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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

Why won’t journalists ask Bill Cosby the tough questions? - Sexual assault charges are hardly ever mentioned to the TV star

Knoxville’s alt-weekly wasn’t losing money. It got shut down anyway - Scripps pulls the plug on Metro Pulse in favor of an entertainment supplement for the local daily

Chuck Todd’s Obama book says more about the author than it does about the president - ‘The Stranger’ underscores a broader problem with the way we cover politics

Beware labeling Pope Francis a liberal - Political boxes like liberal/conservative and evolutionist/creationist miss his real significance

The Virginian-Pilot produces a breakthrough investigation amid layoffs - Reporter John Holland discusses how the story came together, newsroom cutbacks, and colleagues who cover for each other


Which media outlets use ‘illegal immigrant’? (Fusion)

“[I]n spite of all the good reasons not to use the phrase, it is still very easy to find in the US press, even in headlines”

Jack Shafer on losing his job (Capital New York)

“Right now, my immediate plan is to go to work as a lay therapist at The Intercept to bring the healing there so John Cook and Matt Taibbi can return. I have great interpersonal skills.”

On outlets that continue to call unknown drone victims ‘militants’ (The Intercept)

“Like the US drone program itself, this deceitful media practice continues unabated”

UNITY’s convention is no more (All Digitocracy)

“The organization’s board of directors decided that UNITY will no longer host the quadrennial conferences for which it had become known”

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.