Monday, October 20, 2014. Last Update: Mon 2:50 PM EST

Monthly Archive

November 2013

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GoldieBlox, the Beastie Boys, and fair use

The toymaker backs down amid a murky legal case

I wrote on Monday that GoldieBlox's parody of the Beastie Boys song "Girls" was a a "clear case" of copyright... More

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A misleading image

The New York Times’ lead photo Wednesday sparked debate for what it revealed, but it was a mistake for what it obscured

It was something of a shock to open my parents' New York Times this morning and see, stretching across four... More

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CPJ honors international journalists

At a gala on Tuesday night, the Committee to Protect Journalists honored four at its annual International Press Freedom Awards

Outside the doors of the Waldorf-Astoria on Tuesday night, protesters pause and wait for the next video camera light to... More

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Fox News not outraged by retailers’ War on Thanksgiving

As giant stores commercialize the last holdout, Bill O’Reilly & Co. shrug

The New York Times editorializes today about the "War on Thanksgiving" that retailers and shoppers are waging on the last... More

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What is an Obamacare consumer story, anyway?

The bar is set too low—a real guide should help readers become smarter shoppers

A Twitter conversation last weekend between MSNBC's Timothy Noah and some Washington Post reporters revealed a lot about how the... More

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Fast Company’s daring 23andMe cover

An ill-timed story as Anne Wojcicki’s DNA testing outfit runs afoul of the FDA

Oops. The current issue of Fast Company has Anne Wojcicki—founder of 23andMe and estranged wife of billionaire cyborg Sergey Brin—on... More

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A laurel for The Globe and Mail

Canada’s national business paper examines inequality in “The Wealth Paradox” series

Inequality is an issue not just for the United States, but also for our northern, and very similar, neighbor.... More

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‘Knockout’ reports illustrated with unrelated footage

A gruesome “trend” of punching strangers for fun is being widely represented by a separate assault, but it plays into racist stereotypes

The woman is defenseless, strolling down the street with a pocketbook over her shoulder. She has no idea that she's... More

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GoldieBlox picks an unfair fight with the Beastie Boys

A dismal press performance on a clear case of aggressive copyright infringement

What kind of company takes a copyrighted hit song, rewrites the lyrics, and uses it in a commercial—without bothering to... More

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How a top investigative team makes its stories stick

Every newsroom wants coverage with impact. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows how it’s done

DETROIT, MI -- Among the old metro dailies, that battered flagship of American journalism, the most celebrated investigative newsroom in... More

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What 60 Minutes can learn from Inside Edition

Media organizations need to own their mistakes. Here’s how they can do better

The most controversial media error in recent months came in a 60 Minutes report by Lara Logan about the attack... More

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Shopping on Thanksgiving kills poor workers’ holidays

But labor gets short shrift in too much of the coverage of encroaching commercialization

Perhaps I'm feeling a little wistful as I prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving outside the U.S. for the first time. As... More

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Always an ink-stained wretch

William Kennedy on his life as a journalist

On October 9, William Kennedy delivered the following musing on his career and on journalism today to mark the 40th... More

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Bending copyright rules

In the scramble to find photos when news breaks, newsrooms may break copyright laws, and this move just cost AFP $1.2 million

In January of 2010, Daniel Morel, a professional photojournalist, was in Haiti when an earthquake struck. Within a few hours,... More

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Bloomberg News and the problem of church-state separation

The downside of eroding the traditional wall between business and editorial

It has become accepted wisdom in future-of-news debates that the church-state divide between the newsroom and the business side was... More

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Fighting for press freedom in Ecuador

Janet Hinostroza is one of four international journalists being honored by CPJ at this year’s press freedom awards ceremony

Every year, the Committee to Protect Journalists presents the International Press Freedom Awards to four reporters who have produced outstanding... More

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Giving a baron too big a pass

Murdoch’s World avoids implicating Rupert Murdoch for his lawbreaking

Feeling kinda droopy? Like you had "tired blood?" Well, better than Geritol would be a dose of David Folkenflik's new... More

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Acts of piracy

The history of ‘filibuster’

During Wendy Davis' "filibuster" of the Texas Senate in May, seeking to block a bill to limit abortions, Gov. Rick... More

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Audit Notes: Talking turkey On the Media, redistribution, housing update

Audit radio on how the press mishandles an annual Thanksgiving press report

I went on On the Media with Brooke Gladstone this weekend. We talked about the press antics that inevitably accompany... More

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Sunshine peeks through in Iowa

A long-awaited public-information board is open for business in Des Moines, but the battle for government transparency is far from over

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS -- On Nov. 14, the newly-minted Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), whose formation was the result of... More

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The Greg Packer of small business

Drew Greenblatt’s frequent press hits usually omit National Association of Manufacturers ties

Drew Greenblatt may be the most quoted small businessman in America. When reporters need small-businessman quotes, Fox needs small-businessman interviews,... More

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Hearing (new) voices

An innovative financing model may change the face of public radio

Sue Schardt wants to mess with your mind. Specifically, she wants to mess with how you think about public media.... More

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Rick Santelli, CNBC’s Glenn Beck

Tea Party hero jumps on the bogus Census conspiracy story

A simple glance is enough to raise serious questions about the New York Post's story claiming a Census conspiracy to... More

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Must-reads of the week

Drones, chess, faith, Intrade

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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Covering LGBT issues in a Mormon state

Advocates and media members gather for a discussion in Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY -- Whenever David Andreason sees coverage of LGBT issues in the Utah media, he cringes. From past... More

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The Palm Beach Post takes a long, hard look at private prisons

Maybe too long for some readers—but series advances the story on cost, violence concerns

MIAMI, FL -- When The Palm Beach Post decided a year ago to investigate the private prison industry, no one... More

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A bogus NY Post piece sets off a frenzy

Serious problems with column alleging Census rigged unemployment for Obama

If you missed it, the hot new story in the right-wing fever swamps is that the Census Bureau manipulated unemployment... More

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ProPublica FOIAs for NSA surveillance info

ProPublica’s right-of-access motion in the FISA court last week followed similar filings by the ACLU and Yale

ProPublica's coverage of government surveillance, both before and since The Summer of Snowden, has been thorough and revelatory--and it's far... More

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Advancing the healthcare story with consumer coverage

Two Midwestern dailies offer good models for local reporting

The Obamacare story is getting a bit ripe about now--we all know about the botched federal website, we've been through... More

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Obamacare and part-time workers

Jed Graham of Investor’s Business Daily goes beyond claims and counter-claims

Critics of the Affordable Care Act have claimed employers are pushing some workers, especially lower-paid workers, into 29 hours or... More

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CJR names new editor in chief

Elizabeth Spayd, formerly of the Washington Post, will fill the role

The Columbia Journalism School announced the hiring of Elizabeth Spayd as CJR's new editor in chief and publisher on Thursday.... More

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Redefining the resilience beat

A new fellowship will train journalists to think critically about community recovery

For the first few days after Sandy hit the Northeast, journalists covered a story of destruction, unpacking all the grim... More

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Politico’s Mike Allen goes native

The currency of access

Erik Wemple's devastating takedown of Politico's Mike Allen is the read of the day. Wemple shows in the Washington Post... More

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Three stories, three tacks on a Walmart’s employee food drive

How the Plain Dealer, Business Insider, and Fox News told the news

In one of the more revealing self-inflicted PR disasters since McDonald's advised its impoverished employees to get a second full-time... More

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Brooklyn Brewery gives freelancers a hand

“Beer and war stories are a great match”

With the decline of foreign bureaus, much of the reporting in conflict zones is now being done by freelancers, who... More

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Audit Notes: Bloomberg FX scoop, Coke and Swaziland, WSJ.com

A new wrinkle on the foreign-exchange trading scandal

Bloomberg News has a great scoop on the potentially Libor-scale foreign-exchange scandal: FX traders used day traders to launder their... More

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In Sochi, press freedom is a question mark

It’s unclear what sort of environment journalists covering the Winter Olympics in Russia will find

In June, investigative reporter Nikolai Yarst, who works for the Public Television of Russia, was prevented by authorities from interviewing... More

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This is Don Lemon

The CNN anchor’s commentaries are increasingly controversial

On Election Day, when New Yorkers were voting for mayor, CNN anchor Don Lemon appeared to have endorsed, or to... More

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Beyond cancelled policies, website glitches

Some fresh stories enter the healthcare mix—with money as a common theme

In case we've forgotten, there is other health news to report besides more cancelled insurance policies, website screw ups, and... More

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The extrapolation fallacy

Don’t believe the hype about worst-case scenarios in Obamacare coverage

Is the sky falling for Obamacare? You might think so from reading the press these days. On Monday, National Journal... More

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Stories I’d like to see

Timing the capitol bloviators, the French as the tough guys, and Wal-Mart’s reputation

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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John Paton, the Gorbachev of paywalls

Digital First Media will roll out meters across its newspaper portfolio

No doubt about it, word from CEO John Paton that his Digital First Media will implement paywalls across its portfolio... More

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Truth is relative

The Fifth Estate tries to tell the story of WikiLeaks, but can’t make up its mind

The Fifth Estate, Bill Condon's film, now in theaters, about WikiLeaks and its divisive founder, Julian Assange, ends on an... More

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Fighting words

Libel, slander, and defamation

Last week, we promised that you were liable to be surprised by the differences between "libel," "slander," and "defamation." We... More

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A troubling suspension at Bloomberg News

The crisis grows over a China story that hasn’t run

When in a hole, the best course is usually to stop digging. Instead, Bloomberg has deepened the intrigue surrounding a... More

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Advice for the next owners of Forbes

Reclaiming the legacy of the legendary James Michaels should be the first order of business

The news, broken by Bloomberg's Edmund Lee, that once mighty Forbes is going on the block after 96 years of... More

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Cub critics

The New York Film Festival’s Critics Academy nurtures the next generation of film critics

It's a Friday night in late September, and the Harvard Club, in midtown Manhattan, is busy. Scores of men and... More

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In Obama’s Wall Street-friendly cabinet, a clean sweep for finance

Tim Geithner goes private equity, surprising The New York Times

The New York Times, covering the hiring of former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner by private equity giant Warburg Pincus, writes... More

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Audit Notes: Chris Christie and Stevie Cohen, euro zombie lies, clickbait

Governor dines with SAC honcho hours after firm pleads guilty

Fox Business's Charlie Gasparino gets a wild scoop on Stevie Cohen, whose SAC Capital pleaded guilty to mass insider trading... More

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Must-reads of the week

First snowfall 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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How @Redistrict helped get Virginia’s votes counted

Can #Wassermaning be a thing now?

CHARLESTON, SC -- A week and a half after Election Day, the outcome of Virginia's race for attorney general remains... More

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Walmart already stepped on Thanksgiving

A mess of fact errors on the giant retailer opening on turkey day

Did you know Walmart is opening earlier than ever this Thanksgiving? You would if you read stories in the Chicago... More

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Tales from Obamacare’s trenches

A Pennsylvania woman goes shopping and finds the experience a consumer’s nightmare

In the July issue of CJR and on CJR.org, we introduced readers to a woman we called Carol, who had... More

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The annual press flubbing of Thanksgiving dinner

Journalists find a way to mishandle a yearly farm bureau press release

Come this time of year, the business press gets a press release from the American Farm Bureau Federation reporting how... More

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Teaching j-school students cyber-security

How journalism schools are preparing students for the technical and legal challenges ahead

Back in the dark ages of January, 2012, my colleague Alysia Santo wrote a thoughtful piece about how journalism schools... More

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Document drop

Wikileaks drums up coverage of a secretive trade agreement

Last week, The New York Times got flack for its editorial on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement--a multinational, free-trade agreement... More

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Openly accessible

The backlash over a Science magazine sting raises questions about the scope of investigative journalism and the rigor of open access publishing

Last month John Bohannon, a biologist and science writer, published the kind of piece in Science magazine that defies classification.... More

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When men on the street become spokesmen for a cause

Anecdote laundering from the left on the $15 minimum wage fight

I wrote about astroturfing the other day, noticing how anti-minimum wage and anti-Obamacare activist Joe Olivo shows up repeatedly in... More

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BuzzFeed’s all-positive books section

It doesn’t make sense to pledge positivity if your aim is to provide readers with critics’ takes on new books. It makes more sense if your aim is to cultivate a thriving community.

Last week, BuzzFeed's new books editor, Isaac Fitzgerald, said something outrageous: He would not be publishing negative reviews. "Why waste... More

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Audit Notes: SAC’s returns sink, two-track recovery, Wall Street pay

The New York Post shows Steve Cohen’s results fell to earth as feds investigated

The New York Post's Michelle Celarier has a great piece of enterprise reporting on Stevie Cohen's SAC Capital. She finds... More

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The cost of Angels in the outfield

Reporters covering lease negotiations over Anaheim’s Angel Stadium need to find their calculators—and their skepticism

SANTA BARBARA, CA -- Judging from the initial coverage the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times gave to... More

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When a war zone is home

Pakistan has the third-highest casualty rate for journalists, and all of those killed this year were locals

Four or five years ago, long before it occurred to me to visit a war zone, I heard Anderson Cooper... More

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Don’t feed the bubble, please

Mashable and Time.com show how not to cover tech IPO mania

Much of the press coverage I've seen in the wake of Twitter's eye-watering IPO has been responsibly skeptical or, at... More

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Stories I’d like to see

Finding Obamacare’s authors, assessing J&J’s CEO culpability, and grading Chris Christie

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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Audit Notes: 60 Minutes correx flops, sharing economy, paywalls

CBS News must resolve the serious remaining questions about Lara Logan’s debacle

Jay Rosen has a must-read piece on 60 Minutes' and Lara Logan's disastrous Benghazi report based on the lies of... More

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Grill the messenger

Reuters wrote about the Obamacare “messaging war,” but didn’t vet the messages

Late last week, Reuters published a story on "the messaging war over Obamacare" in which it featured two personal anecdotes--one... More

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Taking responsibility

Some uses of “liable” are likely to be questioned

A friend was handicapping the Academy Award nominations, though they're still months away. "Sandra Bullock is liable to win best... More

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Factchecking goes local in New York

The founding editor of TruePolitics talks about the soon-to-launch site

With the trio of PolitiFact, Factcheck.org, and The Washington Post's Fact Checker blog now well-established, the factchecking space might seem... More

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Audit Notes: Oklahoma Pre-K, servants, Martin Wolf on Germany

The state finds a government program it likes

Nicholas Kristof gives a rare bit of positive press to my home state—for a government program, of all things. Kristof... More

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Bloomberg News at a crossroads

Allegations that it spiked a China investigation shine a light on its business model

Just a few months ago, Bloomberg News was faced with a potential crisis after Wall Street clients complained—publicly—that Bloomberg news... More

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On the 60 Minutes/Benghazi debacle

Some systems worked, and some didn’t

Two things are true about CBS News' latest embarrassment over the egregious mistake it apologized for last night on its... More

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Beyond the soldier cliches

After 10 years in Iraq, photojournalists seek new vocabularies of war

Photo credit: Erin Trieb About halfway through America's decade-long intervention in Iraq, Ashley Gilbertson sensed war fatigue. The celebrated... More

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New mag to cover global women’s issues

Valerie, a digital effort by two Columbia j-school alumnae, launched November 1

In 2010, Daria Solovieva was sitting in a media business class at Columbia's Journalism School, when she thought, 'I could... More

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Must-reads of the week

Nazi anatomists, NFL casualties, Amazon reviewers

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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Astroturfing The New York Times and Wall Street Journal

A New Jersey businessman hits the media circuit again, with lobbying connections undisclosed

The New York Times writes about New Jersey voters raising the state's minimum wage a buck to $8.25 an hour... More

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In Egypt, Bassem Youssef is off air—again

It remains unclear whether the “Egyptian Jon Stewart” will resume his popular show

Last Friday, after the government-imposed curfew emptied the streets of Cairo and other major cities, many Egyptians settled in front... More

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CNBC spins right (and wrong) on the debt and deficit

The factually challenged network is at it again

CNBC, that font of misinformation, would like you to know that "Anyone who ran a company with a balance sheet... More

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The Big Boys: Are insurers stoking the fires of consumer discontent?

Talking Points Memo shows that it’s all about market share and the bottom line

Insurance companies are easy for the media to demonize in the abstract. But when it comes to revealing how they... More

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David Miranda challenges his UK detention [UPDATED]

Glenn Greenwald’s partner argued in the first day of a hearing that he should have been protected as a journalist

Update, November 7, 12pm: In the second day of testimony, government lawyers said they used the correct procedures in detaining... More

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Audit Notes: Tech bubbles, WSJ reality shows

Twitter launches like it’s 1999 all over again

Here are some facts from Peter Eavis's good, skeptical curtain raiser on the Twitter IPO in today's New York Times:... More

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Paying for pin-ups

Why Getty Images is partnering with Pinterest

Say you come across a gorgeous picture of Michelle Obama's latest dress, and you want to remember it next time... More

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WSJ cheers on an Aussie privatization spree

A one-sided news story on the selling of public assets

Reading this Wall Street Journal story, you'd never know there's any downside to a government selling off public services to... More

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Warnings from whistleblowers past

A national tour provides advice for future whistleblowers and the journalists who work with them

Following Edward Snowden's leaks to the press about the scope of NSA surveillance, public opinion polls have posed questions like,... More

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The NYT paywall plugs the hole

Charting the state of The New York Times

Felix asks what my graph of New York Times digital revenue would look like including print ads. Here's the original... More

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Where, oh where are all those poor people?

“Rate shock victims” aren’t the only ones suffering out there right now. But you wouldn’t know that from the news.

Unless you've been under a rock for the past two weeks, odds are you've heard the unhappy tale of at... More

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A lot: that’s how many

New study has journalists in a jellybean-counting contest over just how many Earth-like planets are out there

On Monday the University of California, Berkeley released the results of the kind of awe-inspiring study that makes for excellent... More

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Evidence for the hard-to-prove assertion

The WSJ on the murky question of regulatory funding

Jean Eaglesham had a nice get—an exit interview with the outgoing enforcement chief of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, who... More

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Audit Notes: Potshots at Snowden, News Corp. snake pit, Jamie Dimon

A Bloomberg BusinessWeek editor doesn’t like the guy’s attitude

Bloomberg Businessweek deputy editor Romesh Ratnasar takes to the pages of the magazine to criticize the "unbearable narcissism of Edward... More

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Sounding the alarm

Climate Desk’s Chris Mooney talks to CJR about how the press help perpetuate global warming pseudo-science

Earlier this year, when the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released reports showing that the rate of surface temperature... More

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The NYT paywall don’t get no respect

Despite saving the paper’s bacon

I wrote Friday about a landmark for The New York Times: Its paywall revenue has overtaken its digital ad revenue—just... More

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A failure to ‘ask the questions’

Why didn’t NBC, Fox News or CBS 2 examine Deborah Cavallaro’s insurance cancellation story before they aired it—like the LA Times did?

Deborah Cavallaro, a real estate agent in suburban Los Angeles, sure became a minor media celeb last week. Cavallaro, a... More

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Don’t tread on me

The difference between “trample” and “trammel”

The requirement of the Affordable Care Act that employers provide access to free contraceptives "trammels the right of free exercise"... More

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Beacon of hope in St. Louis?

Nonprofit newsrooms team up to swing for the fences—minus the Cardinals coverage

FAIRWAY, KS -- So much for Midwestern reserve. The St. Louis Beacon, a digital news startup founded in 2008, and... More

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The little team that could

The new documentary Medora tells the story of a struggling Indiana town through its high school basketball team

Medora, Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn's moving new documentary, is much more than a year in the life of a... More

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Must-reads of the week

Greenwald and Keller, shark and minnow, headlines and clicks

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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The NYT’s paywall overtakes digital ads

Meantime, the Globe’s drag on the Times, quantified

It was only a little more than two years ago that the conventional wisdom said The New York Times shouldn't—or... More

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Opening Shot

After the end of denial

Last month's Frontline documentary, League of Denial, was the emotional coda to the first phase of one of the... More

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Off the road

Here comes the ‘mobility’ beat

In 2012, carmakers and dealers spent $14.8 billion on advertising, the second most of any sector. Newspapers have cut staff... More

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Go west

In the quest for digital-age prosperity, legacy newsrooms are making pilgrimages to Silicon Valley

In March 2012, the nation's public broadcasters gathered in Austin, TX, for the annual meeting of the Integrated Media Association,... More

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Back to Burma

Expelled in 2009, a writer returns to find a country in transition and a journalism community buzzing with possibility

When I left Yangon in May 2009, escorted onto a Thai Airways plane with a passport stamped "deportee," the... More

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Witness

A dispute over press access to a neo-Nazi trial reveals the tension between Germany’s embrace of privacy and its need to confront right-wing extremism

The 6th Criminal Division of the Higher Regional Court in Munich, Germany, houses one of the largest courtrooms in Bavaria,... More

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The loud listener

Stand-up comic Marc Maron is the best celebrity interviewer working today

When I left Marc Maron on the concrete terrace of Montreal's Hyatt Regency, he was 40 minutes into an... More

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Reform interrupted

Egypt’s most prominent state-run newspaper launched a website to shake up the status quo. Then came a revolution. And a coup. What is the future for Al Bawaba?

When Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef arrived at a Cairo courthouse on March 31, Al Bawaba, the upstart website of... More

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Human terrain

After Paula Loyd was murdered in a bazaar near Kandahar, journalist Vanessa Gezari uncovered a story that embodies the tragic arc of US involvement in Afghanistan

Vanessa Gezari's new book, The Tender Soldier, tells the story of the Human Terrain System, a controversial effort by... More

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The love affair is over

America’s relationship with the automobile is changing. The transportation beat has to catch up.

In January 2013, more than 5,000 journalists from 62 countries poured into Cobo Convention Center in Detroit, as they... More

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Letters to the editor

Readers respond to our September/October issue

Cursive While I can certainly appreciate the idea behind the cover of the September/October 2013 CJR, I do not appreciate... More

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Open Bar

McGeary’s

McGeary's 4 Clinton Square, Albany, NY Year opened 1982 Distinguishing features  A stuffed hammerhead shark dangling over the middle of... More

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Darts & Laurels

Sober statistics and misnamed killers

LAUREL to the BBC for debunking an incendiary TIME article chronicling "Africa's rising rate of alcohol abuse." "Africa has... More

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Hard Numbers

International expanse

260 million homes that receive Al Jazeera America, globally 76 percent of Al Jazeera stories on Syria orginated from bureaus... More

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Curious tales

Citizen journalism at scale

Each day, Curious City, a public-radio show that airs on Chicago's WBEZ, hits its audience with a strangely intuitive... More

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Conflict Reporting

Staying safe in the field

The Journalist Survival Guide does not use the phrase "survival guide" lightly. That much is clear by Lesson 1:... More

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How I got that story

One man’s struggle in Syria becomes art

In December 2012, Fotini Christia, a professor at MIT, was in Antakya, Turkey, researching an article about women in the... More

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Innovation Watch

Crowd reporting an election

In 19 years of democratic elections, Mozambique has experienced voter apathy and corruption. But a free local newspaper, @Verdade, is... More

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Viral Wisdom

Crowd consensus on Syria

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Language Corner

Next of kin

We have mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, sons- and daughters-in-law, sisters- and brothers-in-law. But what should you call the parents of your child's... More

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The mighty pen

A new project trains Syrians in Jordan to report on themselves

When Hazm al-Mazouni shows his press pass at the entrance to the sprawling Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian... More

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Feel me?

The promise and perils of sensor-based journalism

One letter can make a big difference. When talking about sensor journalism, you must take care to note that you're... More

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Old law, new tricks

Can we modernize the Electronic Communications Privacy Act?

In 1986, the year President Reagan signed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), most reporters did their work with a... More

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On the job

The outsider

Catch Stacy Kranitz on a summer night and there's a good chance she's sleeping in her car somewhere in... More

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America’s secret fetish

Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s Secrecy: The American Experience is an optimistic book; reading it today brings despair

The ease with which the United States government creates new state secrets masks the ultimate cost of the secret's... More

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Benjamins or bullets

How Mexico became a narco-democracy

This is how it used to work: In the 1970s farmers would pay Mexican officials for permission to plant... More

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Human nature

Do conflicting desires prevent us from building happy cities

One of the occupational hazards in writing a book called Traffic is that every year, just after the annual... More

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Games people play

Most of what we think we know about video games is wrong

The fantasy of cyberspace and virtual worlds has captured the human imagination for decades. There's a romance inherent in... More

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Brief encounters

Short reviews of Informing the News and Celebrity Politics

Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism | By Thomas E. Patterson | Vintage Books | 233 pages |... More

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Exit Interview

Shifting landscapes

When Leo Hickman said farewell to his readership at The Guardian, he did it with a declaration: "The era... More

Stop trolling your readers - We know you’re only doing it for clicks

Des Moines Register prepares for a ‘very stressful’ newsroom restructuring - Editor Amalie Nash speaks on turnover, transformation, and a virtual reality adventure

PBS pulls ads from Harper’s Magazine after critical essay - Piece argues public broadcaster has fallen under the sway of political influence and outside money

Should all journalists be on Twitter? - Reasons to take up or forgo the 140-character platform

The Tennessean is borrowing reporters from other Gannett papers - Music columnist Peter Cooper is latest journalist to part ways with Nashville paper


High Times hits middle age (NYMag)

After 40 years, every issue still features a weed centerfold

Lawmakers on why they’re mired in place (Esquire)

Mark Warren “spoke with 90 members of the House and Senate about what’s gone so wrong in Congress. Sometimes it got a little emotional.”

My childhood friend, the ISIS jihadist (Mashable)

How a young Danish man turned extremist

What it’s like to carry a Nobel Prize through Fargo (SciAm)

“And they’re like, ‘Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?’ ‘The King of Sweden.’ ‘Why did he give this to you?’ ‘Because I helped discover the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating.’”

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.