Monday, April 21, 2014. Last Update: Mon 6:50 AM EST

Monthly Archive

June 2013

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Foreign news startup Worldcrunch looks to expand its impact

Kickstarter project would take deep dives into global development issues

There's been no shortage of hand-wringing, here and elsewhere, over the decline of foreign coverage in the digital age. With... More

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Must-reads of the week

NSA, DOMA, SB5

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

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Audit Notes: Boston Globe bids, WSJ flops at BuzzFeed, News Corp.

A 94 percent fall in value over twenty years

Bloomberg News gets some details on The New York Times's impending sale of The Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram &... More

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The Post and Courier, in transition

Charleston’s paper is getting a makeover. Will State House coverage be central to its future?

COLUMBIA, SC -- The Charleston Post and Courier, South Carolina's oldest and largest daily, is a newspaper in transition. A... More

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Oxford on paying for news online

Young people are far more likely to pony up than older readers

Oxford's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism put out a digital-news survey recently that's well worth your time. It... More

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Coverage missteps on DOMA and Prop 8

When the Supreme Court issued two gay marriage-related decisions Wednesday, a rush to coverage meant a loss of precision

The most common errors I saw in the first day of stories about the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decisions were... More

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In Texas, a filibuster for the digital age

Twitter. Videostreams. Liveblogs. And a group effort to figure out what the heck happened amid the #StandWithWendy chaos

AUSTIN, TX -- At 10 minutes to midnight Tuesday evening, tempers in the Texas Senate finally boiled over. On the... More

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Frontline Freelance Register aims to keep conflict freelancers safer

The US arm of a new group to protect warzone freelancers launched Wednesday

Being a warzone freelancer is risky: They are underpaid; insurance is unaffordable; there's no support for reporters who get kidnapped... More

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How Postville changed Iowa’s reporters

As reform debate unfolds, Hawkeye State journalists have taken the initiative—and kept immigrants’ stories front and center

FAIRWAY, KS -- On June 13, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) made headlines in his characteristic fashion--with an outraged, outrageous tweet.... More

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EBU moves from assistance to defiance

A key player in the saga of Greece’s public broadcaster usually sticks to support rather than activism. Not this time

Tuesday night, many devoted Greek soccer fans were glued to their computers instead of slouching in front of the TV... More

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Making politics and policy news sexy

How the Texas Tribune raked in $23k from the grateful viewers of its legislative livestream

On Tuesday night, as the Texas state senate entered the final hours of a legislative special session and Sen. Wendy... More

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The Best Business Writing 2013

Introducing our second anthology of the top business journalism of the year

Compiling the Best Business Writing series each year reliably brings the pleasures of the eclectic and unexpected. But it also... More

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WSJ minimizes the latest IRS news

A solid reporter’s story gives curiously short shrift to fresh facts. Meanwhile, what was the IG directed to find?

When the latest revelations in the IRS political targeting controversy--the fact that nonprofit applications from groups whose names suggested they... More

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Boom’s time?

The promising nonprofit quarterly, Boom: A Journal of California, aims to bridge academia and journalism, reach beyond California—and stay afloat.

SANTA BARBARA, CA -- Nonprofit journalism is now central to the American national news ecosystem; ProPublica, the Center for Investigative... More

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Audit Notes: HuffPost terrible on Hastings, Fox touts, Advance PR

Terrible news judgment adds fuel to conspiracy theories about the journalist’s death

The Huffington Post publishes a deeply irresponsible story on the death of the journalist Michael Hastings with this headline: Was... More

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Journalists’ guide to clinical guidelines

Reporters may get more than they bargain for when they rely on clinical practice guidelines as sources

We may all be in trouble if, as he suggests in a recent New York Times op-ed, Dr. Jerry Avorn... More

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Stories I’d like to see

The mysterious farm bill, sequestration’s virtues, and the death of airport newsstands

In his "Stories I'd like to see" column, journalist and entrepreneur Steven Brill spotlights topics that, in his opinion, have... More

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Sequester update: contractors’ edition

Government contracting is under-reported terrain—and story-rich, for reporters who know where to look

Because of the budget sequester, food banks cut some Meals on Wheels, day care and Head Start workers were laid... More

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The IRS scandal unwinds

And Peggy Noonan pushes crazy conspiracy theories in the WSJ

The IRS Tea Party "scandal" has taken a couple of body blows in the last week. First, it emerged that... More

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Neither regions

Using “nor” or not

Neither you nor I set the "rules" of English; we do it together, by using words in certain ways. But... More

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Exchange Watch: What’s going on with New York?

So far, the public has gotten assurances about New York’s insurance exchange, but not much to chew on

It's fair to say there has been coverage of the new health insurance shopping exchanges. From California and Oregon came... More

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The newspaper plunge slows

But paywall strategies and new business are still not enough to offset print ad declines

The newspaper industry found an extra $6 billion in its couch cushions last year. That's not new revenue, unfortunately—just newly... More

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Is BofA mining profits from mortgage misery?

A Laurel to The Palm Beach Post

Kimberly Miller of The Palm Beach Post broke an important story about how the Bank of America allegedly rewarded... More

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Must-reads of the week

Remembering Michael Hastings

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

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Tocqueville and regulation

Niall Ferguson pines for the laissez-faire days of a relatively primitive society

Dean Baker slices up Niall Ferguson's latest op-ed in The Wall Street Journal—this one about how over-regulated the U.S. supposedly... More

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The ax falls at The Oregonian (UPDATED)

The decline of what was one of the better regional newspapers

Not that long ago, The Oregonian was one of the better news organizations in the country. In 2008, Editor &... More

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Science media centers & the press, part 3

Can a SMC work in the US?

With a mission to provide the press and the public with high-quality scientific information and sources, the Science Media Centers... More

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Medicare Uncovered: Cost cutting? We can’t have that!

Medical device makers flex their lobbying muscles

A classic healthcare-lobbying story is in the making--a shootout between the government and the medical device industry over cost... More

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The freelance life, redux

10 lessons from my first year of freelancing

This month I celebrate my one-year anniversary as a full-time freelance writer. I've managed to more or less maintain the... More

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Audit Notes: Fox tout, Newhouses’ interior decorators, stocks and flows

MarketWatch outs a corporate cousin’s contributor as a shill

MarketWatch's Charles Jaffe busts a contributor to corporate cousin Fox Business for taking big bucks to tout penny stocks. Jaffe... More

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When some Maine papers call the capitol, there’s no comment

The governor’s office thinks the state’s largest media company does unfair coverage, so officials there will no longer respond to its reporters

The office of Maine Governor Paul LePage will no longer respond to queries from the state's largest media company, announced... More

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Detroit News noses out a school reform ‘skunk works’

But the wider education story is hardly black and white. How can news outlets do more for readers on this critical issue?

DETROIT, MI -- Education policy in Michigan and the debates around it have become a tangled thicket for reporters (and... More

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Stupidity trap

Atlanta’s ‘Mayhem in the A.M.’ were smart sports-talkers—until Monday

I live in Atlanta and have two small children, so I am up early and often in the car, schlepping... More

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Gay marriage coverage mostly supportive

Though almost half of Americans oppose same-sex nuptials, coverage covers supporters 5-to-1, says a new Pew study

This likely won't come as a surprise to anyone who has been following the same-sex marriage battle as it rolls... More

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The missing villain in the healthcare drama

When it comes to rising costs, what about hospital consolidation? A shout-out to Eduardo Porter for pointing that out

Eduardo Porter, the New York Times economics columnist, deserves a shout-out for his column last Wednesday challenging a meme... More

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The Advance Publications name game

The old Newhouse Pledge and the company’s corporate shuffle

The Oregonian is about to get Newhouse'd. As the billionaires' Advance Publications has rolled out its newspaper-liquidation plan across the... More

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Science media centers & the press, part 2

How did the SMCs perform during the Fukushima nuclear crisis?

With a mission to provide the press and the public with high-quality scientific information and sources, the Science Media Centers... More

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A second look at the sequester

And it isn’t pretty. A Laurel to The Associated Press

The federal budget sequester is back in the news. Three months after these across-the-board budget cuts began--some $85 billion... More

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Greek judge rules ERT should remain on air

But it hasn’t happened yet

A Greek court ruled Monday that the country's public broadcasting network, known as ERT, should remain on air until it... More

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Stories I’d like to see

Vetting the Syrian rebels, stock gyrations, A-Rod’s return

In his "Stories I'd like to see" column, journalist and entrepreneur Steven Brill spotlights topics that, in his opinion, have... More

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Small bites

Making big numbers more understandable

The wildfires are at it again: One near Colorado Springs was really big. How big? CNN said it was about... More

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Hillary’s first tweet: A 2016 harbinger?

Trivia and speculation signifying nothing

After more than four years representing the US abroad as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton returned to the domestic political... More

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A new cross-border tax-haven database and its significance

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists pushes into new journalism territory

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists hit the mother lode when it published the first of its dozens of exposés... More

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Science media centers & the press, part 1

Does the UK model help journalists?

With a mission to provide the press and the public with high-quality scientific information and sources, the Science Media Centers... More

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On covering same-sex marriage

Here are some takeaways from last week’s panel, moderated by the author

On Wednesday, CJR and the ACLU co-hosted a panel at Washington, DC's Newseum on how journalists can better cover same-sex... More

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Video: CJR’s panel discussion on coverage of gay marriage

On the eve of two related SCOTUS decisions, how should journalists be covering the issue?

CJR hosted a panel discussion on June 12, "We Now Pronounce You..." to look at the ways journalists do, and... More

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Must-reads of the week

Vineyard sign language, dictatorial exploits

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

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Exchange Watch: The ongoing game of Spin the Rates

This time it’s Ohio, and the result is a phony tale about rising premiums

First came the good news from the West Coast about how Obamacare will be lowering premiums for individuals shopping... More

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Consensus was that ERT needed reforming

“Of course there is corruption at ERT, but that is the fault of the politicians, not the journalists”

While journalists and advocates continue expressing outrage over the way Greek public broadcaster ERT was closed--it went dark with little... More

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Exclusive survey: A year out, Times-Pic downsizing leaves bitterness, scorn among ex-, current employees

Harsh words for management and the Newhouse family

A year ago this week, about 200 now-former employees of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, including almost half the newsroom, learned... More

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MRSA MRSA MRSA!

Some recent high points on the “superbug” beat

This is the first installment in an occasional series about antimicrobial resistance, which is one of the planet's most... More

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The case for a secrecy beat

The press has a major role to play in fostering the debate on transparency that the nation needs

Despite the recent blockbuster leaks about spying on the phone records of millions of Americans, and President Obama's stated... More

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This isn’t another ‘golden age’ for print

But it is one for media

Every time a media critic insists that print's not dead, he or she inadvertently ends up making the opposite case.... More

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Reporting, or illegal hacking

Scripps reporters are accused of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

The team at Scripps Howard News Service didn't use any tools that aren't used in newsrooms across the country in... More

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The fracking story comes closer to home

Tips for covering the energy boom in Colorado and beyond

PROVO, UT -- On Monday, The New York Times wrote about an "unlikely resistance" building in "energy-friendly" Greeley, CO. "As... More

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Greece closes its public broadcaster

ERT employees are refusing to leave the station and are broadcasting online

Journalists and civil society groups across Europe expressed outrage over the Greek government's abrupt closure of its public broadcasting system... More

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Don’t pick up!

RFK, Jr. talks journalists’ ears off with his vaccine conspiracy theory

Check your caller ID. If you're a reporter who has criticized Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. for spouting nonsense about vaccines... More

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Tide goes out on News Corp.’s newspapers

The Times of London newsroom cuts staff as its parent company splits in two

It's not a great sign that the Times of London is laying off 20 editorial staffers just as it parent... More

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Extreme weather porn

How much tv weather reporting is news, and how much is just non-contextualized drama?

On ABC World News with Diane Sawyer on June 3, she asked a question that many of us are wondering:... More

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The Iran coverage conundrum

As another election approaches, journalists should figure out how to overcome access obstacles to cover the country in greater detail

Iran is holding a presidential election on Friday. And in Iran, elections have consequences. In 1997, a presidential election ushered... More

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‘Bitter Pill’—the aftereffects

An interview with Steven Brill about reactions to his groundbreaking Time article about the forces behind the high cost of healthcare

Steven Brill, the journalist, entrepreneur, and founder of the Yale Journalism Initiative, shook up the healthcare establishment last March with... More

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Stories I’d like to see

Booz Allen’s liability, Europe and the NSA, and Obamacare as stimulus

In his "Stories I'd like to see" column, journalist and entrepreneur Steven Brill spotlights topics that, in his opinion, have... More

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Acquiring news

Local TV ownership consolidation zooms ahead—to what effect on the quality of local news?

In May, I took a look at the rapid consolidation of local TV ownership, and how last year's windfall from... More

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Nonprofits are still a drop in the news bucket

And there isn’t a growth story

Yes, as Kira Goldenberg writes, the most remarkable finding of the big new Pew study on nonprofit news organizations... More

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New math

Keeping numbers simpler

Last week, we talked about how the words used to express numbers can help (or confuse) readers. Now, let's talk... More

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Social media in smaller markets

How three social media managers deal with smaller markets and more local coverage.

Rob Fishman's announcement that "the social media editor is dead," prompted plenty of responses, from Adweek to Zombie Journalism and... More

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Don’t miss: CJR on covering gay marriage

The panel event—which will be livestreamed on cjr.org—is in Washington, DC, on June 12, from 3-4:30 pm

With two cases pending before the Supreme Court--the legality of the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8--gay marriage... More

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Pew report: digital nonprofits optimistic

The numbers are discouraging, but journalists maintain that their outlets will succeed

Despite rather grim numbers, staffers at digital news nonprofits are optimistic about the future of their outlets, according to a... More

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Lessons for journos in the NSA revelations

Anyone wishing to keep communications private will need to take additional steps to protect them

In the second such revelation in less than a month, on Wednesday the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald released a copy of... More

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Must-reads of the week

Secret-Surveillance-State Edition

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

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Fair game

A new set of principles aims to help journalists improve their understanding of fair use

News breaks. A crime, an accident, a natural disaster. The newsroom starts gathering information, and among the sources reporters and... More

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‘The future is medieval’

A discussion with the scholars behind the “Gutenberg Parenthesis,” a sweeping theory of digital—and journalism—transformation

What follows is an interview and discussion I had in Odense, Denmark, with Thomas Pettitt and Lars Ole Sauerberg, two... More

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Creeping Sharia legislation

Journalists often dismiss red-state Islamic law bans as a joke. But the story isn’t going away.

FAIRWAY, KS -- For more than three years, lawmakers in Kansas, Missouri, and a host of other states have been... More

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Holes in a Holy Grail?

A new study raises questions about The Dartmouth Atlas

Jordan Rau of Kaiser Health News is carving quite a reputation for himself on the hospital beat, and helping to... More

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A rally for laid-off Sun-Times photogs

A protest Thursday morning drew about 150 picketers to the newspaper’s headquarters

CHICAGO, IL--Pulitzer Prize winner John H. White doesn't think too much of the iPhone as a replacement for him and... More

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Rubio’s private prison connection

As the immigration debate unfolds, reporters should keep a close eye on detention policy

As an immigration reform bill grinds its way through Congress, Florida Senator Marco Rubio has emerged as perhaps its most... More

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Watch out, watchdogs

GOP-led Wisconsin legislature moves to push investigative journalists off campus

DETROIT, MI -- At the conclusion of a marathon overnight session, Wisconsin legislators early this morning added a provision to... More

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Newsmodo and the never-ending tour

An Australian startup connects freelance journalists and news organizations

When I met Rakhal Ebeli in Manhattan for a coffee at 4pm on a late-May Thursday, I asked him how... More

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Stories I’d like to see

More questions for Bloomberg and Angelina Jolie

In his "Stories I'd like to see" column, journalist and entrepreneur Steven Brill spotlights topics that, in his opinion, have... More

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Crop cop

Keith Kloor makes a beat out of policing frightful coverage of GMOs

The media have stoked irrational distrust of science in many fields over the years, from vaccines to climate change. But... More

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Exchange Watch: California Dreaming

Low healthcare premiums on the West Coast were trumpeted as a big, good-news Obamacare story. But: “Compared to what?”

In mid-May, The Spokesman-Review in Spokane trumpeted some good news for Obamacare, reporting that "Health insurance next year will cover... More

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The big IRS stretch

Some reporters are straining to connect the scandal to the White House, without benefit of credible evidence. But others are skeptical

For the last month, Republicans have been trying mightily to paint the IRS's Tea Party targeting scheme as proof... More

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What we can learn from the factcheckers’ ratings

Sure, the factcheckers have their biases. It still means something that Republicans get the worst scores

What should we make of the latest tally showing that Republicans fare worse with factcheckers than Democrats do? Last week... More

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ProPublica kickstarts its internship investigation

Investigative journalism site experiments with crowdsourcing and crowdfunding

On May 28, David Dennis wrote in the Guardian that the prevalence of unpaid internships and their increasing role as... More

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Still, water

The battle to control water in Texas may be even more defining than the battle to control oil here 100 years ago, and it needs to be covered with an urgency to match

AUSTIN, TX -- As the 83rd Legislature lingers in the state capitol for a special session, lawmakers here have already... More

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Official Secrets of the Financial Crisis

Huge public money changing hands in deals that remain undisclosed; part of a widening shroud over government

Jon Weil's column the other day was one you really did not want to miss and points to wider... More

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UK considers stepping up Internet blocking

Home secretary Theresa May wants to prevent more “radicalization”

Should governments block websites that spread hardline ideology but don't explicitly advocate violence--like the ones likely read by the Tsarnaev... More

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Countdown

Help with numbers

Math is hard for many people, though it's often not the numbers that cause so many problems, but the words... More

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A lobbyist columnist?

The San Francisco Chronicle editorializes in favor of lobbying reform that could apply to its own weekly columnist, former Mayor Willie Brown

SANTA BARBARA, CA -- In an unusual turn in opinion journalism, the San Francisco Chronicle published an editorial May 26... More

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The scoop on workplace wellness

A Laurel to Sharon Begley of Reuters for not burying the lead on workplace health incentives—a RAND study that seriously questions their impact

For her exclusive coverage of a RAND study revealing the lackluster performance of workplace wellness programs--both on employees' health... More

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Notetakers denied Manning trial access

WikiLeaks case officials refuse to release trial transcripts, and crowdfunded stenographers were denied press passes

On the heels of a weekend rally that drew hundreds of supporters to Fort Meade, MD, Pfc. Bradley Manning's trial... More

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In Libya, new media freedom is uncertain

A post-Qaddafi abundance of independent news has been followed by violence against journalists

The post-revolutionary euphoria that followed Libya's 2011 uprising against dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi spawned dozens of new media outlets--at least 69,... More

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No, the scandals aren’t dragging down Obama’s ratings (yet)

Some reporters seize on an outlier poll, but others get the story right

Get out your wizard hats! It's starting to sound like campaign season again. Just as political reporters wanted to tell... More

16 women whose digital startups deserve Vox-level plaudits - A look at the media entrepreneurs who aren’t grabbing headlines

Why was ‘Dasani’ shut out of the Pulitzers? - 5 problems with The New York Times’ ambitious, influential series on the life of one homeless Brooklyn girl

The AP downplays its Obamacare scoop - Repeal on deductible caps marks another step in The Great Cost Shift

The enduring pull of mag covers - Why do magazine cover images still hold so much cultural power in this decline-of-print era?

Michael Wolff’s digital media bloopers - The Newser founder trolls (other) digital-news companies


Six things to consider about the new Los Angeles Register

“If the Register were a football team, Coach Kushner’s strategy would clearly be to flood the zone”

How Americans die

Great data viz from Bloomberg View

The shirt on your back

How did the clothes you’re wearing get to you? We trace the human cost of the Bangladeshi garment industry in video, words and pictures

New Jersey’s good government

Despite the bridge scandal, Chris Christie’s state is relatively transparent and accountable. CJR’s Greg Marx talks to Gordon Witkin

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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.