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Articles by Ryan Chittum | Email the Author

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The Hamster Wheel is institutionalized at the Oregonian

Newhouse-owned outlet imposes a digital quota

This misbegotten document is what it looks like when HR spins the Hamster Wheel: Oregonian Employee Policy Presentation Willamette Week... More

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For the WSJ, access doesn’t pay off

While Businessweek, locked out, gets the big Target hacking story

Let's compare two stories on the Target data breach that offer starkly opposing portraits of how the mega-retailer handled the... More

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Michael Milken, financier and philanthropist (UPDATED)

The Washington Post and WSJ forget a key piece of information

So, who is Michael Milken, anyway? According to the Washington Post he's "a financier with numerous philanthropic ventures in health... More

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Automatic approval for weak study on robot journalism

Poor reporting accepts a flimsy report as gospel

"Could robots be the journalists of the future?" asks The Guardian. "People Think Computer Journalists Are More Trustworthy Than Human... More

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Audit Notes: Tribune gets results, Buffett’s sweet deal, China

An investigation of the flame-retardant industry snares a doctor

The Chicago Tribune's outstanding investigation into the flame-retardant industry (a probe featured in The Audit's Best Business Writing 2013) is... More

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The second draft of history

When corrections go unflagged

What do you do when you make a fact error online? The answer is simple: Fix it and flag the... More

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Audit Notes: A fallen journo does retail, local gone wrong, Abelson

Former Politico reporter on falling down the ladder

Joseph Williams had to take a retail job at 50 years old after getting fired from Politico in the wake... More

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The great Herbalife astroturf war

The New York Times probes Bill Ackman’s campaign against the multilevel marketer

Herbalife is one of those multilevel marketing companies, often sketchy, that usually operate below the view of the national press.... More

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Audit Notes: Agnotology, Blame-the-borrowers debunked, WSJ goes native

Michael Hiltzik looks at the cultural production of ignorance

Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times has a must-read column about agnotology, the study of the "cultural production of... More

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A letter from death row backfires on Gawker (UPDATED)

The site let Ray Jasper whitewash the brutal killing he helped commit

Gawker has long delighted in thumbing its nose at journalism convention, and that's fine. On the other hand it makes... More

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Newsweek and ‘trust us’ journalism

“The Face of Bitcoin” promised too much

Leah McGrath Goodman tells Felix Salmon this about her controversial Newsweek piece on the founder of Bitcoin: "If I read... More

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The NYT preps its paywall part deux

A few details emerge on the cheaper NYT Now, plus a high-end subscription

The New York Times has been looking for ways to build on the massive success of its three-year-old metered paywall... More

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An enterprising Journal fills gaps on investor protection

An outstanding investigation of FINRA, Wall Street’s self-regulator, continues

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent investigative series going into Wall Street self-regulator FINRA and how its system of... More

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The Guardian’s digital boom

Revenue rises sharply online for a second-straight year

The Guardian had another big year of digital business last year, further brightening the paper's long-term outlook. The paper says... More

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Marc Andreessen’s news-business fairy tale

The news industry is not in for exponential growth

Marc Andreessen has some outlandish predictions about the future of the journalism business: I am more bullish about the future... More

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Audit Notes: Video ads, NPR on the Hamster Wheel, ProPublica’s data store

Adweek on TV versus online video

Adweek clickbaits us with a headline saying, "You Won't Believe How Big TV Still Is." It's unclear why you wouldn't... More

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The Financial Times breaks the law of large numbers

Digital subscriptions soar, putting paid circulation at a record

The paywalled Financial Times is the real digital-first newspaper, and it had a very, very good 2013. Online revenue now... More

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Audit Notes: NYT’s Goldman elevator coverage, hacking trial, mobile competition

The Times buries the lede

Earlier this week, investigative journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin outed the joke Twitter account @GSElevator, which purported to tweet actual quotes... More

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South African welfare queens gorge on lamb and macaroni as anecdotal Bloomberg fails data test

The wire misses badly

You can tell right from the headline on this Bloomberg News story that the piece is going to be seriously... More

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The Journal and the bond king

A brutal piece takes on Bill Gross and PIMCO’s corporate culture

What does it take to make someone quit a $100 million a year job? The Wall Street Journal's Greg Zuckerman... 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


Adviser of high school paper that refused to use ‘Redskins’ suspended (Student Press Law Center)

“Amid a months-long battle with administrators for editorial control … the Playwickian’s faculty adviser was suspended for two days this week”

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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