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The Magazine

November/December 2011

50th Anniversary

Articles

Feature

The Moments

Fifty years of media culture, as captured by Magnum photographers

Magnum Photos, founded during the most glorious age of photojournalism, has always represented a dream of how journalism can be... More

Feature

Power of Dispassion

Alan Schwarz changed football

On October 17, 2010, the Philadelphia Eagles hosted the Atlanta Falcons before a crowd of nearly 70,000. The game... More

Feature

Immediate Returns

Ben Smith is not an old-school political reporter

Thirty-five-year-old Ben Smith reports on national politics for Politico from a rent-a-desk writers’ workspace on the first floor of... More

Feature

A Reporter in Full

Isabel Wilkerson listens

Isabel Wilkerson spent most of her journalism career at The New York Times where, as Chicago bureau chief, she... More

Feature

Tenacious

Dana Priest wants to show you how the world works

Washington Post reporter Dana Priest says she has always had an insatiable curiosity. At age six, she liked climbing... More

Feature

What He Knew

Anthony Shadid saw the deeper story in Iraq

Anthony Shadid is the most honored foreign correspondent of his generation: two Pulitzer Prizes, a George Polk Award, an... More

Feature

Sustained Outrage

Ken Ward Jr. stayed home to make a difference

Since he began reporting full-time, in 1991, Ken Ward Jr. has embodied the credo of Ned Chilton III, The... More

Feature

Just Ask Questions

Stanley Nelson searches for truth in the past

Stanley Nelson is the editor of the weekly Concordia Sentinel, a 5,000-circulation newspaper in Ferriday, Louisiana. Nelson, head of... More

Feature

A Different Life

Andrea Bruce was a community journalist in Iraq

Andrea Bruce is a freelance photojournalist, currently based in Afghanistan, whose powerful documentary work attempts to connect people across... More

Feature

The Reporter’s Voice

Seven accomplished reporters and one great photographer talk about what they do, how they do it, and why.

Since 1961, when CJR was born, journalism has undergone all manner of seismic shifts, from hot type to wireless... More

Reports

In Our Time

CJR’s editor takes stock

On my first day at the Columbia Journalism Review, the editors were reading page proofs for an upcoming issue, and... More

Feature

The Newspaper That Almost Seized the Future

The San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley’s own daily, was poised to ride the digital whirlwind. What happened?

1. ‘It Was Written’ Randall Keith and I are talking about the past when his boss, Dave Butler, slides... More

Reports

Pulitzer’s Magazine?

Our founder reflects on CJR’s roots

Here is the best and here is the worst story of the day. . . . Here is the wrong of the day; here... More

Fiftieth Anniversary

A Plea for the Polls

‘The press seems to behave as if it were operating in a simpler yesterday’

Elmo Roper was one of the early giants of American opinion polling. His survey work for Fortune magazine, beginning in... More

Fiftieth Anniversary

Why a Review of Journalism?

The arguments for a critical journal far outweigh the hazards

What journalism needs, it has been said time and again, is more and better criticism. There have been abundant... More

Feature

Through the Years

Five decades of journalism, from the pages of CJR

1961 • Walter Lippmann writes three columns based on more than four hours of interviews with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.... More

Feature

The Moments

Fifty years of media culture, as captured by Magnum photographers

Magnum Photos, founded during the most glorious age of photojournalism, has always represented a dream of how journalism can be... More

Departments

Language Corner

Homegrown

The living language

To look back at the early years of the Columbia Journalism Review is to look at how we used... More

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Reader’s congratulations, and reactions from our September/October issue

Fifty Candles Journalism the world over is in the midst of profound, transformative change, and it is not yet clear... More

Opening Shot

Opening Shot

Here’s to another fifty

C JR’s debut was mostly greeted with “bouquets,” though a few readers, our second issue noted, “reacted with unblemished hostility.”... More

Letters to the Editor

Notes From Our Online Readers

Readers respond to Erika Fry’s “Escape from Thailand”

In September, Erika Fry, a CJR assistant editor, wrote of her “Escape from Thailand,” an ordeal that began when she... More

Editorial

Chairman’s Note

As I write this, every day seems to yield a new story about something called Occupy Wall Street. I have... More

Editorial

Editor’s Note

This is a handsome issue, no? Two entities are responsible for that. The first is Point Five Design, our art... More

Currents

Hard Numbers

Markers in a changing news landscape, from sourcing to salaries to cyberspace

Typewriter sales and service shops in the Manhattan phone book: 341 (1961) 320 (1986) 25 (2011) Computer sales and service... More

Darts and Laurels

Darts and Laurels

An exercise in humility: fifty years of journalism’s lesser angels

An accounting of fifty years’ worth of Darts is hardly a balm for an industry careening through a wrenching transition.... More

Editorial

The Complications of our Age

What we want is a journalism to match them

When the idea of a publication to be called the Columbia Journalism Review first came up, our founding editor... More

Ideas & Reviews

The Lower Case

The Lower Case

Bad News!

Editorial Page Almost a Garbage Dump— Delta (BC) Optimist 3/11/81 Newsmen Threaten Exposure— The Guild Reporter 7/24/70 Readers: We invent... More

Essay

What Can I Build Today?

Online startups can win the future by staying in the present

There are hundreds of local and regional online news startups in America, but only about five that media observers discuss... More

Essay

On Facebook and Freedom

Why journalists should not surrender to the Walmarts of the web

In September of this year, the Internet briefly burbled with the news that Facebook, the market leader in workday-wastery, would... More

Essay

Money Changes Everything

Independent journalism can’t lean on a few rich donors

In lower Manhattan as I write, thousands of protesters, recently joined by some unions, local New York politicians, and a... More

Essay

What About Modesto?

The digital-news parade threatens to pass some communities by

In Modesto, California, the need for news far exceeds the current supply. A city of 200,000 with one midsized... More

Essay

Modesto, California

By the numbers

Population 201,165 Eighteenth-largest city in California; 107th-largest city in the US, between Des Moines, Iowa, and Fayetteville, North Carolina... More

Essay

School’s Out

A lost generation of journalists

A journalist walks across the Modesto Junior College campus in the mid-1990s and peeks in the newspaper office, where dedicated... More

Essay

Class Struggle

Tech won’t end the digital divide

Like many American cities, Modesto has been decimated by local media layoffs and cutbacks in recent years. Journalists have more... More

Essay

Just Press On

Templates for Anytown, USA

Nic Roethlisberger and Dhyana Levey now live in the foggy Richmond District of San Francisco, flanked by the Pacific Ocean... More

Essay

Plowing Ahead

A farm newspaper’s future

Agriculture is and always has been the backbone of the California economy. Last year, Stanislaus County exported agriculture products to... More

Essay

A Paperless Bee

Making the future online

In 1993, I was driving home to Modesto after covering a Bay Area conference on cryptography, having spent the past... More

Second Read

How the Past Saw the Present

The future of journalism has always been on journalism’s mind

CJR knew about the iPad a good fifteen years before there was an iPad to know about. In a... More

Essay

Confidence Game

The limited vision of the news gurus

“The question that mass amateurization poses to traditional media is ‘What happens when the costs of reproduction and distribution go... More

Review

A Reading List for Future Journalists

We asked some of our favorite journalists, scholars, and critics to recommend books and other works that could help... More

How Forbes got to $475 million - That’s what a Hong Kong investor has agreed to pay for a firm that two years ago had trouble paying its rent

Are female journalists up to the job of a Jill Abramson interview? - Reporters avoid unflattering discussion about her firing

How to check if that viral video is true - Journalists don’t always verify user-generated content, so readers need to learn how to verify what they see online

The Grand Dame of Florida reporting has retired twice, but she’s still causing trouble - A conversation with the Tampa Bay Times’ Lucy Morgan

Brick by brick - After years of shrinking ambition at The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos has the paper thinking global domination


A First Look update (First Look Media)

“[R]ather than immediately launching a large collection of digital ‘magazines’ based on strong, expert journalists with their own followings, as we imagined earlier, we’ll begin by building out the two we’ve started and then explore adding new ones as we learn”

The White House deploys minders to interviews all the time (WaPo)

“Almost every officially sanctioned exchange between reporters and the proverbial ‘senior administration officials’ is conducted in the presence of a press staffer”

The down-and-dirty history of TMZ (BuzzFeed)

“TMZ’s real engine — what defines its mission, what legitimizes it and sets it apart — is a unique and controversial mix of scandal mongering and investigative journalism”

The 10 worst New Yorker longreads (Gawker)

“[A]pparently [Adam] Gopnik did not know you could bake fancy breads from France and other cultures. So he got his mom to teach him how to bake them. A fine anecdote, maybe, to tell a friend or a therapist. But in this case he wrote about it for the New Yorker, a magazine.”

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.