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Articles by Sasha Chavkin | Email the Author

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Snow job?

In the 2012 election, Denver broadcasters accepted an avalanche of political ads and the attendant windfall of revenue. Where did that money go, and what happens next time?

Side by side, the two cartoon figures stride across the screen, their stick arms wrapped around massive boxes of gifts.... More

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The least transparent Senators?

A counterintuitive campaign finance story doesn’t add up

It seemed like a startling and politically powerful story. I was looking through campaign finance disclosures, and came upon a... More

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Do super PACS have a right to lie?

In an unsettled legal environment, media’s role—and responsibilities—are central

In a bitter campaign for the Florida State Senate this fall, incumbent Maria Sachs was pummeled with negative TV ads... More

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The Ad Wars: Was outside money futile?

After Election Day, the press seizes on a new conventional wisdom

Throughout the 2012 campaign, dozens of reporters and advocates kept a close eye on the flood of outside money that... More

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The Ad Wars: GOP advantage in the House

In local races, outside money can tip the scales, and the GOP is trying to do just that

As Americans cast their votes for the next president, the Obama campaign and its supporters have maintained an unexpected advantage... More

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The Ad Wars: Romney’s Last-Minute Deceptions

Swing state reporters—watch for ninth-inning spitballs

As the presidential race enters its critical final days, Mitt Romney’s campaign has drawn fire for two advertisements that it... More

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The Ad Wars: a laurel to the Sunlight Foundation

Report brings scrutiny to new political ad database

In an important victory for transparency advocates, the Federal Communications Commission recently began requiring broadcasters to post the files... More

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The Ad Wars: Obama’s special message in Spanish

A review of Obama’s and Romney’s Spanish-language TV ads finds contrasts in style, strategy, and sophistication

Barack Obama gazes directly into the camera and speaks in his warmest baritone. “In the young people known as the... More

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The Ad Wars: Is the IRS throwing in the towel on political nonprofits?

Politico identifies thirteen “social welfare” groups misleading the IRS

On Monday, Politico published a powerful investigation of so-called “social welfare” groups that mislead the Internal Revenue Service about their... More

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The Ad Wars: how to expose a dishonest ‘Social Welfare’ group

Telling the IRS one thing, then doing another

We all know that in the 2012 election season, outside groups fueled by unlimited checks from wealthy donors have been... More

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The Ad Wars: The strange silence on foreign policy

In presidential campaign ads, there have been 22 mentions of jobs for every reference to Iraq and Afghanistan wars

In past elections, the critical threshold for presidential candidates was the commander-in-chief test: whether Americans felt they could trust them... More

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The Ad Wars: From every source, a different number

What should reporters do to provide the best information to their audience?

Tracking campaign ads in the 2012 elections is no easy feat. Between the flurry of spots from the Obama and... More

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The Ad Wars: Super PACs not super? Not so fast

The Journal’s flawed logic on page one

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reached a bold conclusion on one of the central debates of the 2012 elections:... More

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The Ad Wars: The numbers don’t add up

When it comes to political ad spending, we don’t know as much as we think we do

An extraordinary feature of the 2012 elections has been the barrage of outside money unleashed on America’s airwaves. Deep-pocketed groups... More

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The Ad Wars: How do we cover them?

CJR’s guide to the best sources

With less than two months before Election Day, America’s airwaves are under full-scale bombardment. Voters in the crucial swing states... 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


‘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”

How one reporter copes inside the ‘Ebola bubble’ (BuzzFeed)

“Bring gloves to give nurses you meet at clinics, even if you’re there for a story. Get small change to give to the kids who have been out of school for months and are selling ground nuts for pitiful sums on the side of road. Hell, give them candy. Violate all the principles of ostensibly good aid stewardship, because the good stewardship of the developed world didn’t get help here in time, and now everyone is dying around you.”

Fake news sites using Facebook to spread Ebola panic (The Verge)

“These sites claim to be satirical but lack even incompetent attempts at anything resembling humor”

Bloggingheads

Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

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