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Author Archive

Articles by James Boylan | Email the Author

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books on journalists William L. Shirer and E.J. Edwards, plus the documentary Page One

The Long Night: William L. Shirer and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by Steve Wick | Palgrave... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of new books about war correspondents Roi Ottley and Byron Darnton

Roi Ottley’s World War II: The Lost Diary of an African American Journalist | Edited with an introduction by Mark... More

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of a new history of NPR, Denys Wortman’s cartoons, and Laurie Hertzel’s memoir

This Is NPR: The First Forty Years by Cokie Roberts and others | Chronicle Books | 271 pages, $29.95 This... More

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

Stop using ‘Brooklyn’ to mean hipster neighborhoods - Elite-oriented outlets typically only cover the borough’s most affluent, Manhattan-adjacent neighborhoods

The Reporters Committee is about to start suing people to help journalists - Katie Townsend joins the organization as its first litigation director

How a Nebraska newspaper kicked off a major prison sentencing scandal - The Omaha World-Herald found that hundreds of inmates were being released early

On media freedom, United Nations plays by its own rules - Months of international crises raises the stakes for reporting on the UN, but investigative journalists remain without a right to information

Keep calm and write a headline worth reading - Ease up on the exaggerations because someday you may need those explosive adjectives when a truly big story lands


Apple’s ‘warrant canary’ disappears (GigaOm)

Apple included language in its first Transparency Report to say that it had not been subject to a Section 215 Patriot Act request. That language is now gone.

Trend Piece (New Yorker)

Buzzword, buzzword, buzzword. Isn’t the buzzword on your mind now? Perhaps it is on other people’s minds? Read on or you’ll be clueless, dated, and without any friends in the world. Buzzword again!

This Is How Joanna Coles Changed Cosmo (Refinery29)

The British reporter-turned-editor has made good on her promises to bring politics to the magazine, win some very big-deal journalism awards, and secure the most interesting exclusive interviews

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.