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

Second Read

Among the Mongers

Henry Mayhew and the pursuit of history, from the bottom up

There is no place in any era more evocative of soot, steam, gruel, and misery than Victorian London. It... More

Punk’s Prophet

Greil Marcus’s seminal work Ranters and Crowd Pleasers: Punk in Pop Music, 1977-92

Discounting cash-in reunions, studio sessions with bank robber Ronnie Biggs, and the like, The Sex Pistols last played in... More

The Paper Chase

For tabloid king Emile Gauvreau, it took a lifetime to slow down

Years later, when he recounted the events that would lead to his becoming the most sensational, shameless, ambitious, and... More

Not for Laughs

A pathbreaking look at the dark comic genius behind “Skippy”

“All cartoonists are geniuses,” wrote John Updike in his introduction to a collection of cartoons by Arnold Roth, a... More

Her Great Depression

Re-reading Betty MacDonald’s Anybody Can Do Anything, on the Northwest’s bust years

From the time I was nine or ten, I carried a spiral-bound Mead notebook with me at all times. I... More

The Devil’s Football

H. L. Mencken airs his unexpurgated Prejudices

As we all know, serious criticism of the arts is leaving the pages of mainstream newspapers and magazines. Shrinking under... More

What It Was Like

Dispatches told why kids from Ohio came back so ‘eerily old’

In the fall of 1978, I was racing through Kent State University’s campus bookstore when a thin book, propped in... More

The Ordinary Jungle

A not-so-awed explorer who was unafraid to say so

In April 1925, a fifty-seven-year-old British explorer named Percy Harrison Fawcett trooped into the Brazilian jungle for the last time.... More

The Reporter Whom Time Forgot

How Cornelius Ryan’s The Longest Day changed journalism

In 1957, an expatriate Irish newspaperman struggling to make a buck after his most recent employer went under began making... More

What Happened Here?

Joan Didion’s forty-year-old cautionary tale still fits America

It was my mother, of all people, who introduced me to Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem. This was in the... More

The Hack

The journalistic education of Gabriel García Márquez

In 1955, eight crew members of a Colombian naval destroyer in the Caribbean were swept overboard by a giant wave.... More

A Failure of Skepticism

Stolen Valor and the effort to expose bogus battlefield heroics

Two years ago, a weekly paper in suburban Chicago profiled an elderly character who had been asked to lead the... More

Of Heroes and Humans

Jim Brosnan wrote about himself, and sports writing evolved

Red Smith, who wrote as well as anyone about athletes and the games they play, called the sports section the... More

‘The Greatest Liar’

Is Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year a work of journalism?

I first read Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year on a train from Boston to New York. That’s... More

Dead Reckoning

Manchester’s flawed, essential chronicle of the JFK assassination

The first printing of William Manchester’s The Death of a President ran to a half million copies and reached stores... 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.