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The Magazine

July/August 2013



Woman’s work

The twisted reality of an Italian freelancer in Syria

He finally wrote to me. After more than a year of freelancing for him, during which I contracted typhoid... More


Mission impossible

Is government broadcasting irrelevant?

What US government agency was recently labeled "dysfunctional" by the State Department's Inspector General, and year after year is rated... More


Underwritten or undercut?

Nonprofit funding can’t solve our foreign-coverage problem

Not long ago, some 20 news organizations decided which foreign news stories should be covered for the American audience. These... More


Future tense

Can Afghanistan’s press survive without the West’s support?

In the summer of 2012, melon crops in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz Province were nearly wiped out by a bacterial disease.... More

Cover Story

Lighten up

How satire will make American politics relevant again

In spring 1998, as a senior political science major at the University of New Hampshire, I took a transformative course... More

Cover Story

Funny follows

Comedic tweeters

Was it William Shakespeare or @wise_kaplan who said, "Brevity is the soul of wit"? In either case, of Twitter it... More


Eye’s up

Ian Hislop explains why Private Eye’s blend of humor and investigative journalism wouldn’t work in the US

Britain's bestselling current-affairs magazine, Private Eye, has been producing its biweekly and decidedly English mix of satire, industry gossip, cartoons,... More


Unconventional wisdom

John Summers was wrong for most magazines; that made him perfect for The Baffler

Critical thinker John Summers, editor of The Baffler, has never been afraid to speak his mind. (Aditi Mehta) In... More


Distance yearning

Done right, online courses could help democratize our newsrooms

In March 2012, I stood with three journalism students in Times Square, taking in the lights, color, and scope of... More


Open wide

Critics and boosters alike agree that the full implementation of Obamacare will be complicated and nerve-wracking for some people. Here’s how journalists can help.

Much of healthcare journalism is about policy choices and the debates that shape them. The full implementation of Obamacare, however,... More


Open wide: the fine print

This is a sidebar to the feature story "Open wide." Who's eligible? Generally, people who do not have coverage otherwise--from... More


Opening Shot

Opening Shot

Photojournalist Rob Hart chronicles his post-Sun-Times life

O n May 30, the entire photo staff of the Chicago Sun-Times--28 full-time photographers, including Pulitzer Prize-winner John H. White--were... More


Teach a man to fish

How the media can help fix our broken food-aid system

In their 2009 book Enough: Why The World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman... More

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Readers respond to our May/June issue

The draw Re: "Streams of consciousness" by Ben Adler (CJR, May/June) Great read! As a millennial, I of course found... More


Open Bar

The Esquire Tavern

The Esquire Tavern San Antonio, TX Year opened Originally in 1933, the year Prohibition ended. It closed in 2006,... More

Language Corner

Language Corner

Orchestra pits

Bob Kamman writes that he's seen "orchestrated" or "carefully orchestrated" misused a lot. He quoted a New York Times article... More


Bad news

Worst job in America?

Okay, so the newspaper business isn't exactly thriving; and the idea of casting a reporter as the hero in... More


Hard numbers

All the news that’s fit to fake

1.4 million average viewers of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart ages 18-49 1.1 million average viewers of The Colbert... More


Innovation watch

A bucket brigade

Last October, the day before Newsweek announced it would be shutting down its print edition, Peter Bilak launched a... More



China rising

First came CCTV's big boxer shorts, now the People's Daily's colossal phallus. As the Chinese state media look to conquer... More

Darts and Laurels

Darts & Laurels

Bad bikes, coaches’ cash, etc.

DART to The Wall Street Journal for its video segment ("Death by Bicycle") in which editorial-board member Dorothy Rabinowitz... More


Social-media watch

I ♥ the briny deep

According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the vast swaths of the world's oceans... More


Title search

Human-capital consultant

Shane Williams is a human-capital and executive-search consultant at Egon Zehnder International. After earning his PhD in biochemistry at... More


Strange but true

Before you go…

Carrie Ching is developing a storytelling series about journalists called Off The Record. To introduce the series to CJR... More

The Lower Case

The lower case

Headlines that editors probably wish they could take back

--Talking Points Memo, 4/22/13 --ESPN, 5/28/13 --Yle Uutiset, 5/29/13 --Ventura County (CA) Star, 4/30/13 --Des Moines Register, 4/8/13 --AOL... More

On the Job

On the job

Strong finish

Shortly before 3pm on April 15, Boston Globe reporter Michael Rezendes was in the home stretch of his seventh... More

Ideas & Reviews

Second Read

Clarion call

The future of the alternative press can be found in its past

Alt-media maven Stephen Mindich, longtime publisher of the Boston Phoenix, in 1976. (Peter Simon) I spent the morning of... More


DC deep-freeze

Pols no longer need us more than we need them

The voice on the other end of the line was grave. It belonged to Kristie Greco, the top leadership aide... More

Critical Eye

News havens

Dan Kennedy shows why news startups matter

The New Haven Independent is almost surely the smallest news organization ever chronicled at book length. Founded in 2005 by... More

Critical Eye

Wingnut commander

Roger Ailes, Fox News, and the future of journalism

Roger Ailes Off Camera: An inside look at the founder and head of Fox News By Zev Chafets Sentinel... More

Critical Eye

Brief encounters

Short reviews of Cotton Tenants, Media Capital, and Death Zones and Darling Spies

Cotton Tenants: Three Families | By James Agee and Walker Evans, Edited by John Summers, Preface by Adam Haslett |... More

Q and A

Exit interview

Nicholas Lemann ends a decade as dean of the Columbia University Journalism School

Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Columbia Journalism School, has decided to head back to the classroom after 10 years... More

New survey reveals everything you think about freelancing is true - Data from Project Word quantifies challenges of freelance investigative reporting

Why one editor won’t run any more op-eds by the Heritage Foundation’s top economist - A reply to Paul Krugman on state taxes and job growth made some incorrect claims

Why we ‘stave off’ colds - It all started with wine

The New Republic, then and now - Tallying the staff turnover at the overhauled magazine

Why serious journalism can coexist with audience-pleasing content - Legacy media organizations should experiment with digital platforms while continuing to publish hard news

The rise of feelings journalism (TNR)

“Bloom engaged in an increasingly popular style of writing, which I’ve discussed on my blog before, which I call “feelings journalism.” It involves a writer making an argument based on what they imagine someone else is thinking, what they feel may be another person’s feelings. The realm of fact, of reporting, has been left behind.”

Things a war correspondent should never say (WSJ)

“The correspondent retelling war stories surely knows that fellow correspondents had faced the same dangers or worse”

On WaPo trying to interview a cow (National Journal)

“‘I wasn’t milked on the White House lawn by a strange man,’ The Washington Post—the venerable institution that would later come to break the Watergate scandal and win 48 Pulitzers—quoted her, a farm animal, as saying”


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.