Thursday, July 31, 2014. Last Update: Thu 11:03 AM EST

Monthly Archive

February 2014

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Must-reads of the week

“It’s going to be very, very cool. Unless it ends up being very, very bad”

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 casualties of healthcare competition

The Record and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report on the dark side of the medical marketplace

One of the great undercovered stories in American healthcare right now--in American business, for that matter--is the slugfest between hospital... More

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A new consensus on the future of news

The future isn’t what it used to be, and that’s a good thing

Just a couple of years ago, although it feels like a lot longer, the media world was embroiled in something... More

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The Financial Times breaks the law of large numbers

Digital subscriptions soar, putting paid circulation at a record

The paywalled Financial Times is the real digital-first newspaper, and it had a very, very good 2013. Online revenue now... More

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Dancing with Hollywood

A new rash of award-winning films owe credit to the journalists who unearthed the original plots

Martin Sixsmith spent four years helping an Irishwoman track down the son she had been forced to give up... More

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Audit Notes: NYT’s Goldman elevator coverage, hacking trial, mobile competition

The Times buries the lede

Earlier this week, investigative journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin outed the joke Twitter account @GSElevator, which purported to tweet actual quotes... More

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Bridging the print-Web divide

How OnEarth makes environmental longform work—for the internet

Last Thursday OnEarth published the kind of piece that harkens back to the old days of legacy journalism. Written by... More

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South African welfare queens gorge on lamb and macaroni as anecdotal Bloomberg fails data test

The wire misses badly

You can tell right from the headline on this Bloomberg News story that the piece is going to be seriously... More

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How not to be sexist when covering female candidates

There are dos and don’ts for journalists reporting on political races

Let's face it: Maybe with the exception of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, news media focus more on appearance for... More

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Columbia J-school profs denounce journalist arrests in Egypt

“Journalism is not terrorism”

A group of nearly 30 Columbia Journalism School faculty members penned a letter on Wednesday to Egypt's acting president, Adly... More

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Why did the FCC want to interview journalists in the first place?

Context for the agency’s Critical Information Needs study—and for the backlash it sparked

CHARLESTON, SC -- The Federal Communications Commission publicly backed off part of a controversial research study last week in the... More

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Will a new website deliver on Wisconsin’s promises about transparency?

OpenBook promises to let light in on state spending, but it’s a limited tool for now

DETROIT, MI -- As media watchdogs know all too well, it can be hard to get a handle on what's... More

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The persuasive power of the press release

Is printing a press release an automatic ethical lose for the Washington Post

Last week, the Washington Post eliminated a column published digitally in its science section following an article in the Knight... More

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The Journal and the bond king

A brutal piece takes on Bill Gross and PIMCO’s corporate culture

What does it take to make someone quit a $100 million a year job? The Wall Street Journal's Greg Zuckerman... More

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Why Skype isn’t safe for journalists

Here are some alternatives for secure voice calls to use instead

At last month's "Journalism After Snowden" event at Columbia University, Guardian US editor in chief Janine Gibson described the very... More

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The ups and downs to covering Ukraine

Panelists at Columbia’s J-school discussed how protests both encourage journalism and harm journalists

Violent protests around the world may attract media attention and political change, but that attention comes at a price, according... More

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Data invasion

Julia Angwin’s journey to the depths of data

Recently, a friend sent me an email with the subject, "Twitter targeted me with this ad." The body of his... More

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Calling all entries for Best Business Writing 2014

The third book in The Audit’s annual series

We're in the process of putting together the third book in our Best Business Writing series with Columbia University Press,... More

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America’s healthcare prices are absurd. So, now what?

NYT’s Elisabeth Rosenthal “start[ed] a very loud conversation” she hopes will be “difficult politically to ignore.” How did she do it?

It might be said that last year Americans finally began paying attention to the price of their healthcare. Maybe it... More

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Wrong turns

Keeping readers off the “garden path”

Sentences have destinations, the place you want your readers to go to absorb the information you're delivering. Most are simple:... More

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The Olympics are the closest to coverage parity female athletes get

Normally, the US sports media spends—if we’re being generous—less than 5 percent of its time covering women in sports

For every Olympics since 1994's Lillehammer Games, Andy Billings has broken down how much time the primetime broadcast spends covering... More

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A new ‘micro-publication’ for deep environmental and tech reporting

Climate Confidential needs 800 subscribers by March 6 to come to fruition

A group of freelance reporters are on a mission to produce a new kind of science journalism. Called Climate Confidential,... More

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Media convergence: regional newspaper/ national magazine edition

The Atlantic.com teams up the Mormon-owned Deseret News for a series on the family

The editorial teams of the Atlantic.com and the Deseret News are launching on a four-part series on the American family,... More

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Venezuela revokes CNN press credentials (Updated)

The president of Venezuela disapproved of the network’s coverage of protests

(Update, February 22, 2:30pm): After initially announcing CNN no longer had permission to report in Venezuela, the government told the... More

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Must-reads of the week

Donald Trump, Roger Angell, John Henry, Asperger’s Syndrome

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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Trial heat polls: All heat, no light

They generate plenty of stories, but it’s way too early for polls to predict anything about 2016

We're still almost three years away from November 2016, but political journalists seem to want to fast-forward past the ongoing... More

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New Florida unemployment requirement doesn’t help jobless, does delay benefits

Florida Times-Union, Tampa Bay Times advance the story on state’s flawed new program

MIAMI, FL -- The scope of Florida's unemployment system debacle and early failures to address it continue to emerge,... More

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The WhatsApp coverage

Facebook’s rich purchase of a social-media company turns heads

It sure feels like a watershed moment. Facebook bought the messaging service WhatsApp yesterday for $19 billion in cash and... More

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Audit Notes: Wall Street’s secret society, Euro joblessness, Sorkin

Kevin Roose crashes the Kappa Beta Phi party

Financial reporters have long wondered just what goes on inside Kappa Beta Phi, Wall Street's elite secret society. Kevin Roose,... More

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The next generation of diversity

Why aren’t we studying the digital pipeline?

This week the Women's Media Center released its annual report on the gender and racial diversity of US media. Drawing... More

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The photo that cried wolf

A photo of a young Syrian refugee went viral with an inaccurate narrative attached

A few days ago, a four-year-old boy was photographed in the middle of the desert as he walked from Syria... More

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Women still underrepresented in US media

This year’s Status of Women in US Media report was released on Wednesday

American media is nowhere near achieving gender parity when it comes to who gets hired. According to the Women's Media... More

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Murdoch’s hard-paywall success

The Times of London makes it work

I've criticized Rupert Murdoch for his hard-paywall strategy at The Times of London, arguing that a metered model a la... More

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Audit Notes: Twitter math, guard labor, M&A and oligopoly

Newsweek and stock valuations

This is an odd little Newsweek item on "Twitter's Dicey 2013." Newsweek notes that Twitter's fourth-quarter earnings disappointed investors, who... More

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Stories I’d like to see

Cigarette companies’ final days, high-speed trading, and how rich is Ringo?

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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Like-minded

A message gone awry

"Do your homework," a parent might say to a child, "or you won't get into Harvard." A typical response might... More

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Roger Goodell’s salary stunner

Great sports reporting puts $44 million payday for the NFL commissioner in context

SportsBusiness Daily reports that the National Football League gave a big raise to its commissioner, Roger Goodell, who took in... More

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Cut to: Medicare ‘cuts’

Reporters get another chance to put a recurring talking point in context and honestly explain to seniors what’s at stake

At the moment, it looks like Medicare may be the gift that keeps on giving for the GOP. For the... More

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FCC revamps controversial study of TV newsrooms

Local stations in South Carolina test market still waiting to hear from federal government

CHARLESTON, SC -- As the Federal Communications Commission revamps a controversial study that has been slammed by critics as an... More

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Axel Springer eyes global expansion

The German media conglomerate is vying for Forbes, but that may be just the beginning

As the story is told in Germany, Mathias Döpfner, chief executive officer of Axel Springer SE, one of Europe's largest... More

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Statistical illusions

How readers perceive numbers is important too

We've talked about how the press feeds into the questionable narrative that we're in another housing bubble. Here's a good... More

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When old stories go viral

The onus is on readers to double check the timestamp on things they share

Earlier this month, many internet users were sharing a year-old Gawker item suggesting New York City might get 30 inches... More

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Must-reads of the week

Snowed-under 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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AIDS patients in limbo, Latino sign-ups lag, and other ACA shout-outs

Our healthcare expert shines a light on some strong recent coverage

From time to time this space will offer a roundup of interesting, well-done, and useful stories about healthcare and health... More

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The Obama administration’s pursuit of whistleblowers is taking a toll

The US dropped 13 Points in the Global Press Freedom Index

Last year was a rough one for freedom of the press in the US, and it shows. Every year, Reporters... More

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The front-group impresario

The New York Times and Boston Globe take on Rick Berman

It's always good to see a newspaper take on Rick Berman, the PR powerhouse who specializes in organizing deceptive corporate... More

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From the desk of a former FCC Commissioner

Journalists need to generate a national discussion on the future of the internet

Dear Journalists: You may wonder why a long-time regulator like me is writing to you. The answer is that... More

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Grief and grievances at The Plain Dealer

Advance’s paper in Cleveland is embroiled in a labor dispute as it charts a new digital path

DETROIT, MI -- Are the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the new Northeast Ohio Media Group two separate companies? Both are... More

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A new Web series from PBS Digital Studios mocks its own conventions

“Everything but the News” is a mockumentary with real information on the tech world

A sly Web series that pokes fun at the conventions of news shows like the PBS NewsHour is the newest... More

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Covering global health with integrity

How to avoid the pitfalls of parachute journalism

In December, a few days after I returned from a global health reporting trip sponsored by the UN Foundation to... More

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Audit Notes: Re/coding the Valley, Kellogg’s labor fight

A look inside the bubble

Re/code's Nellie Bowles went to a Startup and Tech Mixer in downtown San Francisco and came away with an instant... More

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Bill Keller moves to the Marshall Project

The former NYT editor takes the helm at a new nonprofit specializing in criminal justice reporting

Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times, will leave the paper to become editor in chief of... More

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Obamacare? I wasn’t aware…

A takeaway for reporters from the latest Kaiser poll numbers: don’t forget who the law is for

When it comes to summarizing the key findings of the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, this Washington Post headline neatly... More

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The ‘don’ts’ of interviewing trans people

We deserve to have stories about our lives and accomplishments told in ways that don’t reduce us to our genitals

Last week writer and activist Janet Mock appeared on Piers Morgan Live to promote her new book, Redefining Realness, about... More

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Stories I’d like to see

CVS and the doctoring business, Sochi consequences, and getting Cohen’s side of the story

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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Putting the bundle back together?

The challenge for new journalism models: replacing the civic benefits of the newspaper

It seems like ambitious new journalism projects are everywhere these days. The announcement that former New York Times editor Bill... More

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Digital security covering the Olympics

How reporters covering the Games are—or aren’t—protecting their stuff

NBC Nightly News broadcast a very alarming report last week ahead of the Olympic Games in Sochi, showing just how... More

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Wishful thinking

On using the subjunctive

Many people make New Year's resolutions to start diets, saying, "I wish I were thinner." Six weeks later, many are... More

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An FT story lets Wall Street off the hook

On mortgage fraud and willful blindness

The Financial Times has a very interesting profile of former Bakersfield real estate guy Carl Cole, who's about to start... More

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Let Stephen Glass back into journalism

Glass can’t possibly mess up journalism more than we already have

Stephen Glass, the wunderkind journalist who was discovered to have fabricated dozens of New Republic articles in 1998, is in... More

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Questions for the government on Snowden

There are still too many things US citizens don’t know

The case of Edward Snowden raises many questions. Do we need the surveillance programs he disclosed to mitigate the threat... More

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NYT hasn’t been hit that hard

Parsing the numbers with Quartz and the WSJ

Quartz posts this graphic of New York Times Company revenues going back to 2003, asking "Can the New York Times's... More

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Atlanta’s snowpocalypse was a record traffic day for AJC.com

Weather crises are a big draw, but newsroom also pivoted quickly to the political story

MIAMI, FL -- Atlanta became a national punch line last week, when 2.6 inches of snow paralyzed the city. But... More

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Must-reads of the week

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ezra Klein, Andrew Rosenthal

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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Lewis Lapham, Editor-in-Chief, Lapham’s Quarterly

Full video of Lewis Lapham’s conversation at the Delacorte Lecture series

Streamed live on Feb 6, 2014 — Lewis Lapham talks with Victor Navasky. To view this video on mobile,... More

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The NYT on the right track

A solid quarter tops off a very good financial year for the Times

The New York Times's paywall picked up another 33,000 customers in the fourth quarter, bringing its total to 760,000 digital... More

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Be the next Ezra Klein!

A formula for becoming a new-media mogul

You can't swing a dead LOLcat these days without hitting an enterprising journalist who's striking out to create a new-media... More

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Gannett’s print-focused paywalls flounder

The quality imperative and charging for news online

Gannett's fourth-quarter newspaper results, announced Tuesday, were basically miserable. Revenue at its publishing segment dropped 4.6 percent in the fourth... More

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The Daily Beast suggests Philip Seymour Hoffman should’ve kicked addiction with fatherhood

The piece neglects to incorporate how addiction works

In December, CJR took Daily Beast Columnist Michael Daly to task for publishing a "notable exception" to otherwise responsible media... More

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Upsides to ‘I’

Four journalists make the much-maligned first-person into a strong storytelling tool

When Stephanie Hanes set out to write her first, forthcoming book, about an environmental project in Mozambique funded by a... More

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An ambiguous Medium

An essay about an inappropriate love affair tears open the problems with the two-tiered platform

Last week, Medium editor Arikia Millikan published a coming-of-age essay chronicling a stilted affair she'd had with a married (and... More

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Fox News, so confused?

Fox & Friends does nothing to clarify one woman’s confusing Obamacare trials, but still gets its message across

By now, we're accustomed to tales from the Obamacare trenches--good, bad, and ugly--spun in the media. There was Deborah Cavallaro,... More

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A new podcast network will focus on story-driven radio shows

Radiotopia seeks to “flip the model” of broadcast-to-internet

PRX, an online marketplace for public media, launched a new podcast network on Tuesday to help promote digital-first audio programming.... More

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Will seniors pay the price?

The hospital lobby’s agenda is clear—hit up Medicare beneficiaries, not hospitals, to pay for the “doctor fix”—and merits wider coverage

A telephone call with reporters on January 23 couldn't have been more explicit. The American Hospital Association, the big trade... More

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Stories I’d like to see

Is NBC soft on Sochi terror threats, political stalling, and the lawyer who could nail 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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The ratings game

The Super Bowl, the Oscars, and the numbers

David Carr got into the Super Bowl media scrum with a thumbsucker about why so many people watch the Super... More

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For Pakistani journos, a treacherous calling

Eight Pakistani reporters spoke about their professional lives at the Columbia Journalism School

Militant propaganda, death threats, and violent military action are among the daily realities some journalists face in Pakistan, which ranks... More

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Word choice and reader knowledge

Journalists should write with vocabulary most readers possess

We use words because they articulate what we want or need to say (we hope). But how do you know... More

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There are no Al Jazeera journalists reporting in Egypt

They’ve all been detained or indicted

CAIRO, Egypt--These are deeply uncertain times for journalists in Egypt. On Wednesday, the country's chief prosecutor general leveled a raft... More

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Viral math

Curiosity-gap headlines are a way of hacking real-world friendships for profit—one Facebook won’t long abide

This chart, from Newswhip via Derek Thompson, has been doing the rounds, and causing a bit of debate: The question:... More

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Preventing war by promoting ‘peace journalism’ in Uganda

A program in Uganda aims to keep violence away and, perhaps, promote peace in war-torn neighbors

"Do not kill those cockroaches with a bullet; cut them to pieces with a machete," blared Rwanda's Radio Télévision Libre... More

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

Journalists subpoenaed in ‘pink-slime’ suit - BPI wants emails from NYT’s Michael Moss, public-health lawyer Michele Simon, and others

Bloomberg struggles to break out of the box - Justin Smith’s ambitious digital transformation hits some bumps

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

Embedded with the Koch brothers - Hometown reporters get rare access to the media-shy oilmen, with mixed results


The 60-second interview: Marty Baron (Capital New York)

CAPITAL: I just noticed that the most-read story right now on your website is an aggregated piece about a Russian lizard sex station in space. BARON: [Laughs] Is that right?

Your iPhone can now make free encrypted calls (Wired)

The beginning of the end of burner phones?

The new face of Richard Norris (GQ)

“‘Richard?’ I say. ‘Richard?’ I shove his shoulder and nothing happens. He is dead. He is on my watch and he is dead. I hear gurgling. Breathing. He’s on my watch and he is not dead.”

How to be a decent entertainment reporter (Eric Danton)

“Here’s how not to suck at it: Don’t write like an entertainment reporter”

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.