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Blog Profile / Columbia Journalism Review

Filed Under:Media / Media Industry News
Posts on Regator:12984
Posts / Week:38.2
Archived Since:April 26, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Twitter should ditch its new algorithm and teach news feed building

Last month, Twitter announced plans to roll out a new kind of feed next year that will filter what users see. The change, according to CFO Anthony Noto, is aimed at helping to bring interesting and useful content to users stymied by their raw feeds. While the plans are controversial to early adopters of the platform, the fact is that...

Why you use your 'logon' to 'log on'

Time to start work. So you "log on" to your computer, using your "logon" or "log-on," or your user name. The latter is a noun, the former a verb, and they have not yet fused into one word for both forms. Here's what The Associated Press Stylebook says: login, logon, logoff (n.) But use as two words in verb form:...

Des Moines Register prepares for a 'very stressful' newsroom restructuring

It’s a time of transition at the Des Moines Register. Along with other Gannett newspapers, Iowa’s largest daily has begun a process of newsroom reorganization that will bring some pain. New reporting jobs are being added even as other positions go away, but a number of longtime staffers will likely find themselves out of a job at the end of the...

Western media: Stop ignoring the Central African Republic crisis

With gunfire and mob attacks in the streets of the capital, the Central African Republic is teetering again on the edge of mass violence. Nine people killed were killed in two days, including a UN peacekeeper from Pakistan and a Muslim civilian whose dead body was decapitated and burned by an angry mob in the capital, Bangui. But world's media...

Why this news nonprofit is crowdfunding a police shootings database

The New Mexico Compass is creating a searchable, interactive database of public records related to fatal police shootings in Albuquerque—and it’s asking for your help. The nonprofit news outlet, staffed by volunteers, has launched an...Show More Summary

Life as a ghostwriter

Willie Mays' agent was on the phone. I was ghostwriting Willie's autobiography, even though we had never met. "Willie likes the book," his agent told me. "But he thinks there ought to be a chapter in there about how he learned how to become a mensch when his playing days were over." A "mensch"--Yiddish for a person of substance, a...

We still don't know how to stop misinformation online

From the beginning the story seemed suspect, but that didn't stop the New York Post's report last month of a surgically enhanced, three-breasted woman from overtaking the internet. By the time the story was debunked, just a day later, the tabloid-friendly tale had already made the rounds, generating posts on BuzzFeed, The Week, The Telegraph and the New York Daily...

How polling stories show only part of the picture

Scott Clement didn’t believe it. In the midst of the government shutdown last year, the Washington Post polling analyst learned news that Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican spearheading the GOP’s push to defund Obamacare, cited a self-commissioned poll to argue that the fight in Congress actually boosted his party’s position. Show More Summary

A TV reporter gets results tackling stories not always made for TV

MIAMI, FL - "Being a creep isn't illegal." That's one of investigative reporter Noah Pransky's takeaways from his recent work for Gannett-owned WTSP in Tampa. For several months, Pransky has been reporting on shady "To Catch A Predator"-style stings by local cops and the men looking to meet adult women online who got caught up the stings. These men are...

Should all journalists be on Twitter?

Last month a piece in BuzzFeed mocked New York Times' staffers resistance to using Twitter. "[T]he company," Charlie Warzel wrote, "has struggled getting all of its staffers on board with 'new media.'" The observation made a large enough...Show More Summary

Simon & Schuster keeps its fabulist on bookshelves

C. David Heymann got his books published by a string of respected publishers, which was quite a feat given his well-documented history of fabrications, falsehoods, plagiarism, and highly questionable reporting dating to 1983. That's when a lawsuit led to Heymann's first major book being pulled from shelves, and David Cay Johnston exposed it as a fraud on the front page...

Will feminist writers save Playboy?

Many online readers probably think of and as opposites. But Sara Benincasa, an LA-based comedian and freelance writer, contributes to both sites, as well as other female-oriented publications like Bustle and xoJane. Show More Summary

Can I keep my doctor with Obamacare? There's a database for that, thanks to the LA Times

If I had to pick one story that has the potential to dominate news coverage of the second-year enrollment in warrants the attention--it would be the narrow networks. Restricted provider networks are not new, but their...Show More Summary

Colorado Senate debates offer new chance to explain what's at stake

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Last month, just before a much-anticipated debate with his Republican challenger, Cory Gardner, US Sen. Mark Udall hopped into the bed of a pickup truck at a small rally in Grand Junction and grabbed a microphone. One of the first things the Colorado Democrat shouted to the crowd was that he wanted to raise the minimum...

Beware journo-speak

The public editor for The New York Times, Margaret Sullivan, wrote a wonderful piece last month about how word selection can mislead readers. One case she cited was the video of football player Ray Rice hitting Janay Palmer, then his girlfriend and now his wife. A Times article had called their interaction an "altercation," and Sullivan wrote: An altercation seems...

Don't treat worst-case scenarios as facts

On September 23, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statistical forecast of how far the Ebola virus could spread in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the next four months. In the best-case scenario, as many as 8,000 people in the two nations could be infected by September 30, a 72.5-percent increase in just a week. In the...

Reporters struggle to stay safe covering Ebola

Glenna Gordon has worked in West Africa for five years. Visiting Nigerian slums, she knows which streets to avoid. She expertly steers clear of Islamic extremists and kidnappers. But the microscopic particles of Ebola baffle her. When...Show More Summary

Here's how to produce strong Ebola stories

The first American case of Ebola, diagnosed last week in Dallas, TX, was a real-time test for government officials seeking to quell public fears about the prospect of a major outbreak here--and for journalists reporting the story at the local, national, and international levels. By and large, both public health experts and mainstream media get good marks in terms of...

How one Massachusetts reporter provides a clear view on the healthcare market

As goes Massachusetts, so goes the nation—at least when it comes to healthcare. In the midst of the debate on Obamacare, I wrote a series of 10 posts examining the Bay State’s 2006 law that served as the blueprint for the Affordable Care Act. It’s time for an update. This is the third of an occasional series about coverage of...

PBS pulls ads from Harper's Magazine after critical essay

After a sales representative at Harper’s Magazine received a phone call on September 18 from a disgruntled advertiser, the subject of a critical story printed the week before, Publisher John R. MacArthur wasn’t surprised that it decided to pull ads from subsequent issues. But he was shocked by who that advertiser was: PBS, the public broadcaster famous for Big Bird...

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