Best of 2009: Megan Garber

Garber picks her top stories from 2009

1) Common Knowledge Part of the first unit in CJR’s Press Forward series of future-of-news dialogues, this essay explores the tension—a crucial one, I believe—between the need for niche news and the need for journalism that is, fundamentally, communal. It’s a tension that we’ve seen play out in the health care debate, most explicitly; but it hints, I think, at a broader and more implicative phenomenon: the idea that, when it comes to information, democratization and democracy might be fundamentally at odds with one another.

2) Johnny Jones 2.0 On the occasion of its launch, a look at the high hopes placed on GlobalPost. This was a fun story to report, in particular, given that the reporting involved chatting with foreign correspondents stationed around the world.

3) Correction Fluid A look at the evolution of errors in an era of warp-speed news cycles.

4) Maws, Mouthpiece, and “Mad Bitch”: Innovation Gone Wrong? While experimentation is essential right now, we need to be smart about the ways we test ideas in the real world. A plea for wise experimentation.

5) Leap of Faith A magazine feature examining news literacy, the new movement training young people to be savvy news consumers in the digital age.

6) “Malaise” Maligned I enjoy writing book reviews. I enjoy books on presidential history. I enjoy media criticism. This made for an enjoyable combination of the three.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.