Thursday, August 21, 2014. Last Update: Wed 4:04 PM EST

Author Archive

Articles by David Cay Johnston | Email the Author

usatoday.jpg

Placing a bet on USA Today

Gannett has long felt the television model could translate into print. Now it’s using its flagship paper to double down on that idea.

The business model of network television--plugging the power of a national broadcast operation into a grid of local stations--is coming... More

pentagongasmask.jpg

LAT exposes wasteful spending on the biowarfare beat

Local media outlets around the country can do that, too

An expose of dubious Pentagon spending hit the front page of the Los Angeles Times front page not long ago,... More

laurelrevisedhomepage.png

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

parttime.jpg

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

jd.jpg

Missing context on JP Morgan

A liberal columnist tries the math that the business press should have done

A crucial piece of context went missing in coverage of the recent news that JP Morgan settled with the federal... More

WICpic.jpg

Local coverage tracks shutdown’s impact

Papers from Maine to Minnesota and beyond find consequences for those in need

The government shutdown in Washington will be temporary--but the damage it creates in some lives is likely to be long-lasting... More

forsale.jpg

Hot air housing stories?

News reports on rising housing prices, including rentals, neglect a basic economic fact

The price of housing, whether buying or renting, is rising, or so say many recent news reports. Some skepticism is... More

Waltons.jpg

How billionaires get around the estate tax

A stellar Bloomberg article uses the Waltons as a case study

Ever wonder why the very rich pay so little in gift and estate taxes, which are intended in part to... More

laurelrevisedhomepage.png

A laurel for the Detroit Free Press

Deeply reported coverage explodes simplistic myths about how the Motor City went bankrupt

"How Detroit Went Broke," published Sunday in the Detroit Free Press, is a superbly reported, written, and illustrated investigative... More

dcjNFL.jpg

Think taxpayers, not just NFL fans

There is a big—so far, untold—story about the proposed NFL concussion settlement

Journalists threw the public for a loss last week when reporting on the tentative settlement of a lawsuit brought by... More

LoisLerner.jpg

Scandal! IRS official cites public record

An “exclusive” report about collusion against a conservative group comes up empty

As Brendan Nyhan wrote Thursday for CJR, the elite mainstream press has largely lost interest in the IRS scandal, even... More

marineone.jpg

At what cost?

A New York Times report on presidential helicopters offers lessons for covering government contractors

Competition for government contracts tends to drive down prices for taxpayers. But when bidding requirements are narrowly-crafted, as the New... More

IRS.jpg

Tax overhaul: big numbers, hidden stories

Multinationals have ways to avoid taxes not available to domestic companies, and momentum is building in both parties to fix a flawed system. A few journalists are taking note.

How big corporations pay--or don't pay--their taxes isn't a subject that gets a lot of quality explanatory coverage, though... More

laurelhomepage.jpg

A laurel to Time’s ‘Battleland’ blog

Winslow Wheeler’s posts show how the Pentagon uses its own inflation adjuster to make the case for more spending

The growth in the Pentagon budget over time is even greater than you think--and the scale of the increase... More

irs.jpg

WSJ minimizes the latest IRS news

A solid reporter’s story gives curiously short shrift to fresh facts. Meanwhile, what was the IG directed to find?

When the latest revelations in the IRS political targeting controversy--the fact that nonprofit applications from groups whose names suggested they... More

lockheed.jpg

Sequester update: contractors’ edition

Government contracting is under-reported terrain—and story-rich, for reporters who know where to look

Because of the budget sequester, food banks cut some Meals on Wheels, day care and Head Start workers were laid... More

laurelrevisedhomepage.png

Is BofA mining profits from mortgage misery?

A Laurel to The Palm Beach Post

Kimberly Miller of The Palm Beach Post broke an important story about how the Bank of America allegedly rewarded... More

laurelrevisedhomepage.png

A second look at the sequester

And it isn’t pretty. A Laurel to The Associated Press

The federal budget sequester is back in the news. Three months after these across-the-board budget cuts began--some $85 billion... More

stormcloud.jpg

The undercovered dark cloud in the shrinking-deficit story

Flurry of articles was welcome, but some cautionary notes deserved greater play

The federal budget deficit has been shrinking like a wool sweater in a clothes dryer, but that fact seems mostly... More

IRS.jpg

The other IRS scandal

Required context for a controversy

The burgeoning "scandal" over how the IRS chose for review 75 applicants for tax-exempt status puts on full display an... More

Why The New Yorker’s radical feminism and transgenderism piece was one-sided - “This effectively advances the views of a group that wants to see the genocide of trans women, a group that, data shows, faces extraordinarily high rates of discrimination in every measurable way”

Journalism groups rally around a petition supporting James Risen - The Supreme Court ruled against the NYT reporter, who is refusing to reveal sources

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

Gannett’s changes bring excitement, some pain, and a full-time beer beat - A conversation with Joshua Awtry, the chain’s top editor in the Carolinas

Build the future - Journalism’s deathwatch is over


Last call (Medium)

“The death of newspapers is sad, but the threatened loss of journalistic talent is catastrophic. If that’s you, it’s time to learn something outside the production routine of your current job.”

Maureen Dowd on James Risen (NYT)

“Risen may be trapped in Ibsen, but Obama is channeling Orwell”

Preparing yourself to cover chaos (Medium)

“There are things you should know before you show up, and you’re not going to find them in the current news cycle”

Journalists can get PTSD right at their desks (PSmag)

A new study correlates exposure to violent images with mental health symptoms

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.