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Articles by Alissa Quart | Email the Author

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How we got our story

The new Atavist feature, The Last Clinic, is a product of persevering and roughing it

In the process of making the multimedia work The Last Clinic, about the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, filmmaker Maisie... More

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How to recount a plague

A new documentary about AIDS is the best one in the past few years

How to Survive A Plague is the best AIDS documentary I’ve seen. Why? Because it is important, yes, but... More

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Is Project Runway saving criticism?

It may well be, Reality Check columnist Alissa Quart says

This Thursday, I was watching an episode of the 10th season of the now ancient and seemingly irrelevant Lifetime show... More

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Collapsing the line between documentary and fiction

A new film, The Ambassador, exhibits “performance journalism,” a combination of art and reporting

This week, you can on-demand a documentary that uses insanely unorthodox methods to get at the truth and judge for... More

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Viral before the Internet

Things spread, but the content, often documentary, was darker and weirder

Was there viral documentary film and video before the Internets? You bet. As Kliph Nesteroff wrote recently in The Awl,... More

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Vimeo: AuteurTube

YouTube can make amateurs rich, but the video pros are congregating elsewhere

The Times mag the other week noticed that amateur star “YouTubers” could make six figures through the site’s comedy channels.... More

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Push Girls transcends its genre

Viewers might come for the drama, but they’ll stay for the realness that seeps through

In her new column, Reality Check, Alissa Quart delves into all things documentary. The new Sundance Channel reality-show Push Girls,... More

Get Real

The unlikely marriage of documentary filmmakers and reality TV

Dionicio is a heroin addict who was terribly abused as a child and turned to drugs and crime when... More

The Long Tale

New homes for stories that fall between a book and an article

When author Jon Krakauer started looking into the altruistic claims of his former friend, the best-selling author of Three... More

The Trouble With Experts

The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Actress Jenny McCarthy’s favorite line is, “My son is my science.” She’s an autism activist who insists that vaccines caused... More

The Rise of True Fiction

Some of the best new films and books live between genres

Staff Sergeant Will James fiddles with the bomb like an IT tech on methamphetamine. He works quickly despite his seventy-pound... More

Expensive Gifts

What does free culture cost?

One evening in February 2009, the artist Shepard Fairey spoke at the New York Public Library. He was discussing his... More

The Sarcastic Times

For Rachel Maddow and the other ironic anchors, absurdity is serious stuff

On a Wednesday night in December, Rachel Maddow, in a toreador-style black jacket, waits for her show to start. She... More

Music Lessons

What journalists could learn from Kid Rock, Lil Wayne, and Bon Iver

He takes the stage clad in a black turtleneck. his famous line is, “Green is the new red, white, and... More

Flickring Out

What will become of photojournalism in an age of bytes and amateurs?

Clichés are sometimes true. Here’s one—photographers don’t like to give speeches. At a recent event, photographer Antonin Kratochvil screened slideshows... More

Obsessed with Our Destroyers

How a passive press enshrines its enemies

We the media are obsessed with our destroyers. We could even be said to love (or love to write about... More

Lost Media, Found Media

Snapshots from the future of writing

If there were an ashram for people who worship contemplative long-form journalism, it would be the Nieman Conference on Narrative... 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

Are female journalists up to the job of a Jill Abramson interview? - Reporters avoid unflattering discussion about her firing

How to check if that viral video is true - Journalists don’t always verify user-generated content, so readers need to learn how to verify what they see online

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

Brick by brick - After years of shrinking ambition at The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos has the paper thinking global domination


The White House deploys minders to interviews all the time (WaPo)

“Almost every officially sanctioned exchange between reporters and the proverbial ‘senior administration officials’ is conducted in the presence of a press staffer”

The down-and-dirty history of TMZ (BuzzFeed)

“TMZ’s real engine — what defines its mission, what legitimizes it and sets it apart — is a unique and controversial mix of scandal mongering and investigative journalism”

The 10 worst New Yorker longreads (Gawker)

“[A]pparently [Adam] Gopnik did not know you could bake fancy breads from France and other cultures. So he got his mom to teach him how to bake them. A fine anecdote, maybe, to tell a friend or a therapist. But in this case he wrote about it for the New Yorker, a magazine.”

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.