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Articles by Alexis Sobel Fitts | Email the Author

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Why llamas took over the news cycle

“When the audience is talking about a certain topic or covering a certain topic that you aren’t, you have to be a part of that conversation or you aren’t part of the news”

On Thursday, when two escaped llamas in Arizona captivated the internet, the Associated Press was ready. "Two quick-footed llamas dashed... More

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Reveal and the new push for podcasts

A new direction for investigative reporting

Two years ago, John Barth met Joaquin Alvarado, the CEO of the Center for Investigative Reporting, for martinis at the... More

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Here’s how you run a newspaper that’s under attack

Step 1: Be strategic

In the early hours of a November morning in 2011, a car pulled in front of the offices of... More

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Is UpWorthy moving closer to journalism?

The hiring of Amy O’Leary suggests the site may soon produce original content

Last Spring, in the midst of reporting a feature on the idealistic hit-maker UpWorthy, I asked site co-founder Peter Koechley... More

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To keep or ditch the comments?

While some sites maintain a discussion on the page, others outsource it to social media

When millennial-targeted media company Mic ditched its comments section in mid-December, it was the latest in a string of similar... More

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How to handle a story correction

Rolling Stone needs a transparency lesson

Rolling Stone has been in deep water this week, as journalists eviscerate the outlet for failing to fully vet the... More

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BP’s aggressive PR strategy obfuscates facts

The company’s flack blurs lines between journalism and company mission

.@MorrellGeoff's piece in @Politico is no different than any other op-ed by any other company in any other publication— State... More

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Why media probably shouldn’t name Ebola victims

Ebola’s made its American sufferers famous—but what do we gain with personal details?

By the time the video of Nina Pham was released last week, most Americans were likely familiar with her name--and... More

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We still don’t know how to stop misinformation online

But new tools like Emergent could help find the answer

From the beginning the story seemed suspect, but that didn't stop the New York Post's report last month of a... More

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How Facebook is changing who gets paid for your work

Content curators and aggregators aren’t going away

In 2009, Wired's then-executive editor, Chris Anderson, released a book with a daunting prediction. In Free: The Future of A... More

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Why Elise Andrew is an exceptional self-made brand

She introduced her brand to a wide audience without the aid or endorsement of journalistic institutions

When CJR placed Elise Andrew on our September/October cover alongside the title "journalism's first self-made brand", we unleashed a tirade... More

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Do you know Elise Andrew?

The creator of the Facebook page “I f*cking love science” is journalism’s first self-made brand

In retrospect, I could easily have ignored the picture that appeared on my Facebook feed on a lazy Sunday... More

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Michael Brown shooting and the crimes journalists choose as newsworthy

Examining why black suspects are covered at a greater proportion than they commit crimes

Since Michael Brown's fatal shooting on August 9, news coverage of the event and its aftermath has been followed by... More

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The media’s growing interest in how animals think

The more divorced we become from animals in our daily lives, the more we want to look at them online

Tip the elephant arrived in New York to accolades and fanfare--until things went wrong. A few years into his stay... More

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How Katrina and BP spill coverage defined NOLA as the two events, in turn, shaped local press

A review of Oil and Water: Media Lessons from Hurricane Katrina and The Deepwater Horizon Disaster

When Hurricane Katrina charged through New Orleans, the devastation left in its wake had an unintended side effect: It became... More

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The newest tool in teaching about climate change: the weatherman

A South Carolina pilot project expands

In March of 2013, CJR awarded a laurel to a meteorologist in the midst of a promising project: Jim Gandy,... More

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Story Control

A new suite of tools allows the public to parse press coverage

Back in February, MIT's Center for Civic Media published a stunning series of graphics tracing press coverage of Trayvon... More

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As Congress scolded him, Dr. Oz launched a magazine

The Good Life is less inflammatory than the doctor’s television show, but the line between ad and editorial is murky

Journalists have delighted in tearing into Dr. Mehmet Oz this week, after a Senate hearing shamed the daytime television personality... More

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Narrating climate change

Incremental journalism isn’t driving home the dire state of the climate to the public, so researchers and outlets are trying to reach them through a shift in storytelling

In late April, the Yale Forum on Climate and the Media, an independent group publishing reported stories, analysis, and opinion... More

New survey reveals everything you think about freelancing is true - Data from Project Word quantifies challenges of freelance investigative reporting

Why one editor won’t run any more op-eds by the Heritage Foundation’s top economist - A reply to Paul Krugman on state taxes and job growth made some incorrect claims

Why we ‘stave off’ colds - It all started with wine

The New Republic, then and now - Tallying the staff turnover at the overhauled magazine

Why serious journalism can coexist with audience-pleasing content - Legacy media organizations should experiment with digital platforms while continuing to publish hard news


The rise of feelings journalism (TNR)

“Bloom engaged in an increasingly popular style of writing, which I’ve discussed on my blog before, which I call “feelings journalism.” It involves a writer making an argument based on what they imagine someone else is thinking, what they feel may be another person’s feelings. The realm of fact, of reporting, has been left behind.”

Things a war correspondent should never say (WSJ)

“The correspondent retelling war stories surely knows that fellow correspondents had faced the same dangers or worse”

On WaPo trying to interview a cow (National Journal)

“‘I wasn’t milked on the White House lawn by a strange man,’ The Washington Post—the venerable institution that would later come to break the Watergate scandal and win 48 Pulitzers—quoted her, a farm animal, as saying”

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.