Sunday, September 21, 2014. Last Update: Fri 4:26 PM EST

Monthly Archive

April 2014

gavel.jpg

What can we do when a state FOI law takes a hit?

West Virginia media are struggling to figure that out after a court ruling that a dissenting justice called “a step backward”

CHARLESTON, SC -- A few years ago, the South Carolina Press Association assembled a task force to address how public... More

columbia.jpg

Columbia Spec’s smart switch to digital

As some trustees cry foul over Spec being the first Ivy-League daily to cut print, one says the students could teach their elders a thing or two

When the alumni advisory board of the Columbia Daily Spectator gathered recently to consider a student proposal to curtail the... More

MohannadSabry_stack.jpg

The thankless work of a ‘fixer’

Foreign journalists know they’d be lost, or even dead, without the locals they hire, but do they give them credit back home?

I first met Mohannad Sabry in 2005, when I arrived in Egypt for an unpaid internship with The Associated... More

supremecourt.jpg

Why can’t SCOTUSblog get a credential?

It’s surprisingly hard to find out—and the journalists making the rules are as open as Chick-fil-A on Sunday

Around the country, credentialing organizations struggle every year to make decisions as journalists and news outlets apply for law-enforcement passes to cross... More

DetroitVacant.jpg

Stories I’d like to see

Regrouping for Detroit, GM’s bankruptcy evasion and Chinese corporate records

This column, a regular feature, was originally published on Reuters.com. 1. Kevyn Orr and a Detroit rebound? Last Friday, I... More

drone2.jpg

Drone man

If there’s a news story or a documentary about drones, chances are that Brandon Bryant is quoted in it

A new documentary, Drone, which aired on European television this week and plans to come to the US soon, features... More

closedcourt.jpg

Federal judge: Delayed access to court records raises First Amendment concerns

Courthouse News editor sees “nationwide plague”—and he’ll get a chance to make his case

It's been a routine for generations of legal beat reporters: Every weekday afternoon, at courthouses across the United States, a... More

lcdictionary.jpg

Famous lost words

Misplaced phrases or modifiers

Word people love to have fun with misplaced modifiers. The most recognized of these are dangling participles, where a phrase... More

silversteinexitinterview.jpg

Exit Interview

Frontier man, meet New York

Jake Silverstein steps into his new role as editor of the New York Times Magazine at a critical moment. On... More

ppdata.jpg

ProPublica plans to grow its ‘Data Store’

“There’s no question that selling data is a rich opportunity for many newsrooms”

In February, ProPublica launched the "Data Store," a site from which journalists from outside of the organization could purchase data... More

newyorkerji.jpg

The New Yorker’s plagiarism blunder

“The problem is the degree to which you are a victim of your own success”

Elizabeth Kolbert's Comment "Rough Forecasts," published in the April 14 issue of The New Yorker, contains this quote from the... More

itsadventuretime.jpeg

Must-reads of the week

“Imagination is for turbo-nerds who can’t handle how kick-butt reality is!”

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

pakistanicon.jpg

Media, policy, and conflict in Pakistan

Policymakers see media’s impact as powerful but not always positive

Pakistan's raucous and increasingly lethal media sector is exerting a powerful effect on decision-making in the country, even though journalists... More

eiffeltower.jpg

France 24’s trusted volunteer corps

The station has a global network of unpaid, verified contributors that help find and factcheck stories

When a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire in 2010, igniting the Arab Spring, France 24 interviewed a man... More

utah.jpg

A newspaper deal threatens Utah’s main non-Mormon-owned daily, critics say

And the Justice Department is looking into it

A deal reached last fall between Salt Lake City's two main newspapers is unraveling into an angry controversy as the... More

FCC.jpg

5 ideas for a modern internet policy

As the ‘Open Internet’ becomes vulnerable, it’s time to look at other public interest solutions

It's been a bad few months for the principle that the internet should remain a neutral platform on which all... More

delacorte_mcarthur1_tb.jpg

John R. MacArthur, Publisher, Harper’s Magazine

Full video of Martha Stewart’s conversation at the Delacorte Lecture series

Streamed live on Apr 24, 2014, a conversation with John R. "Rick" MacArthur, Publisher of Harper's Magazine. More

prettypills.jpg

The $1,000 pill is popular! So, who pays?

Pricey hepatitis C drug Sovaldi “shattered” sales expectations. Reporters need to keep asking the costs and benefits questions.

Remember the $1,000-per-pill hepatitis C treatment, Sovaldi, that wowed the press upon FDA approval in December? In the months since,... More

nyt-paper.jpg

Print ads go up at The New York Times

At least for one quarter

The New York Times just had a quarter reminiscent of the days before the Great Newspaper Crash. The Times paywall... More

devilwearsprada.jpg

Journalism’s hiring transparency problem

Why do publications make it so hard to figure out what they’re looking for?

Last week, a journalist friend emailed me to say that several of her colleagues had just been laid off, and... More

BritishNewspapers_AP.jpg

Climate scientist’s privacy victory may prove a loss for journalists

Court ruling limits access to public information in Virginia

After deliberating for months, late last week the Virginia Supreme Court ruled in favor of climate scientist Michael Mann in... More

8million.jpg

Forget the spin of eight million sign-ups

The consumer and business story angles Obamacare reporters should turn to now

With the announcement late last week that eight million people had signed up for Obamacare, it seemed for a while... More

foiadrone.jpg

FOIA win against government on drones

Will it lead to more or less disclosure in the future?

The enormous increase in public attention to the drone war in the past year arguably began with the leak of... More

nhaley.jpg

Come for the Facebook spat, stay for the child welfare story

Yes, there was a social media dustup between SC politicians last week. There’s also a real story here that local media have been on since last fall

CHARLESTON, SC -- Late last week, a Facebook spat between South Carolina's Republican governor and an oft-supportive GOP state senator... More

aereo.jpeg

Aereo coverage in a nutshell

Of all the angles on Aereo, the most important one is the worst for the company

No rational CEO chooses to take a company's business model before the Supreme Court just for the publicity. But for... More

USMexicoBorder_AP.jpg

Crossing over

Hybrid documentary series Borderland recreates the treacherous journey that actual undocumented immigrants have attempted from Mexico to the US

Halfway through retracing the journey that thousands of undocumented migrants take from Mexico to the United States each year, Washington... More

xlpipeline.jpg

Stories I’d like to see

Obama’s unaccountable briefers, pipeline bribery, and economic woes at Yankee Stadium

This column, a regular feature, was originally published on Reuters.com. 1. Obama's unaccountable briefers: Here's a key paragraph in Saturday's... More

printing_press.jpg

Newspapers continue to sink (UPDATED)

Ad declines far outweigh subscription gains

The newspaper industry continued to sink last year, shedding 2.6 percent of its revenue on heavy print ad declines, according... More

hamidmir.jpeg

Pakistan’s most prominent journalist shot by gunman in Karachi

An apparent assassination attempt on Hamid Mir illustrates the price that comes with the higher profile and influence of the news media in Pakistan

Pakistan's most famous and influential journalist is recovering in a hospital after being shot by a gunman in the metropolis... More

allergies.jpeg

Ker-choo!

To catch a sneeze

In honor of allergy season, here's a riddle: What word's first syllable is pronounced differently than the way it is... More

jameiswinston.jpg

For comprehensive coverage of the Florida State case, go to…NYT?

The Tallahassee Democrat and other Florida papers could have done more on the Jameis Winston investigation

Last week, the most comprehensive look to date at the flawed investigation into a rape accusation against Jameis Winston, Florida... More

oldtv.jpg

The rise of internet video news

More and more young people get their news from online video, which is not necessarily a bad thing

Most of the discussion of youth news consumption and news literacy--including that of yours truly--focuses on articles and written content.... More

JEdgarHooverAP.jpg

The secret whistleblowers, revisited

The new documentary 1971, which premiered on Friday, reveals how a group of activists exposed the secrets of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI

In March 1971, eight burglars broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation office in Media, PA, and stole hundreds of... More

medals.jpg

Must-reads of the week

“Ah, the New York Times is coming today. I’d better put on my best pair of leggings”

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

StephenHenderson.jpg

How the Detroit Free Press won a Pulitzer for commentary

The paper put columns at the forefront of its coverage of the city’s bankruptcy

DETROIT, MI -- This might just be the newsiest city in America--and Stephen Henderson's job is to make sense of... More

occidental.jpg

The ambiguous LA Times/Occidental rift

It’s in many ways a “they said, he said” story with no easy answers

Last month, the Los Angeles Times dismissed Jason Felch, a 2006 Pulitzer Prize finalist for investigative reporting, in the kind... More

delcourt_jacob-weisberg_tb.jpg

Jacob Weisberg, CEO, Slate

Full video of Jacob Weisberg’s conversation at the Delacorte Lecture series

Streamed live on Apr 17, 2014, Jacob Weisberg, talks with Victor Navasky. To view this video on mobile, click... More

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 2.59.22 PM.png

Walking the public opinion tightrope

Early reception of a celebrity-packed Showtime documentary demonstrates the difficulty of engaging audiences on climate change

The first episode of Years of Living Dangerously, Showtime's mammoth documentary series on climate change that premiered Sunday night, is... More

huffpo .jpg

Huffington: ‘Virality has become fetishized’

HuffPost’s founder spoke about her site’s direction—and her newest book—at Tufts University on Wednesday

The Huffington Post's South Korean edition--the site's 11th international incarnation--launched in February with a reporting focus on burnout and technology... More

dasani2.jpg

In defense of ‘Dasani’

The NYT series transcends the Pulitzers and the second-guessing

Columbia's Bill Grueskin tries to explain why the Pulitzer board dismissed The New York Times's "Invisible Child" series about Dasani... More

supremecourt.jpg

What law did the Toledo Blade break? The Army won’t say

But we’ve got a guess—and the paper’s lawsuit could present the first challenge to the statute

After military police detained two journalists last month outside a military manufacturing plant, an Army spokesman said the journalists had... More

snowden.jpg

Another Pulitzer for reporting classified info

The prize’s board has “rewarded” coverage of leaked material before

The Pulitzer committee's decision to give its public service award this year to the Washington Post and the Guardian for... More

currents.reporters.jpg

3 signs you’re in a bad relationship with your editor

What happens if, somewhere between first draft and publication, the editor-writer relationship goes south?

Just like any successful romance, a good editorial relationship starts with two people, a mutual attraction, and the hope that... More

dasani.jpg

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

On Monday afternoon, the Pulitzer board awarded the local news reporting prize to an impressive, powerfully written series of stories... More

MedicaidclinicSmall.jpg

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does the Medicaid story we’ve been looking for

Taking a close look at what life is like in the “coverage gap”

Not long ago, we faulted press coverage of the Medicaid expansion debate for overlooking the personal experiences and struggles of... More

moms_bait.jpg

USA Today’s third-rate clickbait

Trolling for pageviews à la Business Insider, but without the panache

What happens when America's Newspaper tries to go Business Insider? Something like this: That's the America's Markets section of USA... More

sebelius.jpg

Stories I’d like to see

Sealing deadly court files, and Obama and his Cabinet

This column, a regular feature, was originally published on Reuters.com. 1. Sealing deadly court files: In the wake of continuing... More

bluechina.jpg

Pretentious, or quaint?

Amongst, amidst, whilst

The headline on a recent article in a Tennessee newspaper said the local teachers were "among best-paid" in the state.... More

newsweek-bitcoing.png

IBT Media is allegedly breaking labor law

Newsweek’s parent company only pays employees once a month despite laws mandating twice monthly, according to multiple former and current staffers

IBT Media, the parent company of International Business Times and Newsweek, has been violating New York labor law for years... More

pulitzer.jpg

2014 Pulitzer Prizes announced

Guardian and WaPo win for public service

This year's Pulitzer Prizes were announced at 3pm on Monday at Columbia University, the final prizes overseen by outgoing administrator... More

delacorte_bush_tb.png

Vanessa Bush, Editor-in-Chief, Essence

Full video of Vanessa Bush’s conversation with Victor Navasky at the Delacorte Lecture series

Streamed live on April 14, 2014 — Vanessa Bush talks with Victor Navasky. To view this video on mobile... More

tavi.jpg

16 women whose digital startups deserve Vox-level plaudits

A look at the media entrepreneurs who aren’t grabbing headlines

Even casual consumers of media news have heard of Ezra Klein and Nate Silver, two names that are now synonymous... More

julialouisdreyfusrollingstone.jpg

The enduring pull of mag covers

Why do magazine cover images still hold so much cultural power in this decline-of-print era?

In some ways, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus Rolling Stone cover is a sign of how far we've come: A 53-year-old woman... More

hb.jpeg

Must-reads of the week

Heartbleed bugs and wonk bubbles

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

obamacare.jpg

The AP downplays its Obamacare scoop

Repeal on deductible caps marks another step in The Great Cost Shift

Earlier this week, David Espo of The Associated Press broke the news that an unlikely alliance of Democrats and Republicans... More

PrintingPress.jpg

OnEarth eliminates print

The science mag’s editors say sticking to digital will allow them to devote more resources to environmental journalism

Back in February we praised OnEarth, the editorial arm of the Natural Resources Defense Council, for using its website to... More

michael_wolff.png

Michael Wolff’s digital media bloopers (UPDATED)

The Newser founder trolls (other) digital-news companies

Having accurately predicted that Lachlan Murdoch would return to his dad's company, Michael Wolff, in his exhilaration, made this crack... More

Joplin.jpg

A small paper scores an open-records win in a recovering city

The Joplin Globe’s court victory forces an investigation’s findings public before local election

KANSAS CITY -- Voters in Joplin, MO, the small Midwestern city still recovering from a 2011 tornado, went to the... More

docdata.jpg

The promise and peril of new Medicare data

Newly-released Medicare payment data offer key clues to how physicians practice, get paid—if reporters proceed carefully

Yesterday's release by the Department of Health & Human Services of Medicare physician payment and service data--for decades out of... More

blow_bubbles.jpg

The press and the tech bubble

How the groundwork might be laid for another Big One

Here's a headline you don't like to see if you're worried about a possible social-media/tech bubble: Slate wrote this toward... More

bourdain.jpg

Audit Notes: CNN, SEC scorched, how we read now

CNN is launching a show built for Twitter called Your 15 Second Morning, The Wall Street Journal reports. Fifteen seconds!... More

medicalbill.jpg

What coverage of New York’s ‘surprise billing’ fix left out

The fight between doctors and insurers is an important one to keep watching

Last week, The New York Times ran an article announcing a significant healthcare provision in the budget deal reached by... More

globe.jpg

The Local goes global

An English-language news site in Sweden is expanding across the continent

In 2004, James Savage and Paul Rapacioli were two Brits who had fallen in love with Swedes, leaving them with... More

Philco_radio_model_PT44_front.jpg

WNYC is beefing up its data journalism

New York’s public radio station is expanding its data reporting

WNYC's data team has tracked a lot over the years: cicadas, flood zones, and even wireless internet access on the... More

aljazeera.jpg

Al Jazeera journalists still jailed in Egypt

A panel at the Columbia j-school discussed ways to combat the press crackdown there

On December 29, three Al Jazeera English journalists were arrested in Egypt. One hundred days later, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy,... More

mcdonalds_strike.jpg

Audit Notes: Online polls, local TV news, HuffPost art

The LA Times runs with a shaky survey on wage theft

The Washington Post's Erik Wemple picks apart poor Los Angeles Times coverage of an Internet survey that found that 90... More

FLottery.jpg

‘Nobody’s that lucky’—except in Florida’s lottery?

Palm Beach Post ferrets out lottery fraud, prompts tightening of “meager” safeguards

MIAMI -- When The Palm Beach Post's Lawrence Mower asked the Florida Lottery for information on winners from 1997 to... More

tina_brown1.jpg

Tina Brown’s glossy feminism

If only Tina Brown had been a feminist throughout her media career, rather than now that it’s fashionable

In the program booklet for Tina Brown's fifth annual Women in the World summit, which took place this past weekend... More

ezraklein.jpeg

Vox.com is going to be a great test of Ezra Klein’s critique of journalism

How much demand is there for a Wikipedia for news? Looks like we’re going to find out

Vox.com, the much-discussed new project from Ezra Klein, Melissa Bell, and Matt Yglesias, launched late Sunday night. With the obvious... More

walmarttday.jpg

Wal-Mart. Walmart. wal*mart.

The company is inconsistent, but the AP isn’t

One style change the Associated Press has made recently is to decide that the giant discount chain based in Bentonville,... More

camera.jpg

Toledo Blade lawsuit alleges military guards detained journalists, deleted photos

Editor: “Everything that happened that day made it apparent we couldn’t sit back and take it.”

The Toledo Blade filed a federal lawsuit Friday against various government officials after military police reportedly detained two of the... More

columbia_alma_mater.jpg

More female journalists means broader foreign coverage

A conference on women in media met at Columbia’s Journalism School on Saturday

In 2013, Lauren Wolfe, a freelance journalist who has reported extensively on sexual violence director of Women Under Siege at... More

kissing_clown.jpg

Falling for internet hoaxes

Some people who share satire don’t realize they’re missing the punchline

There is a certain language that accompanies sharing News of the Weird. Popping into my Facebook feed with some regularity... More

thehoff.jpg

Must-reads of the week

New Michael Lewis, sponsored Josh Marshall, over-sized David Hasselhoff

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

cpjicon.png

Afghanistan appears deadlier for journalists

A targeted attack killed a longtime AP photographer on Friday

Afghanistan may be becoming more dangerous for journalists, most recently evidenced by the violent attack by an Afghan policeman on... More

washingtonpost.jpg

Can The Washington Post’s national push help support local news?

In Post digital access for local print subscribers, some see makings of a new news bundle

When The Washington Post announced in mid-March that it would provide free digital access to subscribers of a half-dozen local... More

pogo.jpg

Planned NSA reforms still leave journalists reason to worry

“Two hops” may still include numerous reporters

Last week the Obama administration set forth a proposal to reform one part of the National Security Agency's surveillance program:... More

AxChopTree.jpg

‘You can’t do more with less’: Reaction to the Star-Ledger cuts

Latest round of job losses will hit a quarter of the newsroom

It's not been the best week for jobs in journalism. Entertainment Weekly laid off seven staffers. Digital First Media shuttered... More

steve_newhouse.jpg

Audit Notes: Star-Ledger sinks, Strib swims, news revenue quantified

Advance Publications and the Newhouses slash another already-gutted newsroom

The Newhouses brought the ax down yet again on the Star-Ledger today, slashing 167 jobs, including 40 in the paper's... More

delacorte_smith-lerer_tb.png

Ken Lerer and Ben Smith, BuzzFeed

Full video Ken Lerer, CEO and Ben Smith, Editor-in-Chief, BuzzFeed at the Delacorte Lecture series

Streamed live on April 3, 2014 -- Ken Lerer and Ben Smith, BuzzFeed talk with Victor Navasky. To view... More

takingtemp.jpg

Obamacare open enrollment ends. Time for a checkup?

What reporters are asking now and where they should focus in the weeks and months ahead

Midnight Monday brought the end of Obamacare's first open enrollment period, a deadline marked the next day by President Obama's... More

niche.jpg

Dear reader

For small sites, loyalty might be a better path to pageviews

Recently NYU professor Jay Rosen offered some advice to entry-level journalists: Start in a niche. Choose a topic where there... More

josh_marshall.png

Native ads: Advertorial for the digital age

Talking Points Memo, Andrew Sullivan, and advertising as a necessary evil

The native-ad wars have flared up again, this time over Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo, the longtime standard bearer for... More

viral.png

No, Ebola is not spreading to the US

Some news orgs jumped on an outbreak as a chance to spread unlikely hype

Infectious disease outbreaks usually afford news outlets the opportunity to post dramatic, attention-grabbing headlines, and the recent Ebola outbreak in... More

oldtv.jpg

Broadcast partnership limits in the crosshairs

The National Association of Broadcasters and Congressional Republicans are both trying to stymie new FCC rules against broadcast conglomerates

Update, May 12, 2014: The National Association of Broadcasters announced that it did indeed file a suit in the US... More

digitalfirst.png

Digital First plans layoffs (Updated)

High-level executives and high-profile digital projects targeted

Digital First Media, the New York-based newspaper operator that has made a high-profile bet on its digital business, is planning... More

henry_blodget.png

Audit Notes: Business Insider’s junkets, NYT’s union dig, naive AP

Henry Blodget’s site lets sources pay for business reporters’ overseas trips

Henry Blodget's Business Insider is still letting reporters take junkets paid for by their sources, which it should go without... More

healthcaredelay.jpg

Audit Notes: WSJ’s Obamacare frame, undercover, too big to fail

The Journal’s angle slants against HealthCare.gov

Contrast how The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal frame the Obamacare news on their front pages: The... More

votecorey.jpg

Stories I’d like to see

America’s biggest boondoggle and ‘REAL’ voter ID

This column, a regular feature, was originally published on Reuters.com. 1. The book on America's biggest boondoggle: Last week, the... More

ipcc.jpg

The IPCC presser was livestreamed, but those present still got the best stories

Digital connection can only get reporters so far

Associated Press environment reporter Seth Borenstein was in Yokohama, Japan, for the release of a blockbuster UN report Monday that... More

Stop using ‘Brooklyn’ to mean hipster neighborhoods - Elite-oriented outlets typically only cover the borough’s most affluent, Manhattan-adjacent neighborhoods

The Reporters Committee is about to start suing people to help journalists - Katie Townsend joins the organization as its first litigation director

How a Nebraska newspaper kicked off a major prison sentencing scandal - The Omaha World-Herald found that hundreds of inmates were being released early

On media freedom, United Nations plays by its own rules - Months of international crises raises the stakes for reporting on the UN, but investigative journalists remain without a right to information

Keep calm and write a headline worth reading - Ease up on the exaggerations because someday you may need those explosive adjectives when a truly big story lands


Adviser of high school paper that refused to use ‘Redskins’ suspended (Student Press Law Center)

“Amid a months-long battle with administrators for editorial control … the Playwickian’s faculty adviser was suspended for two days this week”

Apple’s ‘warrant canary’ disappears (GigaOm)

Apple included language in its first Transparency Report to say that it had not been subject to a Section 215 Patriot Act request. That language is now gone.

Trend Piece (New Yorker)

Buzzword, buzzword, buzzword. Isn’t the buzzword on your mind now? Perhaps it is on other people’s minds? Read on or you’ll be clueless, dated, and without any friends in the world. Buzzword again!

This Is How Joanna Coles Changed Cosmo (Refinery29)

The British reporter-turned-editor has made good on her promises to bring politics to the magazine, win some very big-deal journalism awards, and secure the most interesting exclusive interviews

Bloggingheads

Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

  • If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $19.95 (6 issues in all).
  • If not, simply write cancel on the bill and return it. You will owe nothing.

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.