Tuesday, September 23, 2014. Last Update: Mon 3:04 PM EST

Culture

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Not-so-secret lives on smartphones

There may be no better way to report on the internal lives of others than to examine what’s on their phones

Call it journalistic phone hacking with consent. On The Secret Life of Students, a recent documentary series on the UK’s... More

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Gotcha!

Get, got, and gotten

A software program that acts as a super spelling checker often stops on the word "got," and asks, in effect,... More

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How Katrina and BP spill coverage defined NOLA as the two events, in turn, shaped local press

A review of Oil and Water: Media Lessons from Hurricane Katrina and The Deepwater Horizon Disaster

When Hurricane Katrina charged through New Orleans, the devastation left in its wake had an unintended side effect: It became... More

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Wanton behavior

The difference between “want” and “wont”

In the 1700s, Garner's Modern American Usage says, Samuel Johnson declared an end to "wont." But, Garner's continues, "it hangs... More

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LeBron’s SI announcement was the anti-‘Decision’

It looks like he didn’t want to once again incur fan wrath with his latest movement announcement

Last Friday the sports world was astonished by two stories. First, the NBA's best player, LeBron James, was reversing his... More

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How reporters used data covering the World Cup

Some pieces were revealing; others threw out numbers without saying anything

With the 2014 World Cup set to end on Sunday, this week's edition of Data Darts and Laurels will focus... More

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Measuring up

Uses of “gauge”

The word “gauge” plays several roles. It both measures something and is the measure of something. A speedometer, for example,... More

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Government lies

Charles Lewis’ new book says nonprofit journalism is the answer to government lying and corporate bullying—but we have to figure out how to pay for it

On August 5, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson went on national television and told the following story: Three days earlier, North... More

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Striking redundant expressions

Why use two words when one would do?

"Write tighter" is a plea most journalists have heard, probably more than once. One way to do so is to... More

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A parting shot

Michael Hastings’ posthumous novel skewers the media elite

The Last Magazine By Michael Hastings Blue Rider Press 352 pages Hardcover, $26.95 Michael Hastings first burst onto the national... More

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Received wisdom

How think tanks became the malls of America’s intellectual life

Think Tanks in America By Thomas Medvetz University of Chicago Press 344 pages Hardcover, $32.50 The Public Broadcasting Service's round-the-clock... More

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Brief encounters

Short reviews of Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability and Foreign Correspondent: A Memoir

Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability By Penelope Muse Abernathy The University of North Carolina Press 254 pages; $27.50... More

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Old rivalries, old words

The reappearance of “caliphate” and “the Levant”

From a language point of view, what's happening in Iraq, Syria, and environs has revived words that have not been... More

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How to tell if you’re using ‘irony’ or ‘sarcasm’

It’s a fine line

A father and daughter were deep in discussion over breakfast at a diner. "That's not irony, that's sarcasm," the father... More

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‘Civil’ versus ‘sectarian’ conflicts

How to pick the most accurate war word

Iraq is now faced with an escalation of "sectarian violence," and Syria is still ensnared in its "civil war." Those... 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


Female sportscasters are speaking up (NYT)

“[i]n the wake of the recent scandals, women have been driving the story, providing a perspective that their male counterparts simply cannot”

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!

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.