Rem Rieder, the top editor of American Journalism Review for 22 years, highlights the publication’s “greatest hits.”
The hard-charging investigative reporter’s career imploded in the wake of his much-criticized “Dark Alliance” series about the CIA and crack cocaine. But while Webb overreached, some key findings in “Dark Alliance” were on target–and important. Last December Webb committed suicide.
In the face of heightened globalization and with the US engaged in two wars, many mainstream news organizations have turned their backs on foreign news. Newspapers and television networks alike provide much less of it. Many outlets have shuttered overseas bureaus. But a handful of promising startups offer some hope for the future.
Many in the media jettisoned caution—and the presumption of innocence—in their coverage of an alleged rape by Duke lacrosse players, and were too slow to correct the record as the case unraveled. But some journalists distinguished themselves with skeptical and incisive reporting.
The Los Angeles Times, bloodied by the Mark Willes era and the Staples Center fiasco, rebounded strongly after its parent company was acquired by Tribune Co. in 2000. Now a bruising year of staff cuts, newshole reductions, and content-sharing pressures has raised concerns about the future of the Times and other prestigious former Times Mirror properties.
Protected by family ownership, the New York Times Co. plots its future without retreating from ambitious journalism at its flagship paper, despite the wailing on Wall Street about the company’s sluggish financial performance. It’s bolstering its digital presence and unleashing its futurist-in-residence in a time of wrenching transformation in the industry.
As the tragedy of Katrina unfolded, the battered mainstream media elevated their games, challenging inaccurate statements by public officials and providing crucial information to an audience that needed it desperately.
Debate simmers over celebrity journalists’ mammoth speaking fees. Time recently banned staffers from taking them. Critics assert they hurt credibility. But some who accept honoraria resent the assault on their free market rights.