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Articles by Sasha Chavkin | Email the Author

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Déjà news

The FCC ignores local TV news’ quiet consolidation strategy

A strange thing happens when you turn on the news in Hawaii. Tune into the 10pm local newscast on KGMB,... More

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What the Koch brothers’ spending tells us

The Investigative Reporting Workshop’s in-depth report, “The Koch Club,” underscores a shift in political giving

Few political donors have drawn greater scrutiny than the Koch brothers, the chemical manufacturing moguls whose lucrative support of conservative... More

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Acquiring news

Local TV ownership consolidation zooms ahead—to what effect on the quality of local news?

In May, I took a look at the rapid consolidation of local TV ownership, and how last year's windfall from... More

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Rubio’s private prison connection

As the immigration debate unfolds, reporters should keep a close eye on detention policy

As an immigration reform bill grinds its way through Congress, Florida Senator Marco Rubio has emerged as perhaps its most... More

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Political ad windfall drives local TV consolidation

As a trend accelerates, industry and activists disagree about the consequences

As campaign ads saturated the airwaves during the 2012 campaign, and piles of campaign cash buoyed stations' balance sheets, media... More

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Will Wall Street’s cop go after dark money?

The campaign for the SEC to force disclosure of corporate political spending, explained.

During the 2012 elections--and ever since--coverage of campaign finance has focused heavily on the role of "dark money": the unlimited... More

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The Koch brothers’ media investment [UPDATED]

They are maneuvering to buy the Tribune chain. A look at Watchdog.org gives some clues about what that might mean

On Sunday, a front-page story in The New York Times described the efforts of Charles and David Koch,... More

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STOCK fraud?

Reporters miss a chance to expose Congress’s weak rationale for an ethics rule rollback

On Monday, President Obama quietly signed a bill repealing the major provisions of the much-touted ethics law known as the... More

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The return of the congressional junket

MoJo’s Andy Kroll shares his strategies for following the money in a post-Abramoff world

* A "Fiesta de Golf," in which donors who will chip in a cool $50,000 get the chance to potentially... More

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The GOP updates its media roadmap

In 2014 and 2016, changing strategies present new story lines

On Monday, the Republican National Committee released a sweeping postmortem of the party's 2012 election losses and called for... More

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Special interests and Obama’s political advocacy group

Here are four ways lobbyists and corporations can still influence Organizing for Action

Tonight, President Obama will address the "founders summit" of Organizing for Action, the political advocacy group created to promote his... More

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Immigration reform and private prison cash

Key lawmakers in the immigration debate are among the top recipients of campaign contributions from the prison industry

As immigration reform picks up steam in Congress, conventional wisdom holds that a handful of key players are shaping the... More

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Nate Silver defends contested post

His decision to omit outside spending still leads to an incomplete analysis

On Tuesday, I wrote a post that raised questions about New York Times statistical ace Nate Silver's recent analysis of... More

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Nate Silver’s odd omission (Updated)

A data-driven argument about an outside political spending group doesn’t include outside spending

On Monday, The New York Times's resident oracle, Nate Silver, weighed in on an issue that CJR has been following... More

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The money fight for the Republican Party

The launch of the Conservative Victory Fund signals a big outside spending battle—and story—is underway

Last week, we wrote about how hard-right groups like the Club for Growth dominated outside spending in the last Republican... More

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A ‘dark money’ push behind Obamacare?

Politico takes a close look at the backers of a new outreach effort

This morning, Politico published a fascinating story about a new campaign to support implementation of the Affordable Care Act that... More

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How super PACs succeeded in 2012

There’s one area where outside spenders won big: Republican primaries

This post has been corrected. See note at bottom. After the Republican Party and its biggest super PAC and dark... More

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Following the cash behind the new Congress

A guide to getting a (mostly) complete picture in the era of outside spending

In simpler times, when donors were donors and PACs were PACs, campaign spending was easy to follow. A review of... More

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The ‘Hell No’ caucus and primary cash

Politico looks at the incentives facing Rep. Tom Cotton and his new colleagues

Earlier this week, Politico’s John VandeHei and Mike Allen wrote a smart story about what they described as the “Hell... More

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The money behind the fiscal cliff hardliners

Plan B opponents drew major support from outside groups. What does that mean?

The fiscal cliff deal reached on Tuesday reflects a depressing new routine in Washington, DC: the federal government lurching from... More

The ethics of The Guardian’s Whisper bombshell - It would have been a journalistic lapse not to have told readers

Gawker: The internet bully - Nick Denton’s media empire is an intellectual online fraternity that invites people to their parties only to make them buy the booze

The Washington Post short-sells a reporter’s integrity - Steven Pearlstein smears TheStreet’s Adam Feuerstein for criticizing a biotech firm

Former Sun-Times staffers react to top reporter’s resignation - “Whereas we don’t have all the answers, we have way too many questions about what happened here”

Stop trolling your readers - We know you’re only doing it for clicks


John Oliver video sweepstakes (The Awl)

“We may update this list next week to reflect Facebook shares gathered by The Awl as the result of this post, which is ultimately an elaborate excuse to embed a John Oliver video on our website”

Which news org is the most trusted? (Pew)

The answer is complicated

‘My Captivity’ (NYT Mag)

An American journalist on his two-year kidnapping in Syria

FBI faked an AP story, in Seattle Times style, to catch a suspect (Seattle Times)

“‘We are outraged that the FBI, with the apparent assistance of the US Attorney’s Office, misappropriated the name of The Seattle Times to secretly install spyware on the computer of a crime suspect,’ said Seattle Times Editor Kathy Best”

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.