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The Magazine

May/June 2012



Postage due

The USPS is running out of money. Where does that leave magazines?

Early on a February morning, in a glass-walled conference room high up in the Hearst Tower in Manhattan, Postmaster General... More


Encryption is your friend

Four easy ways to protect yourself and your sources

• Depending on whether you use Windows, Mac, or Linux, there is a variety of built-in or free software for... More


Meanwhile, in the land of the free…

In the US, you can still say almost anything, but someone just may be listening in

In December 2010, the major payment systems used to buy goods and services online decided that Wikileaks was no longer... More


Beyond encryption

Hold the phone! And other security strategies…

Encrypted messaging is just one of many techniques that journalists should be deploying in the digital age. I asked Christopher... More


Censory overload

How a reluctant journalist used his software skills to aid the Arab Spring

January 26, 2011, was just another cold winter day in Sweden, where I attend graduate school. I returned to... More


The reporter who saw it coming

Mike Hudson thought he was merely exposing injustice, but he also was unearthing the roots of a global financial meltdown

Mike Hudson began reporting on the subprime mortgage business in the early 1990s when it was still a marginal,... More

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The spy who came in from the code

How a filmmaker accidentally gave up his sources to Syrian spooks

Last fall, “Kardokh,” a 25-year-old dissident and computer expert in the Syrian capital of Damascus, met with British journalist and... More


Sino the times

Can China’s billions buy media credibility?

Locals call it da kucha, or “big boxer shorts,” because of its shape. China Central Television’s future headquarters in Beijing... More


Muscovy pluck

How long can Ekho Moskvy radio get away with pooh-poohing Putin?

In Vladimir Putin’s Russia, there is no more persistent reproach to his autocratic rule than the country’s oldest independent... More


The reporter who saw it coming

Mike Hudson thought he was merely exposing injustice, but he also was unearthing the roots of a global financial meltdown

Mike Hudson began reporting on the subprime mortgage business in the early 1990s when it was still a marginal,... More

Cover Story

Six degrees of aggregation

How The Huffington Post ate the Internet

Of the many and conflicting stories about how The Huffington Post came to be—how it boasts 68 sections, three... More


Language Corner

Language Corner

Basis Points

“On a case-by-case basis.” “On a regular basis.” “On an urgent basis.” Each of those base expressions, from The Associated... More


Sree Tips

Social-media etiquette for journalists

Q: I just came back from a conference; what’s the best way to use LinkedIn to connect with people... More


Open Bar

The Press Room

Year opened 1995 Owner James “Raff” Rafferty (born in Manchester, England) Distinguishing features Next door to the Santa Barbara... More

Darts and Laurels

Darts and Laurels

Not going the distance

Much ado… On March 21, The Orange County Register published a blog post, based on the sworn affidavit of... More


Title Search

User Experience (UX) Designer

Susan Rits is a User Experience (UX) Designer who worked at Time Warner, Fox, and Google. She is founder... More


Hard Numbers

Retracting “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory”

888,000 downloads of “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory,” the January 6 This American Life episode based on Mike Daisey’s... More


How I got that story


In March 2011, Lisa M. Hamilton, a writer and photographer, began a series of road trips around rural California.... More


What’s in My…

Dean Takahashi from GamesBeat unpacks

It’s fitting that veteran tech journalist Dean Takahashi, who grew up a self-described “arcade rat,” weaned on classics like... More

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Letters to the Editor

Notes from our Online Readers

Readers weigh in on Ron Howell’s “The New York Times Goes to the Dogs”

In a March piece, Ron Howell wrote about the increase in stories about dogs in The New York Times since... More

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Aggregated assault

Whose work is it, anyway? A plea for standards.

“There’s nothing new under the sun.” Thus spake my high-school teacher, then nearing retirement, and if I remembered nothing... More

On the Job

An unflinching witness

Long Island native Marie Colvin spent her career chronicling the horrors of war and oppression, from Sri Lanka to Syria. She wanted the world to see what she saw.

Marie Colvin, who was killed in Syria on February 22, represents a great deal that is excellent about the... More

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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Readers respond to our March/April issue

Patch work Excellent piece (“The constant gardener” by Sean Roach, CJR, March/April), and even though I didn’t join Patch until... More

Opening Shot

Opening Shot

The Instagram campaign

Every presidential campaign produces its share of iconic images, but never before have we been able to see trail... More


Editor in Chief’s Note

CJR’s 50th birthday party continues

Perhaps the best thing about turning 50 is that people tend to toss you more than one party. Christie Hefner,... More

Ideas & Reviews

The Lower Case

The Lower Case

Headlines that editors probably wish they could take back

Mother arrested after drowning —Houston Chronicle, 10/18/11 173 animals seized; 2 face cruelty charges —Bellingham (WA) World, 9/23/11 La. chimpanzees... More


Brief Encounters

Short reviews of Hitlerland and Yazoo

Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power | By Andrew Nagorski | Simon & Schuster | 385 pages,... More

The Research Report

Guiding Starr

Freedom of expression is not freedom of the press

Paul Starr’s short essay, “An Unexpected Crisis: The News Media in Postindustrial Democracies” in the International Journal of Press/Politics (2012),... More


A master’s missteps

Fixated on Kapuscinski’s flaws, a new biography misses the point

Celebrated for his reportage about world-changing events and leaders of his day—the Iranian Revolution, Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution,... More

Q and A

Exit Interview

C-SPAN’s maestro exits the stage

In 1979, Brian Lamb, then the head of Cablevision’s DC bureau, achieved what now seems unimaginable: He convinced Congress... More


The re-entry problem

America’s tough-on-crime policies didn’t work. Now what?

Over the course of eight days in 1978, a 15-year-old terror named Willie Bosket managed to satisfy his curiosity about... More

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The astroturf Cassandra

Why hacks like Andrew Keen really fear the social Web

Long before Facebook or Foursquare, men like the late management consultant Martin Jay Levitt were connoisseurs of social networks. At... More

Second Read

Laboratory confidential

The Double Helix’s warts-and-all portrayal of scientific pursuits shook up the formal world of science writing

W hen The Double Helix appeared in the winter of 1968, I reviewed it for The Laureate, the literary magazine... 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.