Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Last Update: Mon 2:50 PM EST

Critical Eye

Head Case

The artful eccentricity of St. Clair McKelway

Reporting at Wit’s End: Tales from The New Yorker | By St. Clair McKelway | Bloomsbury | 619 pages, $18... More

Texas Tornado

A one-woman show resurrects the late Molly Ivins

One-person shows are tricky things, demanding for both actor and audience. The playwright’s almost insurmountable challenge is to create a... More

Hooking the Big Ones

Matt Labash’s meetings with remarkable men

Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys | By Matt Labash... More

Remote Control

How Joseph Pulitzer built a media powerhouse—in absentia

Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power | James McGrath Morris | Harper | 559 pages, $29.99 What is... More

Character Studies

A new anthology from David Maraniss highlights the human factor

Into the Story: A Writer’s Journey Through Life, Politics, Sports and Loss | By David Maraniss | Simon & Schuster... More

Free At Last?

An impassioned pitch for press freedoms in the new century

Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free Press for a New Century | By Lee C. Bollinger | Oxford University Press,... More

Rebel with a Cause

Molly Ivins in high definition

Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life | By Bill Minutaglio and W. Michael Smith | PublicAffairs | 360 pages, $26.95 On... More

Show and Tell

An enlightening history of the Danish cartoon controversy—minus the cartoons

The Cartoons that Shook the World | By Jytte Klausen | Yale University Press, 240 pages, $35 Many Americans will... More

Heroes and Villains and Literary Geniuses

Literary critic and CJR's Ideas + Reviews editor, James Marcus, sat down last night for a discussion with author David... More

Bomb Squad

The explosive rise (and final fizzle) of Ramparts

A Bomb in Every Issue: How the Short, Unruly Life of Ramparts Magazine Changed America | By Peter Richardson |... More

Picture Perfect

A DVD reissue of Scandal Sheet is good news indeed

I don’t know any newspaper people who don’t like a good newspaper movie. I'm not sure why this is so--do... More

Throw the Rascals In!

Joe Flaherty’s classic account of Mailer and Breslin on the hustings

In this season of a perfectly dull mayoral election, and in this year that is the fortieth anniversary not only... More

California Dreaming

An era of “strange quietude” in the Golden State

Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance | By Kevin Starr | Oxford University Press | 576 pages, $34.95... More

Out of Africa

The raw and redemptive odyssey of a Burundian refugee

Strength in What Remains | By Tracy Kidder | Random House | 304 pages, $26 “The world is full of... More

Core Competencies

Alex Jones on why we must maintain the “iron core of news”

Losing the News: The Future of the News That Feeds Democracy | By Alex S. Jones | Oxford University Press... More

How Forbes got to $475 million - That’s what a Hong Kong investor has agreed to pay for a firm that two years ago had trouble paying its rent

Are female journalists up to the job of a Jill Abramson interview? - Reporters avoid unflattering discussion about her firing

How to check if that viral video is true - Journalists don’t always verify user-generated content, so readers need to learn how to verify what they see online

The Grand Dame of Florida reporting has retired twice, but she’s still causing trouble - A conversation with the Tampa Bay Times’ Lucy Morgan

Brick by brick - After years of shrinking ambition at The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos has the paper thinking global domination


A First Look update (First Look Media)

“[R]ather than immediately launching a large collection of digital ‘magazines’ based on strong, expert journalists with their own followings, as we imagined earlier, we’ll begin by building out the two we’ve started and then explore adding new ones as we learn”

The White House deploys minders to interviews all the time (WaPo)

“Almost every officially sanctioned exchange between reporters and the proverbial ‘senior administration officials’ is conducted in the presence of a press staffer”

The down-and-dirty history of TMZ (BuzzFeed)

“TMZ’s real engine — what defines its mission, what legitimizes it and sets it apart — is a unique and controversial mix of scandal mongering and investigative journalism”

The 10 worst New Yorker longreads (Gawker)

“[A]pparently [Adam] Gopnik did not know you could bake fancy breads from France and other cultures. So he got his mom to teach him how to bake them. A fine anecdote, maybe, to tell a friend or a therapist. But in this case he wrote about it for the New Yorker, a magazine.”

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.