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The Magazine

September/October 2008



Hope I Die . . .

Will the Chicago Reader finally grow up? Should it?

At the turn of the century, John Cusack came home to Chicago to shoot a movie called High Fidelity. In... More


Parliament’s Peanut Gallery

The wit and wisdom of Britain’s sketch writers

Whenever Simon Hoggart writes about Michael Fabricant, he makes note of the honorable gentleman from Lichfield’s hair. “How many My... More


The Ploughman 
and the Professor

Consumer reporting in the age of the wise crowd

Journalism is a funny line of work. It wobbles between aspirations to be taken seriously as a “profession,” with all... More


After the Accident

A reporter’s road back to life and work

Five years ago this month, new york city sanitation workers made a gruesome discovery. While emptying garbage cans in the... More


In the Beginning

From a consumer movement to consumerism

Last year, New York’s state legislature, which has historically led the nation in passing pro-consumer credit legislation, approved a pair... More


The Bigger Tent

Forget Who is a journalist; the important question is, What is journalism?

A PDF download of the complete CJR "The Bigger Tent" story can be purchased from CJR by clicking here: In... More


Boiler Room

The business press is missing the crooked heart of the credit crisis

“Mr. Howard made it clear to the mortgage broker that he could not read or write, but his loan application... More


The Lee Abrams Experience

How to hear the man who would transform Tribune

Abrams Unbound In a modest, cluttered office on the sixth floor of Chicago’s Tribune Tower, the future of American newspapers... More


Blind Spot

Seeing Iraq through Uncle Sam’s eyes

Over the last five years, as I’ve consumed one dispatch after another from journalists embedded with U.S. soldiers in Iraq,... More


Attitude Adjustment

How the Internet could usher in a new golden age of consumer journalism

Like the air that sustains life, facts that would help hard-pressed consumers are all around us. Instead of gathering and... More



Louts Out

How to police message boards and comments

In January, someone who goes by the name “crosswave” logged onto the reader forums at and posted a comment... More


Blame It On Aécio

A journalism student’s video documentary took on the issue of governmental press manipulation in Brazil.

In 1985, press censorship was officially banned in Brazil, following the overthrow of a dictatorship that had for decades crippled... More

Darts and Laurels

Laurel and Mini-Dart to the Baltimore Sun

Send tips and suggestions to

Laurel to the Baltimore Sun for spotlighting abuse and street sales of buprenorphine, a widely hailed prescription drug for treating... More


About Those Anonymice

A research project evaluates how closely NYT reporters adhere to the paper’s anonymous sourcing policy

Last fall, when Clark Hoyt, the public editor of The New York Times, spoke to Professor Richard Wald's Critical Issues... More


What Are Newspapers Selling?

Time to mine the depth and knowledge niche

Hired by Sam Zell to find innovative ways to market Tribune’s newspapers, and for the moment, Abrams is among... More

Ideas & Reviews

The Research Report

Too Good to Be True?

Do local TV news viewers prefer Jim Lehrer to Kent Brockman?

Journalists, and for that matter academics, relish a good plot twist. So it’s no surprise that some commentators in the... More


Some Kind of Journalist

Hunter S. Thompson: prolific, Bible-loving, workaholic

Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson 
 by William McKeen
 W. W. Norton, 448 pages, $27.95 Conversations... More


The Accidental Icon

How Jacob Riis went from the muck to muckraker

The Other Half: The Life 
Of Jacob Riis and the World 
Of Immigrant America
By Tom Buk-Swienty
Translated from the Danish 
by... More


What Happens in War

Dexter Filkins’s decade in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq

Dexter Filkins has been covering the biggest story of the last ten years for the last ten years. A good... 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.