Sunday, December 21, 2014. Last Update: Fri 5:42 PM EST

Monthly Archive

October 2012

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Detroit papers on Romney’s misleading Jeep ad

A campaign ad airs in Ohio but gets a close (sometimes muddled) look from Detroit reporters

MICHIGAN — Over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney began running a new 30-second ad in Ohio in which... More

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MSM: port in a storm

And social media was not as useful as I’d thought it’d be

Sandy was the first natural disaster I can remember experiencing not as a reporter but as Joe Reader/Viewer. (I’ve... More

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Bloomberg digs up more on Romney’s tax avoidance

This loophole used the Mormon church’s tax-exempt status to defer bills

Mitt Romney won’t release his tax returns beyond two years in which he was already actively campaigning for president, and... More

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Sandy’s climate context

Why generalizing about extreme weather helps no one

It should come as no surprise that as Hurricane Sandy spiraled up the eastern seaboard, a variety of media outlets... More

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Pundits versus probabilities

The misguided backlash against Nate Silver

Who will win the presidential election next Tuesday? Until recently, the market for analysis of questions like these has been... More

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Stories I’d like to see

Hurricanes and utilities, keeping Time, and delving into the bureaucracy

In his weekly “Stories I’d like to see” column, journalist and entrepreneur Steven Brill spotlights topics that, in his opinion,... More

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The ‘downright dangerous’ Paul Krugman

CNBC’s Becky Quick thinks, wrongly, the economist is alone in debunking “fiscal crisis”

This summer, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman went on CNBC to talk about his book and ended up getting... More

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Newsrooms’ digital Sandy coverage

Outlets are pulling out all the stops

Several big news services have put public service ahead of profit by doing away with their paywalls for the duration... More

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The Frankenstorm exception

Will lowered paywalls mean new customers?

At a Poynter ethics forum last week, Pew’s Tom Rosenstiel noted that one source of print journalism’s ongoing woes is... More

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Send Candidates for The Best Business Writing 2013

Our 2nd annual compilation of business journalism’s best is closing soon; send us stuff

Hi Internet, This spring, we launched with Columbia University Press the first of what we hope will be a long-running... More

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Audit Notes: inequality denial, AIG’s CEO, private equity

WSJ op-ed pushes the false notion that the rich haven’t pulled away from everyone else

The New Republic's Timothy Noah and The Atlantic's Matthew O'Brien demolish a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Kevin "Dow 36,000"... More

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Jenny McCarthy as a Sun-Times columnist?

Science writers are skeptical, though McCarthy won’t promote a fake link between vaccines and autism there

In her column, Minority Reports, Jennifer Vanasco analyzes how the mainstream media covers social minorities. The Chicago Sun-Times created controversy... More

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CNN says women vote with their hormones

The Twitterverse goes mental

It took seven hours of Internet backlash on Wednesday night for the Internet to convince CNN that an article it... More

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The most potent spin: lies campaigns tell themselves

Plus: is a split between the popular vote and Electoral College really so rare?

DENVER — The dirty secret of campaign journalism for the next 11 days is that there is no way for... More

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Appending Larry

Google’s “premature release” spins off another viral meme — and an ethical question

A recent Reuters article on Google's prematurely released earnings report noted that a Twitter parody account was created to mock... More

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The universality of health reporting

Lessons from five European journalists

Last week 112 journalists and academics from 12 countries met in Athens to talk about health reporting—the nitty-gritty of engaging... More

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The Ad Wars: a laurel to the Sunlight Foundation

Report brings scrutiny to new political ad database

In an important victory for transparency advocates, the Federal Communications Commission recently began requiring broadcasters to post the files... More

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Journalism ethics in a digital age

A Poynter conference this week provoked good discussion but presupposed an old definition of journalism

On Tuesday, in the midst of wonky Poynter conference dialogue about how to reimagine journalism ethics for a digital age,... More

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Pass the #popcorn

ICYMI: Buzzfeed’s copyranter defends his right to republish

According to a recent Pew study, 15 percent of adults online use Twitter — 8 percent daily. I’m pretty sure... More

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The 4th Estate corrects its numbers

A widely covered infographic released on Thursday didn’t quite get its facts straight

That journalism struggles with racial diversity is old news, but a study released on Thursday by The 4th Estate tried... More

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The paywall prevents a deeper downturn at the NYT

Digital subs keep a weak earnings report from turning into a disastrous one

New York Times Company shares plummeted Thursday as ad revenues were worse than expected, pushing down profits from a year... More

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Cancer made Lance Armstrong hard to hate

It also made it easy for sports writers to ignore those pesky doping allegations

The final ace was pulled from Lance Armstrong’s house of cards Monday when the International Cycling Union (UCI) stripped Armstrong... More

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The momentum behind a misleading narrative

Why reporters have been getting the polls wrong in the presidential race

On Thursday night, Politico beat a retreat in the great momentum debate of 2012. The site's Glenn Thrush and Jennifer... More

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Ask Obama This: Will we have to be older to get Medicare?

We know about Romney’s vouchers, but the president is quiet on the subject of raising eligibility

Over the final days of the campaign, CJR is running a series of pieces under the headline “Ask Obama This”... More

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Audit Notes: NYT scoop, Freddie’s anti-stimulus, Wired on making stuff

Riches for the family of a top Chinese official

The New York Times David Barboza gets a huge scoop on corruption in China, reporting that the family of the... More

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When McGovern met Mailer

Revisiting an unjustly forgotten account of the 1972 political conventions

When former U.S. Senator George McGovern died in late October, he was valorized as the rare decent man working in... More

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Junkets masquerading as prizes

To avoid conflicts of interest, read the fine print

With dwindling support for travel in most newsrooms, journalists may be tempted to apply for one of the many prizes... More

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Stories I’d like to see

New election economy, voter fraud billboards, NY skyscrapers 2.0

In his weekly “Stories I’d like to see” column, journalist and entrepreneur Steven Brill spotlights topics that, in his opinion,... More

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In Ohio, campaign coverage is anti-social

Reporting on candidates’ social media strategies is largely absent in key battleground

OHIO — Anyone even remotely plugged into the 21st century is well aware that the presidential campaigns, and to a... More

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Imprisoned Ethiopian reporter wins a Courage in Journalism award

Reeyot Alemu, Azerbaijani reporter Khadija Ismayilova and Palestinian Asmaa al-Ghoul were honored by the International Women’s Media Foundation

Imprisoned Ethiopian Columnist Reeyot Alemu was honored with a Courage in Journalism Award at a luncheon in New York on... More

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HuffPost launches a platform for user-generated reporting

“Firsthand” to premiere “a new type of comment”

An October 1 editorial from Arianna Huffington announced The Huffington Post’s latest development in user engagement: Firsthand. Developed using a... More

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Audit Notes: dethroning DeMarco, the cult of disruption, China trade

The FT reports Obama plans a big housing policy change if re-elected

The Financial Times's Shahien Nasiripour reports that the Obama administration is quietly telling activists that it will replace Fannie Mae/Freddie... More

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Managing your archive

What to do with the clips from assignments gone by

Here's a topic from Getting Shit Together 101: writing samples. How does one correctly mail them, hard-copy style? Is sending... More

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A data dream team

One example of how academic researchers and journalists can work together on data projects

Data journalism and information visualization is a burgeoning field. Every week, Between the Spreadsheets will analyze, interrogate, and explore emerging... More

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Ask Obama This: Can you imagine criminal justice reform?

A nearly forgotten topic that impacts the budget, families, and communities

Over the final days of the campaign, CJR is publishing a series of pieces under the headline “Ask Obama This”... More

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‘Pittsburgh is getting pounded’ by ads

Top priority race for parties is disturbingly low on local TV news radar

PENNSYLVANIA — Don’t cry for Pennsylvania. “Save the tears for Pennsylvania’s TV stations passed over by the presidential race,” advised... More

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Ask Obama and Romney this: What about climate change?

Schieffer misses media’s last chance to pop the question on a big stage

Over the final days of the campaign, CJR is running a series of pieces under the headline “Ask Obama This”... More

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Did the financial blogosphere go away?

Whither the econobloggers

Tadas Viskanta and Josh Brown ask today where all the finance bloggers went. Both of them reckon that there’s been... More

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Newsweek and the (relative) health of print mags

Not all is dark for the industry

News that Newsweek is exiting print was hardly surprising coming two years after the Washington Post Company unloaded it for... More

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The Ad Wars: Obama’s special message in Spanish

A review of Obama’s and Romney’s Spanish-language TV ads finds contrasts in style, strategy, and sophistication

Barack Obama gazes directly into the camera and speaks in his warmest baritone. “In the young people known as the... More

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Pulitzer Prize Board announces three new members

Steve Coll, Quiara Alegria Hudes, and Aminda Marques Gonzalez to join

Columbia University announced today that three new members are joining the Pulitzer Prize Board. Steve Coll, who has worked at... More

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Let Detroit do what?

New interest in an old Op-Ed

What is the most viewed story on The New York Times website right now? It's an Op-Ed piece from nearly... More

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Ask Obama and Romney this: Where is Africa?

An enormous opportunity for the US could slip past

Over the final days of the campaign, CJR is running a series of pieces under the headline “Ask Obama This”... More

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BBC in crisis over a shelved pedophile investigation

Newsnight accused of a coverup after they dropped the case

When it emerged, a year after his death, that popular UK television personality Jimmy Saville may have molested hundreds of... More

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Debunking the ‘war on coal,’ take two

The AP gets it right the second time around

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Such was The Associated Press’s approach this month to explaining the... More

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Audit Notes: What’s Social Security worth?, another CNBC ‘poll,’ Greg Smith

An excellent personal-finance story from the Journal

What would Social Security coverage look like if the press covered it more like personal finance reporters cover IRAs and... More

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Fact-checking at The New Yorker

An excerpt from The Art of Making Magazines

Last month, Columbia Journalism Review Books and Columbia University Press released The Art of Making Magazines: On Being an Editor... More

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‘Hi, Mark!’

The Newspaper Guild welcomes The New York Times’s new CEO

Mark Thompson began work today as the new CEO of The New York Times, and the Newspaper Guild was there... More

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Covering the search for noncitizen voters

AP’s Ivan Moreno won well-deserved praise for staying on the (incredible shrinking) story in Colorado

COLORADO — A young Associated Press reporter has won accolades for staying on the story of the search for noncitizen... More

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However you want

Who’s on first?

A Florida correspondent writes: My boss is obsessed with Strunk & White, and so tells me that I can never... More

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Ask Obama and Romney This: What if China squares off with Japan?

An emerging, and little discussed, dilemma

Over the final days of the campaign, CJR is running a series of pieces under the headline “Ask Obama This”... More

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Audit Notes: advising Obama, the leverage incentive, Jack Welch

The NYT looks at the insider/outsider roles of Anita Dunn

The New York Times had an excellent story this weekend on Anita Dunn, the Obama adviser who's got one foot... More

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Artists from around the world to report for new site

Creative Times Reports will publish dispatches from abroad

A new website, Creative Time Reports, gives artists from around the world a platform for commentary and analysis on current... More

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Pass the #popcorn

ICYMI: Matt Sullivan’s announcement pits Felix Salmon against Foster Kamer

According to a recent Pew study, 15 percent of adults online use Twitter — 8 percent daily. I’ve yet to... More

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Scare-mongering from CBS

Bad reporting on Social Security—again

The other night CBS Evening News brought forth another gloom and doom story about Social Security. Like others from the... More

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How could voters still be undecided? Try asking them

Plus, why this veteran campaign correspondent is focused on swing-state polls

They may be the most publicly maligned minority group in America, a subset of the electorate that is ridiculed with... More

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Turner’s turnaround

LA Times columnist learns that evaluating electric vehicles is harder than it seems

Twice in the past six months, the media have gotten carried away with stories portraying electric vehicles as unreservedly bad... More

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In Florida, debate night isn’t front-page news

Editors at Miami Herald and Palm Beach Post defend decision on Senate race coverage

FLORIDA — One of the shameful things about Florida’s US Senate race is that the two candidates, Democratic incumbent Bill... More

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Awash in ads in Roanoke

At WDBJ, welcome transparency and a commitment to coverage—but room for improvement, too

VIRGINIA — Much is always expected of those graced with favor. And when you consider that Virginia television stations this... More

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A CEO’s high-flying standards

Bloomberg reports on Abercrombie & Fitch’s Michael Jeffries

We've seen $87,000 rugs and $6,000 shower curtains. But this fascinating Bloomberg story on Abercrombie & Fitch's CEO Michael Jeffries... More

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Covering the candidates on women

As Obama and Romney try to secure the female vote, reporting quality varies

In her column, Minority Reports, Jennifer Vanasco analyzes how the mainstream media covers social minorities. During the second Presidential debate... More

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Newsweek is dead … long live Newsweek?

The end of its print run may not be all doom and gloom

As has been reported all over the place today, Newsweek/The Daily Beast editor in chief Tina Brown and CEO Baba... More

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The ‘Man in the Middle’ hits a healthcare Catch-22

Å family falls through a gap in Obamacare

Ever since the Great Health Reform Debate, we have kept in touch with Jeremy Devor, an engineering assistant in the... More

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Are newspaper audiences really shrinking?

A dialogue with Alan Mutter

Alan Mutter’s post the other day—"The incredible shrinking newspaper audience"—got me thinking: is the newspaper audience really shrinking? So... More

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Laurels to Politico and National Journal

For exposing the shady side of the campaign-industrial complex

Back in April, an excellent column by Walter Shapiro here at CJR urged reporters on the money-in-politics beat to... More

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The vilification of electric vehicles

Media botch full explanation of the latest research

When comparing electric vehicles (EVs) to gas-powered vehicles, most studies have focused on the electricity or fuel consumed while driving,... More

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The tweet life

How journalists can reap the benefits of Twitter without falling into its traps

How can I get more Twitter followers? —Gabriel Arana Twitter has become indispensable for journalists. Not because it’s the best... More

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Study shows UK newspapers are still sexist

78 percent of front-page articles are written by men

The UK media is still dominated by sexist stereotypes and run by male journalists, according to a front page story... More

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More than a photograph

The best data visualizations aren’t always online

Data journalism and information visualization is a burgeoning field. Every week, Between the Spreadsheets will analyze, interrogate, and explore emerging... More

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In MI-11, a candidate ducks, but can’t avoid coverage

Detroit Free Press digs in to Bentivolio’s background, though local outlets can do more on the money beat

MICHIGAN — Reporters covering the US congressional campaign for Michigan’s 11th district have a truly unusual story on their hands.... More

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Hey, big spender

Virginia’s Senate race is drawing major outside spending—Bob Perry’s million bucks included. Reporters here have more to do

VIRGINIA — A millionaire homebuilder and frequent conservative political donor from Texas has contributed $1 million to the Virginia Senate... More

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When factchecking goes ‘gray’

Two Denver news outlets made similar dissections of an attack ad but arrived at not-so-similar conclusions

COLORADO — Denver’s two dominant media outlets—The Denver Post and 9NEWS KUSA television—recently conducted factchecks on a 6th Congressional District... More

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Technology gives deaf journalists more options

It’s easier than ever to interview sources, says freelance journalist Lisa Goldstein

When Pittsburgh journalist Lisa A. Goldstein signs onto an instant messaging program, the 39-year-old freelancer is doing so not only... More

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Fisching for attention

CNN didn’t need to give anti-gay activist Bryan Fischer airtime

You'd think there would be little to criticize about Southern Poverty Law Center's "Mix It Up at Lunch Day" project,... More

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Tuesdays with Andrew

Changing up a Dealbook ritual

An Andrew Ross Sorkin column is beginning to take on a ritualistic feel. Sorkin is The New York Times... More

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The good news about organics

And why the media tend to ignore it

In the long-running debate about whether organic food is more healthy and nutritious than the conventional variety, the press has... More

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CMJ hosts a panel on ‘Music Journalism Exploded’

Editors from Billboard, MTV, and SPIN contribute

Every October, New York City welcomes a circus of music industry professionals for a week of conferences, showcases, and parties... More

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Stories I’d like to see

Electoral legal minefields, baseball contracts, and airline woes

In his weekly “Stories I’d like to see” column, journalist and entrepreneur Steven Brill spotlights topics that, in his opinion,... More

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The Ad Wars: Is the IRS throwing in the towel on political nonprofits?

Politico identifies thirteen “social welfare” groups misleading the IRS

On Monday, Politico published a powerful investigation of so-called “social welfare” groups that mislead the Internal Revenue Service about their... More

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Nevada media pillory Oceguera attack ad

An “outrageous” ad in a House race raises questions—including whether starting a controversy was the aim

NEVADA — Here in the Silver State, John Oceguera isn’t a household name—although, as the Democratic nominee for the House... More

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All good debate coverage is local?

Failings of the national press not mirrored in NH

NEW HAMPSHIRE — If you cover politics for a national publication, the story of the debates so far has been... More

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Career advice

On the fast track to ‘careen’

Two accidents, two verbs: In New Jersey, “The car careened down the street and smashed into several parked cars before... More

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Santa Barbara is getting a nonprofit investigative newsroom

A Knight grant is funding the launch of a new journalism initiative

A few years ago, a small team of journalists based in Santa Barbara, CA, starting sharing ideas on how address... More

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The word on the street: worried

In New Hampshire voters are fretting about…everything

Continuing our Town Hall tours—in which CJR talks to voters, partly to encourage other journalists to do so, too—I visited... More

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MSN.com launches news service

MSN News is built for Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10

It’s only three months since Microsoft sold its stake in MSNBC.com, the news site it produced for 16 years in... More

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Audit Notes: a missing foreclosure figure, Denton, Brookes

How many “boomerang” buyers are there again? Gawker’s secret sauce, etc

This Wall Street Journal story says buyers who went through foreclosure are already back in the market, buying houses again.They’re... More

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Audit Notes: Google antitrust, the NYT on entrenched elites

Reuters scoops that the Federal Trade Commission is leaning toward filing antitrust charges against Google for abusing its search monopoly... More

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Covering BSA’s anti-gay stance

In the most recent incident, quality of media coverage drastically differed

In her column, Minority Reports, Jennifer Vanasco analyzes how the mainstream media covers social minorities. Every few months, a story... More

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Pass the #popcorn

ICYMI: New York Times Magazine’s Andrew Goldman tweet-battles several female writers

According to a recent Pew study, 15 percent of adults online use Twitter — 8 percent daily. I’ve yet to... More

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The Ad Wars: how to expose a dishonest ‘Social Welfare’ group

Telling the IRS one thing, then doing another

We all know that in the 2012 election season, outside groups fueled by unlimited checks from wealthy donors have been... More

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As ads flood Ohio House race, will coverage keep up?

A review finds some solid work, but there’s room for more enterprising journalism

OHIO — The donnybrook in northeast Ohio between two Congressional incumbents grappling to keep their jobs has become a leading... More

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TNR causes trouble for coal baron

Exposé on pressuring employees to make campaign contributions stirs inquiry

The New Republic stirred up a bit of trouble for coal baron Robert Murray by revealing the aggressiveness with which... More

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LinkedIn launches a new blogging platform

Contributors include Obama, Romney, and Arianna Huffington

LinkedIn has expanded beyond its roots as a professional connections network to include a blogging platform for 150 influential thinkers,... More

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Hey coach, lighten up!

Steve Spurrier and his coaching cohorts get pissy with the press

Steve Spurrier, the wisecrackin’ ol’ ballcoach at the University of South Carolina, has the Gamecocks in rarefied air. After... More

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The NYT unseals a private-equity scoop

Emails between executives look like antitrust smoking guns

A tip of The Audit's green eyeshade to The New York Times for fighting to get this look inside the... More

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Does Cuba matter? Not to national media

But some reporters in South Florida find stories that go beyond clichés

FLORIDA — Does Cuba really matter? If asked that question by a reporter, both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney... More

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A Web survey isn’t a poll, CNBC

The network’s tweet creates a misleading media narrative on the veep debate

Whoever was running the CNBC Twitter feed last night didn't know the difference between a scientific poll and a Web... More

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Burying the lede

“I’m in journalism school. Am I an idiot?” That depends

This American Life host Ira Glass recently did an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. “Sound_Sop” asked him: “It’s 2012 and... More

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Denver Post ducks the $716 billion question

Real-time factchecking is hard, but coverage of House debate was just too thin

COLORADO — Political reporting has become an even tougher job, as journalists face demands both to report the news faster... More

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Jackpot lost

Is a $75K prize or better training more likely to improve environmental coverage?

The backers of one of journalism’s richest awards are bringing the prize to an end, betting that professional development, rather... More

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Google exec, AllThingsD team discuss journalism’s future

The trio spoke at a 92Y event

Apparently, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt does an impressive “Gangnam Style” dance but, he said from 92nd Street Y’s stage on... More

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Audit Notes: fraud without fraudsters edition

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan shareholders, not executives, held accountable

The Wall Street Journal fronts news that the feds are suing Wells Fargo for a decade of mortgage fraud that... More

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Time to head to the track

With voting underway, there’s nothing wrong with providing the horse race coverage readers crave

DES MOINES — These days, the phrase “horse-race journalism” is often accompanied by the same sneering tone that 1950s intellectuals... More

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Essential tools of the trade

Here’s a quick, crowdsourced guide to the most useful everyday tools for the modern journalist

I love to read about the latest and greatest apps and gadgets but, when I do, I have two overwhelming... More

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Ask Obama This: What about housing?

What went wrong with the administration’s mortgage policies

Over the final month of the campaign, CJR will run a series of posts under the headline “Ask Obama This”... More

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The politics of data

Data visualizations can have agendas

Data journalism and information visualization is a burgeoning field. Every week, Between the Spreadsheets will analyze, interrogate, and explore emerging... More

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Conspiracy Jack

Welch, fleeing Fortune and Reuters, takes his nonsense to the WSJ editorial page

Why has Jack Welch doubled down on the false, inflammatory, and slanderous tweet that he sent out five minutes after... More

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Ask Romney This: What will you do about
the Middle East?

Vague slogans won’t do the job. What about specifics?

Over the final month of the campaign, CJR will run a series of posts under the headline “Ask Obama This”... More

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Stories I’d like to see

Hiding the debate rules, a tin cup for wounded vets, and the Bear Stearns legacy

In his weekly “Stories I’d like to see” column, journalist and entrepreneur Steven Brill spotlights topics that, in his opinion,... More

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Columbia J-school dean stepping down

Nicholas Lemann will have served 10 years in the role

Nicholas Lemann, dean of Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, will be stepping down at the end of the current academic... More

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Healthcare—reform in Great Britain vs. the USA:
part two

A conversation between CJR’s Trudy Lieberman and Chris Smyth, health reporter for The Times of London

A while back Trudy Lieberman sat down with Chris Smyth, the health correspondent for The Times of London, who was... More

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Audit Notes: The FT’s prospects, another victimized billionaire, Bain & Co.

Michael Wolff writes in The Guardian about the Financial Times's prospects now that Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino, a booster of... More

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U-T San Diego CEO accused of threatening city official over vote

Voice of San Diego reports on the daily paper’s “uncomfortably strident stance”

This article has been changed to clarify that an August 9 email was first obtained by KPBS/Investigative NewSource. The investigative... More

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Neutron Jack: ‘I quit!’

Welch ends Fortune and Reuters contracts after tough coverage

I've long wondered why business magazines run Jack Welch's columns. BusinessWeek ran it for years but stopped a month after... More

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Audit Notes: BLS BS, another print turnaround forecast, deficits

The LAT and CNBC let Jack Welch frame the jobs numbers

Don't miss Brendan Nyhan's excellent review of coverage of the unemployment-numbers conspiracy theory kicked off by Jack Welch on Friday.... More

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The Lower Case

Headlines that editors probably wish they could take back

- Erie Times-News, 6/13/12 - BBCNews.com, 6/12/12 - The Des Moines Register, 7/5/12 - Brand Republic News, 7/5/12 - Bellingham... More

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The value of skepticism

Why science reporters should question research

Skepticism has earned a bad name in recent years thanks to those who doubt the consensus that human industry is... More

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Healthcare in Great Britain vs. healthcare in the USA: part one

A conversation with Chris Smyth, health reporter for The Times of London

Not long ago I sat down with Chris Smyth, a health journalist for The Times of London, who was traveling... More

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Forward-looking

Ways of telling the future

We have weather “forecasts,” budget “projections,” attempts at earthquake “predictions.” Most dictionaries say those are all synonyms for one another.... More

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The debate: Some healthcare ‘facts’ that
shouldn’t stand

Reporters did good fact checking, but also left falsehoods on the table

There was no shortage of media fact checking after last week’s presidential debate, much of it focused on healthcare, much... More

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Covering the role of coal in Virginia

Coal is central to the campaign message war and money story here—but reporting has not kept up

VIRGINIA — Mitt Romney likes coal. A lot. And the coal industry in Virginia likes Romney back. Unfortunately, there’s not... More

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Enabling the jobs report conspiracy theory

The consequences of careless coverage of Friday’s unemployment numbers

NEW HAMPSHIRE — Media ethics pop quiz: When conspiracy theories started circulating on Twitter claiming that Friday's jobs report had... More

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Facing up to the high cost of free news

Is there a quality argument to support the digital ads-only model?

Pretty soon, proponents of free digital news will have to own up to the implications of their model. The... More

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Darts and Laurels

That’s sick

The Daily Caller drew some odd conclusions from a June survey of physicians, when it published a report with... More

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The Ad Wars: The strange silence on foreign policy

In presidential campaign ads, there have been 22 mentions of jobs for every reference to Iraq and Afghanistan wars

In past elections, the critical threshold for presidential candidates was the commander-in-chief test: whether Americans felt they could trust them... More

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New Yorker writers dish about their craft

An event with The Moth saw writers telling “tales out of school”

The New Yorker Festival brought back its collaboration with The Moth again on Friday for “Tales out of School 4,”... More

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Jack Welch and anti-business sentiment

The former GE CEO, still a business press hero

Former GE CEO Jack Welch made waves last week claiming—with zero evidence—that the Obama administration manipulated the unemployment report that... More

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How to cover the horse race?

Ohio’s press-watchers weigh in on the contest between campaigns and reporters

OHIO — With just a month to go before the election, the presidential campaigns are in the homestretch, an apt... More

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Bleacher Report and the race to the bottom

SF Weekly rips Turner Broadcasting’s nearly $200 million purchase

Bleacher Report is a sort of Demand Media of sports, a content farm engineered to get search engine visits with... More

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Parting Shots

Death, where is their sting?

The world of American letters is considerably poorer now than just one year ago. Last December was Christopher Hitchens’s final... More

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Audit Notes: Romney and taxes, prison phone racket, WSJ

The Atlantic eyes the Republican’s corporate tax plan

Nobody can figure out what exactly Mitt Romney wants to do with taxes. His plan is mathematically impossible, and Wednesday... More

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Ask Obama This: Where’s your short-term jobs plan?

A missed chance at the debate creates an important opportunity for reporters on the trail

Over the final month of the campaign, CJR will run a series of posts under the headline “Ask Obama This”... More

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No debate about environment

Hopes for questions about climate, public lands fall flat

The presidential candidates didn’t talk about the environment during their first debate on Wednesday. Nobody really expected them to; they... More

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Balancing the personal and the professional

Make yourself into a brand

My online presence is sharply divided between a professional wordpress, a bloggy wordpress, a tumblr, a professional twitter, and personal... More

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The Ad Wars: From every source, a different number

What should reporters do to provide the best information to their audience?

Tracking campaign ads in the 2012 elections is no easy feat. Between the flurry of spots from the Obama and... More

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Beyond ‘Deep Throat’

Reporters find themselves in odd situations

Eric Zorn, columnist, Chicago Tribune I covered a nudist convention for the Tribune in a health club. Going with... More

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Audit Notes: Mansion, inequality and the crash, FT on Schneiderman

The business press continues to roll out the 0.1 percent porn. Now it's The Wall Street Journal launching a new... More

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Social media fails the ‘47 percent’ video taper

Did the anonymous source need Mother Jones?

When Mother Jones premiered the now-infamous 47 percent video on September 17, it received two million views in 24 hours... More

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Newsweek’s latest blunder

“Transcription error” mars special commemorative issue

It seems like only yesterday that we were paying tribute to Newsweek with our July/August magazine cover. Alas, in the... More

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Forbes’s myth of the Reagan boom

A columnist’s misleading economic history

Peter Ferrara, currently of the climate-change denying Heartland Institute and formerly of Jack Abramoff's payroll and the Reagan and Bush... More

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Medicare costs: Are electronic records the solution—or the problem?

A Laurel to the Center for Public Integrity for an expose on “upcoding”

Electronic billing has been promoted as a big cost savings for healthcare. But is it? The Center for Public... More

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Elementary data

Even for small news outlets, creating data visualizations can be as easy as learning the ABCs

Data journalism and information visualization is a burgeoning field. Every week, Between the Spreadsheets will analyze, interrogate, and explore emerging... More

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BPI’s beef with ABC News

‘Pink slime’ defamation suit a long shot, media report

The maker of “lean, finely textured beef,” which critics call “pink slime,” is unlikely to prevail in a defamation lawsuit... More

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Breaking the pack journalism paradigm

What would happen if reporters covered debates without access to the spin?

NEW HAMPSHIRE — As tonight's presidential debate approaches, the chattering classes are pondering whether it will change the dynamics of... More

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Last lick?

A fudgsicle fan can’t escape his past

On a hot August day in 1995, a Baltimore Sun photographer snapped this picture of three-year-old John Boias. It... More

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Debate advice: Turn off Twitter

To hear like a voter you have to listen

As we get ready for the Demolition Derby in Denver (aka the Mile High Mud Wrestle), I want to return... More

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Audit Notes: Insert hospice joke here, Web pagination, too big to value

The Washington Post diversifies its business into end-of-life care

The Washington Post is getting into the hospice business, which prompted a few too many obvious jokes about death and... More

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Michigan media on voter fraud

The story in the state so far—and what’s missing from it

MICHIGAN — In Michigan, the political landscape tends to be divided by—well, by landscape. East and West, rural and urban,... More

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Covering Occupy and the Tea Party

Dig in and dive deep, Todd Gitlin says

With the nation’s political media gripped by electoral fever in the run up to the presidential election, perhaps now is... More

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Stories I’d like to see

Tales of a TARP built to benefit bankers, and waiting for CEOs to pay the price

In his weekly “Stories I’d like to see” column, journalist and entrepreneur Steven Brill spotlights topics that, in his opinion,... More

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Protecting the polls in North Carolina

As voter fraud allegations swirl, North Carolinians need deep, focused reporting

NORTH CAROLINA — While North Carolina may not be “that important to the electoral math” of the presidential race, according... More

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TMI

How are we managing the daily flood of information?

Information overload goes back at least to Ecclesiastes—“of making many books there is no end.” And according to historian Ann... More

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Romney’s gift to reporters

A Bloomberg investigation details yet another aspect of the candidate’s tax avoidance

The decision by Republicans to run a super-wealthy former financier for president four years into a serious economic downturn triggered... More

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Audit Notes: wincing with WSJ, Golden Dawn, energy-market manipulation

Treasury candidates and Journal art

The Wall Street Journal reports that President Obama is trying to fire up the base with trial balloons on who... More

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Mayhem porn

Coverage of the suicide aired on Fox News highlights the media’s treatment of death as entertainment

In the minutes after Fox News accidentally aired footage of a carjacking suspect's suicide last Friday—"That didn't belong on TV,"... More

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The word on the street: Divided

Massachusetts voters talk about Medicare, and their Senate race

Last week I journeyed up to New England to see what voters thought of the debate over Medicare, for another... More

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‘They’ said so

Pronouns without sex

Whenever anyone who loves language wants to start a robust discussion, they have only to mention “gender-neutral pronouns,” such as... More

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Tributes pour in for Sulzberger

Here are places to read about the former New York Times publisher, whose death was announced last weekend

The New York Times announced the death of Arthur “Punch” Sulzberger, chairman and chief executive of the company for 34... More

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Hard Numbers

Who do you trust?

193 pages in the Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act decision 2 pages of the decision CNN and Fox News producers... More

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Press digs into anti-GMO study

Reporters thwart scientists’ attempt to prevent scrutiny

A paper claiming that a diet of genetically modified corn and/or a widely used weed killer increased the likelihood of... More

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Audit Notes: inside the Fed, few use Twitter, entitled ‘job creators’

The Wall Street Journal takes us inside how Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke convinced his colleagues to go all in on... 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.