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Author Archive

Articles by James Boylan | Email the Author

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books on Garry Wills and the decline of The New York Times

Outside Looking In: Adventures of an Observer | By Garry Wills | Viking | 195 pages, $25.95 This is a... More

Al Balk, 1969—1973

CJR’s second editor

Alfred Balk, the second editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, died in November at the age of eighty. Al, like... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books about copyright law, political scandals, and Gay Talese’s sports writing

Common as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership | By Lewis Hyde | Farrar, Straus and Giroux | 306 pages, $26... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of a history of wartime public opinion and a biography of Time publisher Henry Luce

Selling War in a Media Age: The Presidency and Public Opinion in the American Century | Edited by Kenneth Osgood... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of a classic novel about journalism and a biography of a pioneering female reporter

A Modern Instance | By William Dean Howells | J. R. Osgood and Company | 514 pages, available online for free... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books about misreported stories, the Killing Fields, and the press vs. secrets

Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism | By W. Joseph Campbell | University of... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books about the future of journalism and a career at the Times

The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again By Robert W. McChesney... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books about familial discoveries and coverage of Hillary Clinton

Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America By Kati Marton Simon & Schuster 272 pages, $26 For Kati... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books on foreign reporting and journalists who risked it all

Journalism’s Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting By John Maxwell Hamilton Louisiana State University Press 655 pages, $45... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books on the Irish Revolution and animal rights crusaders

The News From Ireland: Foreign Correspondents and The Irish Revolution By Maurice Walsh I.B. Tauris 258 pages, £20 At the... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books on campaign bloggers, tabloids, and a collection of Henry Fairlie’s essays

Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press By Eric Boehlert Free Press 280 pages, $26... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books about William Randolph Hearst and the Arkansas Gazette

The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst | By Kenneth Whyte | Counterpoint | 546 pages, $30... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books about Fred Friendly and America’s early newspapermen

Friendlyvision: Fred Friendly and the Rise and Fall of Television Journalism | By Ralph Engelman, Foreword by Morley Safer |... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books about art on the New York Times’s Op-Ed page, the short life of The Chicagoan, and hoaxes in the news.

All the Art That’s Fit to Print (And Some That Wasn’t): Inside The New York Times Op-Ed Page By Jerelle... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books about public confession and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

The Art of the Public Grovel: Sexual Sin and Public Confession in America By Susan Wise Bauer Princeton University Press... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books about Masson v. New Yorker and immersion journalism at Harper’s magazine.

Literary Journalism on Trial: Masson v. New Yorker and The First Amendment
 By Kathy Roberts Forde
 University of Massachusetts Press... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books about the run-up to World War II and the media’s coverage of John McCain

Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, The End of Civilization By Nicholson Baker Simon & Schuster 576 pages,... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books about the Pulitzers, early African American journalism, and the relationship between advertisers and consumers

Pulitzer’s Gold: Behind the Prize for Public Service Journalism By Roy J. Harris Jr. University of Missouri Press 473 pages,... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books about Tarbell’s muckraking, the cost of war, and that headless body in a topless bar

Taking on the Trust: The Epic Battle of Ida Tarbell and John D. Rockefeller By Steve Weinberg W. W. Norton... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books: Woodward and Bernstein, the U.S. record on torture, and media populism

Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate By Alicia C. Shepard John Wiley & Sons 288 pages, $24.95... More

16 women whose digital startups deserve Vox-level plaudits - A look at the media entrepreneurs who aren’t grabbing headlines

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

The AP downplays its Obamacare scoop - Repeal on deductible caps marks another step in The Great Cost Shift

The enduring pull of mag covers - Why do magazine cover images still hold so much cultural power in this decline-of-print era?

Michael Wolff’s digital media bloopers - The Newser founder trolls (other) digital-news companies


The shirt on your back

How did the clothes you’re wearing get to you? We trace the human cost of the Bangladeshi garment industry in video, words and pictures

Anxious royalist

Fantastic letter in The Times

Coming out as a porn star

How do you tell your family and friends?

The truth about Google X

A look behind the secretive lab’s closed doors

New Jersey’s good government

Despite the bridge scandal, Chris Christie’s state is relatively transparent and accountable. CJR’s Greg Marx talks to Gordon Witkin

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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.