You have just logged on to the latest iteration of CJR Daily, a real-time critique of daily journalism, which operates under the auspices of the Columbia Journalism Review, the country’s premier press monitor.
Regular readers will note that we’ve redesigned the site to accommodate a more ambitious agenda incorporating three areas of coverage: a real-time critique of political journalism; an ongoing analysis of the larger forces — political, economic, technological, social legal — that affect press performance day in and day out; and a new emphasis on monitoring and critiquing the journalism of the business and financial press.
We’ve labeled these three reports Politics, Behind the News and The Audit, and they are what greet you as you log on to our home page.
We’re especially excited about The Audit, which has come about thanks to funding from the Winokur Family Foundation and others. We’ve hired Mark R. Mitchell, a veteran of the Wall Street Journal in Brussels, Time magazine in Hong Kong and Bangkok and the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong, as assistant managing editor in charge of this effort.
We live in a time when there is heightened competition among the business press — think Bloomberg News, cable television ventures and the rapidly growing number of Web sites devoted exclusively to business news — just as business itself has become more complex and corporate scandals have led to mandated increases in disclosure. There is opportunity in that combination , but there is peril as well — heightened deadline pressure combined with a greatly increased volume of news is not necessarily a recipe designed to produce quality. We’ll be here to tell you when it does and when it doesn’t.
For new readers, let us tell you a little bit about the rest of the site. We were born as Campaign Desk in 2004, with a mandate to monitor news coverage of the presidential election campaign daily and even hourly. After the campaign, we broadened our mandate to critique all of purportedly serious journalism, and changed our name to CJR Daily.
Now, we bring you The Audit, our effort to hold up to scrutiny the journalism of business and economics. In months to come we hope to eventually take a closer critical look at other specialties, such as environmental journalism, science journalism and medical journalism.
Beyond that, working in concert with CJR, our parent, we’re committed to examining 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.
We’ll be dissecting and deconstructing all of that in the days, weeks, and months to come, and we can’t think of a topic more vital. So hang on for the ride. We hope you’ll keep visiting both CJR Daily and CJR, which is published six times a year and at www.cjr.org (and please consider subscribing to CJR).
In addition to those mentioned above, CJR Daily also receives major support from the Rockefeller Family Fund, the Revson Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Open Society Institute.