Monday, December 22, 2014. Last Update: Fri 5:42 PM EST

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Merrill Perlman

Duty Double

When nouns and verbs collide

Headlines are supposed to grab a reader’s attention and provide a fast synopsis of an article for a busy reader.... More

Failure to Launch

Adding “ing” makes a noun, or not

When the “launch” of the space shuttle Endeavor finally occurs, many “posts” will appear on blogs and news sites around... More

False Tidals

Not-quite words for natural disasters

Disasters bring out the best in journalism and journalists, and the cataclysmic events in Japan are no different. But in... More

In Style

AP makes more changes

Last Monday, you could have written an “e-mail” to your friend in “Calcutta,” checked for a response on your “smart... More

Indescribable

‘Nondescript’ says more than ‘plain’

Bob Kamman of Arizona writes: “Am I the only one who has noticed the increasing use of the adjective ‘nondescript,’... More

Leading Questions

How some journalism terms were born

The Associated Press recently said it would stop using some wire-service jargon as instructions on its stories. Among them were... More

Overnight Sensation

A wordier term for dusk to dawn

The weather outside was frightful, and so was the advisory from the National Weather Service. Not known for their literary... More

Rotary Club

Old phone terms hang on

Some words outlast the things they were coined to accompany, simply because there’s no good alternative. When you write an... More

Snow Job

Just what constitutes a “record”?

The snowstorm that hit much of the United States last week was one for the books. In Chicago, the 20.2... More

Talking Back

‘Revert’ gains a new meaning

The recruiter was pleased that the law firm was interested in one of his clients. “I will revert with candidate... More

The Fast Lain

Figuring out ‘lay’ and ‘lie’

It’s no “lie”: Many people get “lay” and “lie” wrong a lot. So let’s “lay” down the rules. The best... More

The Frugal Writer

Why use several words when one will do?

At some points in time, people engaged in the profession of journalism tend to learn to acquire the negatively associative... More

The Personals

When to use ‘who’ and ‘that’

“We’re the people that are going to say, ‘No,’ to Washington, D.C., taxing and spending,” U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX),... More

Women’s Suffixes

Making some nouns more feminine

If you die in some states and your son is appointed to handle your estate, he is the “executor.” If... More

Hey millionaire tech bros: Have patience with the editorial process - Chris Hughes probably wanted to enable great journalism at first. Then the dust settled and before you know it, he’s shaking everything up again

Serial creators don’t know what will happen to Adnan Syed - New developments in his legal case suggest that the outcome is wide open

Price hike at UC Berkeley’s journalism school - Governing body approves additional fee of $7,500 starting 2016

Will Denver really have a newspaper war? - As a billionaire floats reviving the Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post might buckle its chin strap

FOIA reform dies while the press looked the other way - RIP Improvement Act of 2014


The traffic lure of outrage (Slate)

“I didn’t become a journalist to peddle indignation on Facebook. But it sells—the page views don’t lie.”

NBC news producer’s sons were in the besieged school in Peshawar (NBCnews.com)

“I remained silent and didn’t know what to say — I know how such attacks on schools usually end”

Hero mom calls into CSPAN to berate her arguing pundit sons (WaPo)

“This was not planned. She called in on the normal line.”

Dick Cheney doesn’t want to call it torture but the media doesn’t have to follow (Vox)

“People deserve to know that the American government (proudly!) did things that in any other context are called torture”

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.