Same Gun, Bigger Target

Now that the election is more than two weeks past, we’re overdue to introduce you to our new name and to explain a bit of our expanded mission.

Welcome to CJR Daily — emphasis on the word “daily” — an outgrowth of Campaign Desk. Our intent is to critique press performance in real time, day in and day out, and along the way to examine the forces — political, economic, technological, social, legal — that affect that performance.

Like our predecessor, Campaign Desk, we’ll use the speed and the power of the Web to get inside the news cycle. For a bit, we’ll still be primarily commenting on the journalism of politics and government — but our new mandate is to critique all of purportedly serious journalism, so gradually we’ll broaden that focus to also hold up to scrutiny the journalism of business and economics, and the journalism of science and medicine as well. Beyond that, working in concert with CJR, our parent, we intend to examine the continuing tribulations of the trade itself — one that is going through considerable turmoil of its own as it seeks to define and redefine itself. Many journalists to whom we talk, day in and day out, have the vague sense that calcified old forms and formats are failing them; the trick will be to find new frameworks up to the task at hand.

The time is right for such a site and such a mission. The media din has never been louder. Ownership of mainstream press outlets continues to concentrate into fewer hands than ever — even as the blogosphere lets a thousand flowers bloom, both fair and foul. Never have the media been more central to an America going through the turbulence of political, economic and social change. But the flip side of that coin is this: Never has inadequate news coverage, hamstrung by outmoded traditions, been more capable of doing damage.

We’ll be dissecting and deconstructing all of that in the days, weeks, and months to come. I can’t think of a topic more vital.

So stick around. We are.

Steve Lovelady

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Steve Lovelady was editor of CJR Daily.