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Author Archive

Articles by James Boylan | Email the Author

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A prominent gathering in Georgetown

Gregg Herken’s new book suggests journalists got cozy with influential individuals during the Cold War

In The Georgetown Set Friends and Rivals in Cold War Washington (Alfred A. Knopf, $30), Gregg Herken, a historian of... More

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War and conspiracy

Molly Guptill Manning and Kati Marton’s latest books reviewed

When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II By Molly Guptill Manning Houghton Mifflin... More

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Lincoln teams up with journalists

Quick reviews of Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion and The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom

Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion By Harold Holzer Simon & Schuster 768 pages;... More

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Brief encounters

Short reviews of Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability and Foreign Correspondent: A Memoir

Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability By Penelope Muse Abernathy The University of North Carolina Press 254 pages; $27.50... More

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Brief encounters

Short reviews of Journalism and Memory and Protest and Propaganda: W.E.B. Du Bois, The Crisis, and American History

Journalism and Memory Edited by Barbie Zelizer and Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt Palgrave Macmillan 282 pages, $95; $28 paperback Journalism and Memory... More

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Brief encounters

Short reviews of Deadly Censorship and The Loudest Voice in the Room

Deadly Censorship: Murder, Honor and Freedom of the Press | By James Lowell Underwood | The University of South Carolina... More

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Brief encounters

Short review of The Outrage Industry

The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility By Jeffrey M. Berry and Sarah Sobieraj Oxford University Press... More

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Brief encounters

Short reviews of Informing the News and Celebrity Politics

Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism | By Thomas E. Patterson | Vintage Books | 233 pages |... More

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Brief encounters

The Selected Letters of Willa Cather

The Selected Letters of Willa Cather | Edited by Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout | Alfred A. Knopf... More

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Brief encounters

Short reviews of Cotton Tenants, Media Capital, and Death Zones and Darling Spies

Cotton Tenants: Three Families | By James Agee and Walker Evans, Edited by John Summers, Preface by Adam Haslett |... More

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Brief encounters

Short reviews of Fighting for the Press and America 1933

Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles | By James C. Goodale |... More

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Brief encounters

Short reviews of After Visiting Friends, The Art of Controversy, and Tupelo Man

After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story | By Michael Hainey | Scribner | 306 pages | $26 Robert C. Hainey... More

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Brief Encounters

Short reviews of A Journalist’s Diplomatic Mission and The Noir Forties

A Journalist's Diplomatic Mission: Ray Stannard Baker's World War I Diary | Edited with an introduction by John Maxwell Hamilton... More

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Brief Encounters

Short reviews of Out of the News, The Way the World Works: Essays, and The Stammering Century

Out of the News: Former Journalists Discuss a Profession in Crisis | By Celia Viggo Wexler | McFarland & Company... More

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Brief Encounters

Short reviews of Anonymous in Their Own Names and At the Fights

Anonymous in Their Own Names: Doris E. Fleischman, Ruth Hale, and Jane Grant | By Susan Henry | Vanderbilt University... More

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Brief Encounters

Short reviews of Out on Assignment and Famous Long Ago

Out on Assignment: Newspaper Women and the Making of Modern Public Space | By Alice Fahs | University of North... More

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Brief Encounters

Short reviews of Hitlerland and Yazoo

Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power | By Andrew Nagorski | Simon & Schuster | 385 pages,... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of Ghost of the Ozarks, News for All the People and After the Fall

Ghost of the Ozarks: Murder and Memory in the Upland South | By Brooks Blevins | University of Illinois Press... More

Brief Encounters

Reviewing anthologies on food in wartime reporting and the best of Wolcott Gibbs

Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar: Stories of Food During Wartime by the World’s Leading Correspondents Edited by Matt McAllester |... More

Birmingham: newspapers in a crisis

‘The papers appear to be almost as segregated as the city itself’

In our Summer 1963 issue, James Boylan, CJR’s founding editor, examined how local newspapers covered the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s... More

Virginian-Pilot journalists: Corporate management pressure is stifling coverage - “Lovers of journalism in this newsroom are pissed. It’s bad.”

The worst journalism of 2014 - A recap of the year’s most cringeworthy news blunders

Why the media don’t get Detroit—and why it matters - Coverage of declining cities is too often simplistic and lacking historical context

21st-century censorship - Governments around the world are using stealthy strategies to manipulate the media

Jesse Brown punctures Canada’s media bubble - The independent journalist uses his website and podcast to break stories that might otherwise go unpublished


We should all step back from security journalism (Medium)

“It should be made clear, in law, that the tasks security reseachers do to make the net more secure and journalists do to understand and contextualize the truth for the public are not crimes”

Trust In Business And Media Is Declining, But People Have Faith In Search Engines (Buzzfeed)

People have become less trusting of major institutions, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer. And large majorities doubt that businesses want to make the world a better place.

With New Charlie Hebdo Cover, News Value Should Have Prevailed (NYT)

Public editor Margaret Sullivan on why the paper should have published the images.

An Old Fogey’s Analysis of a Teenager’s View on Social Media (Medium)

“I feel the need to offer my perspective as someone who is not a teenager but who has thought about these issues extensively for years.”

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.