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The Magazine

November/December 2009

Articles

Feature

The Rise of True Fiction

Some of the best new films and books live between genres

Staff Sergeant Will James fiddles with the bomb like an IT tech on methamphetamine. He works quickly despite his seventy-pound... More

Feature

Myths of Mexico

The media’s simplistic depiction of the ‘drug war’

In 1891, my great-great-uncle, Catarino Garza, attempted to overthrow the Mexican dictator, Porfirio Díaz, by launching an armed revolution from... More

Feature

‘A Minor Regional Prophet’

Paul Hemphill wrote the stories he was meant to write

Paul Hemphill, the first published writer I ever knew, died in Atlanta last summer of lung cancer at the age... More

Reconstruction

The Reconstruction of American Journalism

A report by Leonard Downie, Jr., and Michael Schudson

For reactions to this report, click here. American journalism is at a transformational moment, in which the era of dominant... More

Departments

Short Takes

Freeze Frame

A photojournalist finds himself increasingly shut out

I’ve encountered plenty of prohibitions on picture-making in fifteen years as a photojournalist. But the most infuriating came recently at... More

Short Takes

All the News Fit to Sing

An interview with the man behind Pakistan’s musical news cartoons

American coverage of Pakistan tends not to focus on its role as a media laboratory, but a sudden growth of... More

Short Takes

Man on the (Digital) Street

A new Web service helps reporters find the perfect quote

It all began innocently enough. In fifteen years as a PR guy and serial entrepreneur, Peter Shankman had become something... More

Darts and Laurels

Darts and Laurels

The East Valley Tribune uncovers abuse of a school tuition program

Editor’s Note: After this “Laurel” went to press, the East Valley Tribune announced that it will cease publication online and... More

Editorial

A Helping Hand

The case for (smart) government support of journalism

When in September President Obama said he would be “happy to look” at congressional proposals designed to help the beleaguered... More

Ideas & Reviews

Review

Brief Encounters

Short reviews of books on foreign reporting and journalists who risked it all

Journalism’s Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting By John Maxwell Hamilton Louisiana State University Press 655 pages, $45... More

Second Read

A Failure of Skepticism

Stolen Valor and the effort to expose bogus battlefield heroics

Two years ago, a weekly paper in suburban Chicago profiled an elderly character who had been asked to lead the... More

The Research Report

Mourning Becomes Electric

The rituals of grief can still bring a fragmented audience together

Fragmented. Few words are used more often to describe the media environment today. People disappear into their iPods, iPhones, BlackBerrys,... More

Review

Poverty’s Poet Laureate

A new portrait of Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange was an elite portrait photographer, a government-funded propagandist, an artist, and, most famously, a photojournalist who helped invent... More

Review

Glass Half Full?

Two new books with clashing takes on American optimism

Given the generally grim mood of the American public these days, it might seem like an odd time for Barbara... 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.