Blog Profile / Columbia Journalism Review

Filed Under:Media / Media Industry News
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Archived Since:April 26, 2008

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Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

In this week's Lower Case... San Jose Mercury, 5/8/76 The Vancouver Sun, 7/23/86 Want to see more regrettable headlines? Check out the Lower Case archives.

As sites abandon comments, The Coral Project aims to turn the tide

NPR last week announced its decision to shut down comments on its website in favor of comments on social media—saying “the audience itself has decided.” In a post explaining its decision, NPR’s ombudsman and public editor Elizabeth Jensen says only.06 percent of site users comment on the site. NPR guesses that the commenters on the NPR site are not...

A controversial ballot measure has Colorado news outlets grappling with the "S" word

On Election Day, voters in Colorado will have a big decision to make: whether to approve an initiative that would allow terminally ill patients to obtain a prescription for drugs to end their lives. But before then, news outlets in the state have a decision of their own to make: what language to use when describing the proposal. Like abortion,...

This is not your mother's language column

An alien who read a lot of news and features reports from the past year could not be blamed for concluding that Americans must really hate their parents and grandparents, or at least reject a lot of what they liked. There’s the redecorated restaurant not suitable for Dad. “We wanted to make it look more upscale, with a little more...

Platform aimed at audience interaction generates story ideas, goodwill

One morning in January, Elizabeth Marlow was on her way to work listening to KALW in San Francisco, her favorite local public radio station, when she heard an announcement encouraging listeners to share questions they wanted the station to investigate. So Marlow, a nurse practitioner who has lived in the Bay Area for 18 years, went to the KALW site...

Shield laws and journalist's privilege: The basics every reporter should know

Compelled disclosure is in the air. A federal judge has ordered Glenn Beck to disclose the names of confidential sources he used in his reporting that a Saudi Arabian man was involved in the Boston Marathon bombing. The man sued Beck for defamation after he was cleared of any involvement. Journalist and filmmaker Mark Boal, who wrote and produced The...

ESPN’s drug-war epic ‘Pin Kings’ invigorates multi-platform storytelling genre

Kevin Pedersen and Alex DeCubas were co-captains of their high school wrestling team who ended up on opposite sides of the War on Drugs. DeCubas became one of the nation’s most sought after drug kingpins, with connections to the Colombian drug cartels, and Pedersen became a decorated agent with the DEA, the agency tasked with arresting DeCubas. It’s a helluva story,...

The curious case of sports writers who switch to wine

The San Diego Union of the 1980s dispatched a team of journalists including Dan Berger, Robert Whitley, Bruce Schoenfeld, and Linda Murphy to bring readers the plays and personalities of sports. Today, the four former sports-desk colleagues...Show More Summary

Has Olympics coverage shortchanged Brazil?

The scale of the Olympics enterprise is startling. For every athlete participating in the Games, there are now three members of the press scurrying across Rio de Janeiro looking for stories to tell--as many as 30,000 accredited journalists in total. For years, there has been very little global journalism focused on Rio and the 6 million human dramas unfolding there...

5 lessons on the craft of journalism from Longform podcast

At first I was reluctant to dive into the Longform podcast, a series of interviews with nonfiction writers and journalists that recently produced its 200th episode. The reasons for my wariness were petty. What sane freelancer wants to listen to highly successful writers and editors droning on about their awards and awesome careers? Not this guy! But about a year...

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

This week, we have two hilarious headlines. The Wichita Eagle-Beacon, 9/10/86 Bellingham (Wash.) Herald 2/15/77

Elisabeth Rosenthal on leaving NYT to edit Kaiser Health News: 'I hope we can add an investigative edge'

In September, after 22 years as a New York Times correspondent, Elisabeth Rosenthal will take over as editor-in-chief of the nonprofit Kaiser Health News. Rosenthal, an emergency room doctor by training, wrote a lengthy, well-received series for the Times about the high cost of American healthcare, “Paying Till It Hurts.” With the series, she told me in early 2014, she...

Another Gatehouse paper in Florida moves to unionize

Newsroom employees at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune took steps to unionize Wednesday, just days after journalists at a sister publication, the Lakeland Ledger, officially became the first newspaper in modern Florida history to form a newsroom union. Show More Summary

Three Olympics storylines to retire after Rio

World records are broken. Superstars come and go. But cliché Olympics storylines never die. The biennial games momentarily unite countries around friendly international competition—and media organizations around the allure of drawing global audiences. Show More Summary

Gifted and haunted: Remembering David Carr

A year after he died suddenly in the newsroom of The New York Times, David Carr still pops up several times a day on the Google Alert I set for him back in 2005, when he first explained to me what that was. This is not ironic, rather simply true in the way that something you learn from someone keeps...

Will a new law really make Illinois' FOIA stronger? Journalists there aren't so sure

The law, passed in response to a family’s fight for documents related to their daughter’s death, was touted by politicians as strengthening the state’s FOIA laws. Certainly stiffer penalties would seem to do that by sending the message to public bodies that not complying with FOIA could be costly. And the new law also establishes a presumption that a...

Ultra-Orthodox paper 'makes history' with partial photo of Hillary Clinton

A newspaper that serves the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community took a small but significant step for women last week when it printed a picture of Hillary Clinton, partially obscured, speaking at a campaign rally in Florida. The photo was first picked up by a Jewish blog, Only Simchas, which wrote about it under the headline: “History Made: Yated Ne’eman Publishes a...

An 'outstandingly good' column-palooza

How do you like your “paloozas”? Do you like them as two words? Then for you, there is “Poutine Palooza,” “Paddle Palooza,” “Science Palooza,” “Paper Plane Palooza,” and “Preschool Palooza.” Do you like your “paloozas” with a hyphen?...Show More Summary

Des Moines Register gets a win in an uphill fight for transparency

Not long after taking over as editor of the Des Moines Register in 2014, Amalie Nash told CJR that she was determined to uphold the paper’s “longstanding tradition of standing up for public records.” So now, as she prepares to leave the Register after being promoted to the new position of West Region executive editor for Gannett, it’s fitting that...

Hassles mount for journalists in Turkey after failed coup

Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported last week that Beatriz Yubero, 26, a Spanish freelance reporter and doctoral student in media studies, had been deported from Turkey, allegedly for tweeting statements critical of Turkish president Encep Tayyip Erdogan. Show More Summary

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