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Monthly Archive

December 2012


Best of 2012: Dean Starkman

The Audit chief’s best of the year

A Narrowed Gaze — How the business press forgot the rest of us. What McClure Said: “The Story is the... More


Must-reads of 2012: UK media’s craziest year

Phone hacking, alleged child molestation, and—right—the Diamond Jubilee

As 2012 draws to a close, CJR writers brainstormed the year's best reads in their beats. Celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond... More


Darts & Laurels

2012’s media highlights and lowlights

DART for the most imaginary friends: Karen Jeffrey, Cape Cod Times In December, her editors at the Cape Cod Times announced... More


Must-reads of 2012: Can women have it all?

Unclear, but not for lack of column inches

As 2012 draws to a close, CJR writers brainstormed the year's best reads in their beats. Why Women Still Can't... More


Best of 2012: Ryan Chittum

The Audit’s deputy editor picks his favorite posts of the year

The Washington Post Co.’s Self-Destructive Course — Dividends, share buybacks, and an anti-paywall stance help bleed the paper dry. CNBC:... More


Must-reads of 2012: political corruption in out-of-the-way places

Crazy things happen in small places

As 2012 draws to a close, CJR writers brainstormed the year's best reads in their beats. Border town edges into... More


Darts & Laurels

2012’s media highlights and lowlights

DART for foul balls: ESPN What is going on in Bristol, CT? As rival Deadspin gleefully reported, ESPN made some big,... More


Must-reads of 2012: sports

Lebron, Paterno, and fabricating race times

As 2012 draws to a close, CJR writers brainstormed the year's best reads in their beats. Patrick Hruby did an... More


Must-reads of 2012: crime

Monsters, thugs, and hustlers

As 2012 draws to a close, CJR writers brainstormed the year's best reads in their beats. "18 Tigers, 17 Lions,... More


Darts & Laurels

2012’s media highlights and lowlights

DART for callowness: Vice magazine After crowing about its access to on-the-lam software pioneer John McAfee (“We are with John McAfee... More


Must-reads of 2012: science

Let your dork flag fly

As 2012 draws to a close, CJR writers brainstormed the year's best reads in their beats. The dream that failed... More


USPS may start selling mag subscriptions

The Postal Service wants people to keep checking their mailboxes

Your next magazine subscription may well be purchased at the post office—the Postal Service could begin selling magazines directly to... More


Must-reads of 2012: interactives

A fantastic year for data journalism

As 2012 draws to a close, CJR writers brainstormed the year's best reads in their beats. 2012 was a fantastic... More


Darts & Laurels

2012’s media highlights and lowlights

DART for grade inflation: Charles Jaco, KTVI, St. Louis, MO When you’re interviewing a senatorial candidate who says, as Todd Akin... More


Must-reads of 2012: business

As 2012 draws to a close, CJR writers brainstormed the year's best reads in their beats. Vast Mexico Bribery Case... More

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Flirting with disaster

Where do you draw the line between activism and journalism—and between flirting and “cultivating sources”?

A lot of freelance writers, including me, have to maintain multiple hustles to keep the bills paid, including work that... More


Must-reads of 2012: politics

What you should have read (in case you didn’t)

As 2012 draws to a close, CJR writers brainstormed the year's best reads in their beats. From New York magazine,... More


A political documentary that defies convention

How’s Your News? takes a skewed perspective on Campaign 2012

It’s the second-to-last day of the 2012 Republican National Convention, and the How’s Your News? news team has Michele... More


Must-reads of 2012: food

Have your cake and read it too

As 2012 draws to a close, CJR writers brainstormed the year's best reads in their beats. The history of chicken... More


Darts & Laurels

2012’s media highlights and lowlights

DART for inflaming an already tense situation: Business Insider, The Daily Caller, Michelle Malkin, NBC News Following Trayvon Martin’s death... More


Must-reads of 2012: music

Singing in the new year

As 2012 draws to a close, CJR writers brainstormed the year's best reads in their beats. Grizzly Bear Members Are... More


Must-reads of 2012: profiles

Expert portraits of fascinating people

As 2012 draws to a close, CJR writers brainstormed the year's best reads in their beats. Cooking isn’t creative, and... More


‘Lost and found’ follow-up

Our writer responds to his critics

Editors’ note: It has come to our attention that Marcy, the subject of Bruce Porter’s article, “Lost and found,”... More


Must-reads of the week

A-difficult-week edition

Culled from CJR’s frequently updated “Must-reads from around the Web,” our staff recommendations for the best pieces of journalism (and... More


Fronting for fossil fuels

A study says that the media rarely discloses think tanks’ industry funding

According to a report released in early December by the Checks & Balances Project, a self-avowed “pro-clean energy watchdog group,”... More


Nielsen, Twitter partner for TV ratings

The metric aims to measure social impact for advertisers

No longer content to measure the size of the tv-watching audience, Nielsen TV ratings is planning a joint venture with... More


Faces Congress doesn’t see

The “chained CPI” debate needs to step out of wonkland

This week The Washington Post reported results from its December poll with ABC, which took the public pulse on a... More


The Louisiana newspaper war

The Advocate picks up 23,500 readers in less than three months in New Orleans

The Baton Rouge Advocate is making a run at a weakened Times-Picayune in New Orleans. The paper, which started a... More


The Boston Globe names new editor

Brian McGrory to begin in the role immediately

The Boston Globe has announced that Brian McGrory, a 23-year veteran journalist at the paper, is its new editor. McGrory,... More


How to fix the media ownership debate

A modest proposal for harnessing mergers
to boost local reporting

The debate over “who owns the media” is heating up again, and has already become stuck in a bit of... More


The least transparent Senators?

A counterintuitive campaign finance story doesn’t add up

It seemed like a startling and politically powerful story. I was looking through campaign finance disclosures, and came upon a... More


Beware Green Lantern thinking in gun policy coverage

The president isn’t as powerful as you think

In a riff inspired by the blogger Matthew Yglesias a few years ago, I proposed what I called the Green... More


The real problem with that Dealbook conference

In a reputational transaction between Wall Street and a newspaper, guess who wins?

The discussion around the corporate star-studded Dealbook conference last week was good, but I don’t think it got to... More


Bye, haters!

When to ignore and when to listen to your critics

Obviously the way to deal with haters is to ignore them. But what to do when your haters raise some... More


DuPont awards announced

Fourteen silver batons awarded for excellence in broadcast and digital journalism

The Columbia Journalism School announced the winners of the 2013 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University awards on Wednesday. Fourteen broadcast, digital,... More


Needed: Sherpas to guide us through fiscal cliff panic

No one wants to hike middle-class rates, so why does some coverage pretend they might rise?

The Tax Policy Center—a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution—has a lineage that in Washington think... More


Hearst buckles under advertiser pressure

The Times Union caves after reader-response post dinged real estate agents

It's been a long time since we've seen anything as craven as the Albany Times-Union's capitulation to real estate agents... More


Weathercasters on climate

Rolling Stone refuses to let sleeping dogs lie

Rolling Stone’s Jeff Goodell rang an old bell in early December when he called out TV weathercasters for saying almost... More


Blogging data

Programmer blogs explain the science behind the magic

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


Meet the Debt Fixers

A laurel to New York magazine

For weeks on end the dominant financial story has been: (A) the consequences of falling off the fiscal cliff;... More


Stories I’d like to see

The NRA playbook, Obama’s pot dilemma, and HSBC’s money laundering

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


Audit Notes: Instaflim-flam, off the Hamster Wheel, Hulu

The New York Times raises questions about a CEO’s sworn testimony

The New York Times's Nick Bilton reports that Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom appears to have misled regulators asking about Facebook's... More


Real-life Argo

A correspondent looks back on covering the escape

The film Argo, released this year, dramatizes five Americans’ unlikely escape during the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979 by posing... More


A laurel to the Hartford Courant

Local coverage at its best

Connecticut is the third smallest state in the country, area-wise, with a total population less than half that of New... More


For word

Little word, big meaning

“For” is a handy word. As a preposition, it has many functions: Webster’s New World College Dictionary lists 20... More

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The media discover the ‘chained CPI’

And the more they dig, the rougher it looks

Except for Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik, and a few stray media outlets here and there—The Providence Journal, The... More


Lanza, autism, and violence

Critics try to stem media conjecture after Newtown shooting

As with so many senseless acts of violence— including the shootings in Aurora, CO, last summer and Tucson, AZ, the... More


Big kingdom, small window

Adventures with the Ministry of Information
in Saudi Arabia

Saudi medical students meet the press. Photo by Christa Case Bryant/The Christian Science Monitor During the eight years I... More


Ingrassia’s balancing act

Thoughts as The New York Times business editor steps aside

What are the most important American journalism jobs in the early 21st century? Given the Financial Crisis, you could make... More


Bloomberg on the impacts of inequality

One longtime McDonald’s worker’s story says a lot about the economy

Bloomberg has an excellent story on low-wage work and inequality, comparing a longtime McDonald's worker to the company's CEO, who... More


Do super PACS have a right to lie?

In an unsettled legal environment, media’s role—and responsibilities—are central

In a bitter campaign for the Florida State Senate this fall, incumbent Maria Sachs was pummeled with negative TV ads... More


2012: the year in review, according to your Google searches

“A blend of guilty pleasures and higher pursuits”

Google jazzed up its twelfth end-of-year list, released last Thursday, with an interactive map that showed the global distribution of... More


The transparent DealBook conference

When access journalism is valuable, in more ways than one

Margaret Sullivan, the New York Times public editor, has mixed feelings about the first DealBook conference, which took place on... More


Must-reads of the week

Geezer parents, poisoned beef, Harvard ballers, Occupy grief

Culled from CJR’s frequently updated “Must-reads from around the Web,” our staff recommendations for the best pieces of journalism (and... More


Audit Notes: Amazon’s shell company, The Lens, Plain Dealer cuts

Reuters unwinds how the online retail giant avoided taxes via Luxembourg

Reuters has a nice investigation into Amazon's vigorous tax avoidance, and this time it's not about sales taxes. The wire... More


I am a journalist; ask me anything

Media figures are flocking to Reddit to converse with fans

On Wednesday, Chris Anderson, the ex-EIC of Wired, went on Reddit and told users to ask him anything. On Monday,... More

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Rhonda Lee shouldn’t have been fired

Responding to racist comments on her former TV station’s Facebook page was the right journalistic decision

In her column, Minority Reports, Jennifer Vanasco analyzes how the mainstream media covers social minorities. Social media causes a... More


Online story comments affect news perception

Buttressed by editorial oversight and streamlined by redesign, online comment sections may now, more than ever, color reading of the news

Last month, after Hurricane Sandy struck, I published a story about climate science. Divisive issues swirling around global warming tend... More


The most hated blogger in America

The secret to Chris Chase — and possibly USA Today’s — success

USA Today senior sports blog editor Chris Chase's posts, covering the lighter side of sports culture, are typical fare; aggregated... More


A thin Post piece on the cliff’s consequences

Article on purported impact of tax shift favors assumptions and anecdotes over data

Since election day, the so-called “fiscal cliff” has moved to the top of the political news agenda, and CJR has... More


8 things Cleveland can expect from The Plain Dealer’s ‘press-ageddon’

And only one of them is good

(Editor's note: This post originally ran on Cleveland Scene. For background, here's a post from yesterday on Cleveland's newspaper crisis... More


Paywall illogic

Steve Buttry distorts our arguments—and the evidence

Followers of the hot ‘n heavy paywall debate—all seven of you—may find it hard to believe, but there’s plenty of... More


Money talks

How to find out what other writers are paid so you know how to set your own rates

I'm struggling to understand how much I'm worth per word. I know how much I get per hour on copy... More


In Cleveland, bracing for a free-news fallout

Fear and loathing at The Plain Dealer

Cleveland Scene magazine ran a fine, overlooked story on the ticking clock at the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, as journalists and readers... More


Europe’s newspapers are dying too

The implosion of the newspaper industry, long a dreaded topic in the US, has finally hit the continent

The staff of Financial Times Deutschland appeared on the back page of the newspaper on Friday, in a deep bow.... More


Signposts for unfamiliar territory

How to help your readers navigate new words and ideas

A journalist’s job is to deliver information. Sometimes, though, that information needs explanation or context to make it clear. Maybe... More


Flight of the bloggers

Despite recent departures, Discover is rebuilding fast

Amidst a move from New York to Wisconsin, Discover magazine has lost some of its most popular science bloggers in... More


The limits of Internet research

“Rule number one of the Web: You don’t mess with The Oatmeal”

Internet research helped Buzzfeed contributor Jack Stuef unmask @ComfortablySmug, the Twitter account that earned ire for posting false information during... More


Addressing the asymmetry question

Factchecking is the wrong format

Factchecking made great strides during the 2012 campaign, but were those advances compromised by the pressure to maintain partisan balance?... More


The making of a meme

Journos get on board the Let’s-Whack-Entitlements train

Shortly after the election, the MSM quickly turned from the presidential horse race to the “fiscal cliff.” And soon, news... More


Stories I’d like to see

Athletes’ charities; American lawyers and Bangladesh’s sweatshops; the fate of workplace screwups

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


Audit Notes: a big Dealbook conference, Gawker on unemployment, buzzed into oatmeal, etc.

An assembly of titans at the Times, listening to the jobless, etc.

For better and worse, conferencing is becoming a big part of the media landscape. We do a mini-version, too.... More

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News worth paying for

Looking for profit in public-interest news

Now that the confetti and campaign corks had been swept up after news leaked that The Washington Post was probably... More


Big data, in the dark

Lack of transparency around campaigns’ use of data creates challenges for reporters

This fall, two compelling stories about politics and “big data” are playing out in the media. The first one you’ve... More


Audit Notes: sustainable newsrooms edition

More thoughts on digital subscriptions at the Washington Post and elsewhere

Jeff Bercovici asks if the The Washington Post waited too long to install its paywall since its revenue losses,... More


Jim Tankersley joins The Washington Post

A good hire bolsters an already strong economic policy team

Obviously the big news about The Washington Post at the moment is that, after a protracted debate, the paper now... More


Must-reads of the week

Of Murdochs and murders

Culled from CJR’s frequently updated “Must-reads from around the Web,” our staff recommendations for the best pieces of journalism (and... More


Cracking open Congress

We need better insider reporting about the “fiscal cliff”

We've just finished an election in which quantitative analysis provided far more accurate predictions than pundits and reporters, who frequently... More


Don’t let Belcher off the hook

Coverage of the murder-suicide shouldn’t have called it a “tragedy”; it was a crime

In her column, Minority Reports, Jennifer Vanasco analyzes how the mainstream media covers social minorities. After NFL player Jovan Belcher... More

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Audit Notes: WaPo likely to get a wall; papers as luxury product; thought on The Daily; Barofsky

Long overdue in the nation’s capital; That was Murdoch’s ideal newspaper? etc.

The news: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Washington Post is most likely adopting a wall next... More


Getting the whole Story

NYT reporter worked closely with the interactive team

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


Healthcare expert for sale

The Guardian follows the saga of Liz Fowler, healthcare lobbyist extraordinaire

Leave it to the Brits to tell us Americans about our healthcare system. In this case the telling is done... More


‘Synbio’ coverage on the rise

Articles focus on ethics and biosafety, study says

You know an urban neighborhood is up and coming when it gets an abbreviation like “SoMa,” for the district south... More


Giving the Jovan Belcher story its due

On the NFL pre-game shows, Bob Costas distinguished himself by using the KC tragedy to talk about gun control; James Brown did not

I long ago vowed not to watch the NFL pregame shows that are foisted on football fans for hours on... More


Bad-news bearers

Does journalism always have to be such a bummer?

Our newspaper runs news-style obituaries for free as a public service to the community. This morning we had a couple... More


‘I don’t pretend to be an experienced journalist in all the traditional ways’

A small weekly’s approach to journalism toes the ethical line

The Niagara Falls Reporter is in the news again. The attention has dramatically increased the free weekly’s readership. It has... More


Audit Notes: paying for news edition

NYT cuts would surely have been much worse without its paywall

The New York Times, after a weak third quarter, is cutting 30 senior editors positions. "Senior editor" can mean a... More


On blaming The Daily’s demise on purely technical causes

Was it any good? Who knows?

Remember The Daily? Yeah, that was a long time ago. Good times. Now an artifact of history, like the Montreal... More


The rush to handicap 2016: let’s not

“Dr. Politics” advice—avoid horse-race journalism, but bring on the well-reported profiles

Dear Dr. Politics, I am writing about a problem that has become as annoying as stores playing Christmas carols while... More


The Plain Dealer’s ‘reset’ gets all too real

Sizable newsroom reductions ahead, says “Save The Plain Dealer

Last week, TC Brown wrote for CJR about the “significant reset” ahead for the Advance Publications-owned Cleveland Plain Dealer (See:... More


Carney’s conspiracy theory

White House Press Secretary sees GOP operatives in good journalism

Last week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney blamed GOP operatives for revealing that Susan Rice, President Obama’s presumed favorite... More


A magazine editor shops for health insurance

And offers lessons for reporting on the stuff

Frank Lalli, the long-time editor of Money, undoubtedly edited a health insurance piece or two during his career. But... More


Audit Notes: News Corp./Wall Street Journal edition

Gerard Baker takes the reins of The Wall Street Journal

Robert Thomson will become CEO of the news-focused News Corp. (the other new company will be called Fox Group) after... More


Robbing ’hood

Words involving theft

Trying to teach journalists the finer points of law is nearly as hard as trying to teach them the finer... More


The impossibility of tablet-native journalism

Why Murdoch’s The Daily didn’t make it

The Daily has reached the end of its life: as News Corp. splits in two, its losses, which might have... More


Hello to Symbolia

New iPad-only comics journalism magazine launches today

In the first issue of Symbolia, a publication that launches on the iPad today, you’ll find a dispatch from... More


Farewell to The Daily

News Corporation’s iPad-only news source lasted 22 months

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. announced on Monday that its iPad-only "newspaper," The Daily, will close on December 15. Can't say... More


Takeaways from Tow’s report

The role of data journalism in the post-industrial world

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


Anti-paywall dead-enders

Why worry about evidence when you can argue against straw men?

In 1944, Lt. Hiroo Onoda was sent by the Japanese Army to the remote Philippine Island of Lubang with instructions... 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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