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The Magazine

November/December 2013


Cover Story

The love affair is over

America’s relationship with the automobile is changing. The transportation beat has to catch up.

In January 2013, more than 5,000 journalists from 62 countries poured into Cobo Convention Center in Detroit, as they... More


Human terrain

After Paula Loyd was murdered in a bazaar near Kandahar, journalist Vanessa Gezari uncovered a story that embodies the tragic arc of US involvement in Afghanistan

Vanessa Gezari's new book, The Tender Soldier, tells the story of the Human Terrain System, a controversial effort by... More


Reform interrupted

Egypt’s most prominent state-run newspaper launched a website to shake up the status quo. Then came a revolution. And a coup. What is the future for Al Bawaba?

When Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef arrived at a Cairo courthouse on March 31, Al Bawaba, the upstart website of... More


The loud listener

Stand-up comic Marc Maron is the best celebrity interviewer working today

When I left Marc Maron on the concrete terrace of Montreal's Hyatt Regency, he was 40 minutes into an... More



A dispute over press access to a neo-Nazi trial reveals the tension between Germany’s embrace of privacy and its need to confront right-wing extremism

The 6th Criminal Division of the Higher Regional Court in Munich, Germany, houses one of the largest courtrooms in Bavaria,... More


Back to Burma

Expelled in 2009, a writer returns to find a country in transition and a journalism community buzzing with possibility

When I left Yangon in May 2009, escorted onto a Thai Airways plane with a passport stamped "deportee," the... More

Matter. - Photo from Boot Camp  - Imgur_resized.jpg.jpg

Go west

In the quest for digital-age prosperity, legacy newsrooms are making pilgrimages to Silicon Valley

In March 2012, the nation's public broadcasters gathered in Austin, TX, for the annual meeting of the Integrated Media Association,... More


The mighty pen

A new project trains Syrians in Jordan to report on themselves

When Hazm al-Mazouni shows his press pass at the entrance to the sprawling Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian... More


Feel me?

The promise and perils of sensor-based journalism

One letter can make a big difference. When talking about sensor journalism, you must take care to note that you're... More


Old law, new tricks

Can we modernize the Electronic Communications Privacy Act?

In 1986, the year President Reagan signed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), most reporters did their work with a... More


Opening Shot

Opening Shot

After the end of denial

Last month's Frontline documentary, League of Denial, was the emotional coda to the first phase of one of the... More


Off the road

Here comes the ‘mobility’ beat

In 2012, carmakers and dealers spent $14.8 billion on advertising, the second most of any sector. Newspapers have cut staff... More

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Readers respond to our September/October issue

Cursive While I can certainly appreciate the idea behind the cover of the September/October 2013 CJR, I do not appreciate... More


Open Bar


McGeary's 4 Clinton Square, Albany, NY Year opened 1982 Distinguishing features  A stuffed hammerhead shark dangling over the middle of... More

Darts and Laurels

Darts & Laurels

Sober statistics and misnamed killers

LAUREL to the BBC for debunking an incendiary TIME article chronicling "Africa's rising rate of alcohol abuse." "Africa has... More


Hard Numbers

International expanse

260 million homes that receive Al Jazeera America, globally 76 percent of Al Jazeera stories on Syria orginated from bureaus... More


Curious tales

Citizen journalism at scale

Each day, Curious City, a public-radio show that airs on Chicago's WBEZ, hits its audience with a strangely intuitive... More


Conflict Reporting

Staying safe in the field

The Journalist Survival Guide does not use the phrase "survival guide" lightly. That much is clear by Lesson 1:... More


How I got that story

One man’s struggle in Syria becomes art

In December 2012, Fotini Christia, a professor at MIT, was in Antakya, Turkey, researching an article about women in the... More


Innovation Watch

Crowd reporting an election

In 19 years of democratic elections, Mozambique has experienced voter apathy and corruption. But a free local newspaper, @Verdade, is... More

Language Corner

Language Corner

Next of kin

We have mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, sons- and daughters-in-law, sisters- and brothers-in-law. But what should you call the parents of your child's... More

On the Job

On the job

The outsider

Catch Stacy Kranitz on a summer night and there's a good chance she's sleeping in her car somewhere in... More

Q and A

Exit Interview

Shifting landscapes

When Leo Hickman said farewell to his readership at The Guardian, he did it with a declaration: "The era... More

Ideas & Reviews

Second Read

America’s secret fetish

Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s Secrecy: The American Experience is an optimistic book; reading it today brings despair

The ease with which the United States government creates new state secrets masks the ultimate cost of the secret's... More

Critical Eye

Benjamins or bullets

How Mexico became a narco-democracy

This is how it used to work: In the 1970s farmers would pay Mexican officials for permission to plant... More

Critical Eye

Human nature

Do conflicting desires prevent us from building happy cities

One of the occupational hazards in writing a book called Traffic is that every year, just after the annual... More

Critical Eye

Games people play

Most of what we think we know about video games is wrong

The fantasy of cyberspace and virtual worlds has captured the human imagination for decades. There's a romance inherent in... More

Critical Eye

Brief encounters

Short reviews of Informing the News and Celebrity Politics

Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism | By Thomas E. Patterson | Vintage Books | 233 pages |... 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.