Friday, October 24, 2014. Last Update: Fri 3:49 PM EST

Culture

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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

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Accentuate the positive

When to use diacritics

English has no accents, formally known as diacritical marks, or diacritics. But many words that arrived from other languages do... More

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Words associated with weddings

Inspiration hat-tip to Kim and Kanye

The recent wedding of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West presents an opportunity to discuss the snarky "announcement" that ran in... More

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Squirreling away the eggcorns

A collection of misleading phrases

We've discussed "eggcorns," phrases so tantalizingly close to idioms or common expressions that they actually make some sense, twisted though... More

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

Des Moines Register prepares for a ‘very stressful’ newsroom restructuring - Editor Amalie Nash speaks on turnover, transformation, and a virtual reality adventure

PBS pulls ads from Harper’s Magazine after critical essay - Piece argues public broadcaster has fallen under the sway of political influence and outside money

Should all journalists be on Twitter? - Reasons to take up or forgo the 140-character platform

The Tennessean is borrowing reporters from other Gannett papers - Music columnist Peter Cooper is latest journalist to part ways with Nashville paper


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”

How Ben Bradlee dealt with flacks (Washington Post)

“I would like to be sure that you understand that we trust our editors’ news judgement and that we distrust yours”

Ben Bradlee, 93 (WaPo)

“From the moment he took over The Post newsroom in 1965, Mr. Bradlee sought to create an important newspaper that would go far beyond the traditional model of a metropolitan daily”

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.