, but sometimes it seems like... More

The Human Faces behind the Social Security Rhetoric

Good work from CBS News

Finally, a mainstream media outlet has broken through the dominant narrative about Social Security and showed what the program means... More

ProPublica Has Questions for the SEC on Its Citi Settlement

I really like how ProPublica covers the SEC's $285 million settlement with Citigroup this week. The commission nicked Citi for... More

Audit Notes: Paying for Newspapers Edition

I may have spoken too soon when I said to expect The New York Times's paid subscription growth rate to... More

NYT Paywall to Other Papers: “Copy Me!”

There’s no excuse for other publishers not to follow the Times’s model

If The New York Times spun off its digital edition, it would be the tenth biggest paper in the country... More

The Story of the Gaddafi Story

How news of the Libyan leader’s demise spread on Twitter

Earlier this morning news began to spread that something major was happening in Libya. At first it seemed that a... More

Occupy Wall Street, Democrats, and Campaign Finance

This Politico story on Occupy Wall Street's influence on the Democrats' campaign donors is awfully interesting: After the Democratic Congressional... More

A Lifesaver Made of Paper

Rosie Garthwaite shows journos how to stay alive in dangerous places

How To Avoid Being Killed In A War Zone | By Rosie Garthwaite | Bloomsbury USA | 304 pages, $16.00... More

Norman Corwin, 1910-2011

Remembering a recently deceased broadcast pioneer

It was only fitting that I learned of Norman Corwin's death from the CBS Radio World News Roundup, a program... More

Trial Begins Tomorrow for Journalists Imprisoned in Ethiopia

Their Swedish colleagues demand justice

Two Swedish journalists who have been imprisoned in Ethiopia for almost four months will face terrorism charges in Addis Ababa... More

Bloomberg Eyes Bank of America’s Derivatives Move

Bloomberg News reports that Bank of America (with Federal Reserve approval) put Merrill Lynch credit-default swaps into BofA's deposit-holding arm... More

The Herman Cain Method

The press hints his campaign isn’t serious. Doesn’t its success suggest otherwise?

Herman Cain, are you running for president? Or are you just busing around the country, dropping into debates and Sunday... More

The Scientist Lives

LabX Media Group signs intent to purchase

A potential buyer has emerged to save The Scientist from early retirement. A week after it was reported that... More

Link-Phobia and Plagiarism

Jack Shafer has an unforgiving take on l’affaire Kendra Marr: The plagiarist defrauds readers by leading them to believe that... More

New Knight Foundation Report

How local news nonprofits search for sustainability

Quality journalism is not a sound business plan; even if you have a good-size audience and mind-blowing stories, it’s not... More

NYT Lets You Play Political Donor

Want to give $1 million to Herman Cain's presidential effort but don't want the public to be privy to your... More

Homeless Shelters 4 AT&T-Verizon Duopoly

In June, Politico and the Washington Post ran stories showing how, in exchange for Ma Bell's cash, nonprofits like NAACP... More

Making Introductions

Putting the cart before the tumbrel

Writers frequently introduce a topic or unfamiliar phrase, then define it, as in “The condemned rode to the gallows in... More

Requiem for the CLASS Act

Long-term care program’s death sends signals the press isn’t receiving

On Friday, the stepchild of health reform died at the hands of the Obama administration, and the obits for the... More

A Reading List for Future Journalists

Book recommendations for the next fifty years

For CJR's fiftieth anniversary issue, we asked some of our favorite journalists, critics, and academics to help us compile a... More

HuffPost Finds the Pain in Goldman’s For-Profit Education Firm

It's not hard to imagine that letting boiler rooms push poor folks into taking out impossible-to-shed federal loans is a... More

Does Rick Perry Have Fire in His Belly?

How could The Washington Post possibly know?

Other than the continuing gravity-defying nature of Herman Cain’s book tour run for president, the big horse race story of... More

Astill on Covering Forests

Grantham Prize winner discusses his series for The Economist

It’s often hard for reporters to see the forest for the trees, said James Astill, the newly anointed energy and... More

Rupert Murdoch’s “Arse”

An ex-tabloid editor tells Parliament who kissed what

Ever since the News of The World phone-hacking scandal gathered pace in July this year, members of the UK press... More

A Sextee’s Story

It was nearly one year ago—to the day!—that Traci Nobles, a cheerleading coach from Athens, Georgia, “made a few provocative... More

Good Work from the Times on Rate Increases

Shedding light on insurance company secrets

Proving that not every story has to be a zillion words long or analyze a zillion data points to break... More

Audit Notes: Economic Policy Edition

Ezra Klein, in his long story (which you should read) on why and how Obama's economic policy failed (I should... More

Hooking the Reader

Dublin meeting highlights reporting challenges related to oceans, seafood

Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, as the old saying goes. Teach a man to... More

WSJ Backs Up The Guardian on European Scandal

Its reporting disputes its parent company’s denials

Last night, Dow Jones slammed The Guardian's report on wrongdoing at The Wall Street Journal Europe, calling it "replete with... More

Wall Street Journal Europe Sourcing Was Unusual

And the CEO of the firm involved is a former Journal executive

We now know, thanks to reporting in the both The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal itself, that Andrew Langloff,... More

The Guardian Unearths a Wall Street Journal Scandal

The paper claims the scalp of a Journal publisher and points to deeper problems

Read this Wall Street Journal story from this morning on the resignation of its European edition's publisher. What the Journal... More

An Empty Seat

Government fails to show for science news, transparency event

Federal officials invited to participate in a public forum at the National Press Club last week about a lack transparency... More

Q & A with Boston Globe Editor, Marty Baron

On serving online “snackers” and “deep readers,” and Whitey Bulger coverage

The Boston Globe is set to implement its new subscription model, which will cost $3.99 a week for a digital-only... More

GOP Debate: Animal Planet or Wizard of Oz

Today is the day when columnists in our capital compare the GOP presidential candidates to nonhumans and liken the experience... More

Defining “Fair Use” for the Digital Age

Aufderheide and Jaszi on how to put the balance back in copyright

Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put the Balance Back in Copyright | By Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi | University... More

CJR’s Assignment Desk, Part I

Hospitals sell emergency room care

This summer, Phil Galewitz of Kaiser Health News wrote an intriguing piece published in The Washington Post about hospitals that... More

Charts of the Day, WSJ Story-Length Edition

Point/Counterpoint: Salmon/Chittum

Ryan Chittum has taken a look at the length of the stories on the front page of the WSJ. Here’s... More

Watch Out For ‘Walmart Moms’

They hold the key to the 2012 election—according to Walmart

You’ve heard of Soccer Moms and Nascar Dads, but how about Walmart Moms? If you haven’t, you will, judging from... More

The China Bubble

WSJ, Reuters, and Bloomberg reports show why a reckoning is likely

We've all heard about the crisis in Europe, how it's weighing on the economy, and how a collapse there could... More

The Shorter-Form Journal

The number of long stories has plunged under Murdoch

Story length in journalism by itself doesn’t mean much. We read too many news stories that are just too damned... More

How The New Yorker Monetizes Old Content

I love the way that The New Yorker is using the iPad to construct a whole new revenue stream from... More

No Use

The “d” is (usually) not optional

The Northeast has been experiencing a bit of a resurgent summer*, so cool refreshments have been called for. You have... More

Who’s A Journalist? (Take II)

Um, not Patrick Howley

I wrote Friday about how the arrests of reporters at the Occupy Wall Street protests raised questions about the NYPD... More

Who’s A Journalist? (Take II)

Um, not Patrick Howley

I wrote Friday about how the arrests of reporters at the Occupy Wall Street protests raised questions about the NYPD... More

Audit Notes: Overdraft Ethics, CNN’s Wall Street Apologist, U.S. Gas Boom

American Banker's Jeff Horwitz finds some emails that offer an interesting look into how banks make unethical decisions to gouge... More

Tom Friedman Needs A Factchecker

We’ve called out Tom Friedman in recent months for being “radically wrong” in the past. And then for being “still... More

The Scientist Closes

25th anniversary issue of the venerable magazine will be the last

Having just published a special twenty-fifth anniversary issue in October, employees of the The Scientist, a venerable monthly magazine and... More

A Weak Case for the Middle Class Embracing Globalization

Reuters’s David Rohde writes about Bowling Green, Kentucky, and how it’s doing well by embracing globalization. But it’s a pretty... More

Politico Primary: Down the Rabbit Hole

Only in DC could Hillary, Condi, and Erskine be considered a break from the ‘governing class’

I don’t begrudge the folks at Politico their decision to launch a gimmicky new feature called “Politico Primary,” in which... More

Who’s A Journalist?

Arrest of reporters at Occupy Wall Street protest raise questions about NYPD press credential process

John Farley, a reporter with WNET/Thirteen’s MetroFocus, was standing on the sidewalk interviewing two women who had been pepper sprayed... More

Who’s A Journalist?

Arrest of reporters at Occupy Wall Street protest raise questions about NYPD press credential process

John Farley, a reporter with WNET’s MetroFocus, was standing on the sidewalk interviewing two women who had been pepper sprayed... More

Occupy Wall Street’s Media Team

A day in the life

Wednesday, October 5th Among the tarps, pizza boxes, and people tightly squeezed into Zuccotti Park, there are subtly segmented... More

Golden Teeth Redux

A Dallas TV station investigates the state’s Medicaid shenanigans

Byron Harris, the dogged investigative reporter for Dallas, Texas television station WFAA, has come up with two more installments in... More

Once Again, No Housing Questions for Obama

White House press corps doesn’t follow up on ProPublica story

Much of President Obama’s press conference earlier today was devoted to the latest partisan fight in DC over the American... More

Photos from the Nobel Prize Press Pool

Today in Stockholm the Swedish Academy announced the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature: eighty-year-old Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer.... More

Bailing Out the Bailed Out From TARP (Updated)

The WSJ on a Treasury “slush fund” for banks

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting piece of reporting today on a Treasury program ostensibly meant to boost small... More

Journos Call For More Transparency at NYT Op-Ed Page

Toward a higher standard of disclosure

Just a bit after 11 a.m. this morning, New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane received an e-mail from the... More

Plant Food: Does Carbon Count?

Admirable NYT article on forests misses one important point

On Saturday, The New York Times ran a front page story about the state of the world’s forests, their role... More

Audit Notes: Steve Jobs

Here's Wired's striking homepage reporting the death of Steve Jobs: Scroll down and you get gray text with obituary comments... More

Wichita Eagle Eyes Regulatory Cracks Before a Failure

Here's a solid Wichita Eagle report that shows the holes in a regulatory system—ones that could have deadly consequences. What... More

CJR Holds a Town Hall in Nebraska

Obama’s disconnect with the voters

In a recent column for The Washington Post, Richard Cohen recounted how FDR cried when he learned that children living... More

A Stranger Everywhere

Ze’ev Rosenkranz traces Albert Einstein’s complicated relationship with Zionism

Einstein Before Israel | By Ze’ev Rosenkranz | Princeton University Press | 364 pages, $35.00 In the 1920s, the general... More

Pulitzer Winners Go Behind the Scenes of Their Stories

Reaching for the high-hanging fruit

Four of this year’s Pulitzer Prize winners visited the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism last night to discuss their... More

Annals of Government Toothlessness, HAMP edition

ProPublica with a fantastic piece

ProPublica’s Paul Kiel has a fantastic story about the way in which the government has proved utterly toothless with... More

New Yorker on Art Pope’s “Singular Influence Machine”

North Carolina, Jane Mayer writes, is a “state for sale”

Just over a year ago, The New Yorker published Jane Mayer’s widely-discussed look at the “covert operations” of the “billionaire... More

Cronyism and Executive Compensation

A Washington Post examination of how “peers” inflate CEO pay

Companies tend to try to pay their employees as little as possible without killing morale and suffering high turnover. But... More

With Perry, it pays to look under the rock

While many reporters in Texas might be racing down dusty roads to find that rock, Brenda Bell of the Austin... More

Only You Know

Once in a while, placement matters

OK, we’ll admit it: Most of the time you can put “only” anywhere in a sentence and no one will... More

Bad Omens for Health Care

Mixed coverage of the latest premium hikes

The big news in health care last week was, of course, that average annual premiums for family coverage through employers... More

Memoirs of a Markets Reporter

Readers demand an explanation for why markets go up and down. But sometimes, nobody really knows.

When reading a typical stock-market story, one that says something like, “Futures Gain Ahead of Obama Jobs Plan,” did you... More

CJR Event: Science News and Government Transparency

Access denied

Has the Obama administration lived up to its promise to make science more transparent and accessible to the public? An... More

The Negative Correlation Between Obesity and Indebtedness

Michael Lewis says something very odd in his big piece on California and the phenomenon of overconsumption: The succession... More

How Forbes got to $475 million - That’s what a Hong Kong investor has agreed to pay for a firm that two years ago had trouble paying its rent

Are female journalists up to the job of a Jill Abramson interview? - Reporters avoid unflattering discussion about her firing

How to check if that viral video is true - Journalists don’t always verify user-generated content, so readers need to learn how to verify what they see online

The Grand Dame of Florida reporting has retired twice, but she’s still causing trouble - A conversation with the Tampa Bay Times’ Lucy Morgan

Brick by brick - After years of shrinking ambition at The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos has the paper thinking global domination


The White House deploys minders to interviews all the time (WaPo)

“Almost every officially sanctioned exchange between reporters and the proverbial ‘senior administration officials’ is conducted in the presence of a press staffer”

The down-and-dirty history of TMZ (BuzzFeed)

“TMZ’s real engine — what defines its mission, what legitimizes it and sets it apart — is a unique and controversial mix of scandal mongering and investigative journalism”

The 10 worst New Yorker longreads (Gawker)

“[A]pparently [Adam] Gopnik did not know you could bake fancy breads from France and other cultures. So he got his mom to teach him how to bake them. A fine anecdote, maybe, to tell a friend or a therapist. But in this case he wrote about it for the New Yorker, a magazine.”

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.