Blog Profile / Columbia Journalism Review

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

Blog Post Archive

In David Bowie coverage, the media forgot to mention a major aspect of the rockstar’s life

The news of David Bowie's death, at 69, from cancer, broke late Sunday night. Most people in the US awoke to read the news, and Monday was filled with hurriedly published obituaries, and then appreciations from critics, fans, and celebrities and notables from all over the world. Bowie was a rock star of some note. He broadened the musical and...

Who says Sean Penn isn't a real journalist?

Sean Penn’s career as a journalist is not without its achievements. Over the years, Penn has scored interviews with President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Raúl Castro of Cuba. He has pushed up against authoritarian governments, like the time in 2005 when he had his camera confiscated by Iranian officials while on assignment in Tehran for The San Francisco Chronicle....

'We're making a shift': Job cuts and new plans for two Metro Corp. magazines

Just before Christmas, there was some surprise news in the New England media world, when word broke that Carly Carioli, editor-in-chief of Boston magazine, would be leaving his position at the end of the year. Soon after New Year’s, the other shoe dropped: A statement from outlining a restructuring that includes the development of a new native advertising and “custom...

Finding the right words

Sometimes, there are no words to describe the Words of the Year. That’s because sometimes, the Words of the Year are not actually words. This year, for example, Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year is actually a suffix: “-ism.” And Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year has no letters in it at all—it’s an emoji: It stands for “face with tears...

When can the FBI use National Security Letters to spy on journalists? That’s classified.

Remember one year ago when then-Attorney General Eric Holder supposedly tightened restrictions on the Justice Department so it could not easily conduct surveillance on journalists’ emails and phone calls? Well it turns out the Justice...Show More Summary

Reclaiming spin

In his recent farewell to a four-decade-long career at The Washington Post, the Pulitzer Prize-winning national security reporter Walter Pincus penned a paradoxical jeremiad about the state of our profession. He noted the rising influence of such outlets as cable TV and Twitter. Show More Summary

Letters from our readers

In recent months, as CJR has done away with online comments and altered its print publication schedule, we’ve lacked a venue in print or on our site for readers to air their views. While we've continued to welcome comments on our Facebook and Twitter pages and other social media accounts, this has been a notable gap, as more than a few readers have pointed out....

Government secrecy was the biggest threat to a free press in 2015. Will this year be better?

A few years ago, I conducted an interview series about First Amendment issues for the Harvard Law & Policy Review. I talked with lawyers, scholars, and others who have made a mark on free expression: Floyd Abrams, the Cahill Gordon litigator who helped win the Pentagon Papers case; Geoffrey Stone, the noted First Amendment scholar at the University of Chicago;...

Baseball writers face moral dilemma in Hall of Fame vote

Baseball writers’ annual ritual of canonizing saints in the church of baseball—of voting players into the Hall of Fame—concluded Wednesday after weeks of typically fiery debate over who is worthy. Ken Griffey Jr., a smooth-swinging centerfielder who embodied all that is good and holy in the sport, headlined the two-man 2016 class with a record 99.3 percent of votes cast....

Michigan’s MLive cuts 29 positions in latest ‘restructuring’

The departures and job cuts in Michigan media keep on coming. MLive Media Group, the umbrella company for eight Advance-owned newspapers and the statewide website, announced yesterday that it is eliminating 29 “content positions” as part of a broader set of changes. The news comes on the heels of recent buyouts at the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit...

Why the unique partnership between Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today works

At the end of last year, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s John Fauber completed the sixth and final installment of an 18-month-long series dissecting the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval process for drugs. The stories—thoroughly...Show More Summary

The media's complicated role in Making a Murderer

Netlfix’s explosive documentary series Making a Murderer pits police and prosecutors, who seem hell-bent on convicting a man of murder, against a pair of valiant defense attorneys. The 10-part series follows the 2007 murder trial of Steven Avery in Wisconsin. He had recently been exonerated after serving 18 years in prison for a rape that DNA evidence later attributed to...

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

In this week's Lower case... The Toronto Star, 4/7/76 Contra Costa (Calif.) Independent, 2/22/78 Carmichael (Calif.) Courier, 3/26/75 Bridgeport (Conn.) Post, 1/18/78 Chicago Daily News, 9/27/76

The Boston Globe bungled its delivery switch. Chaos ensued.

Producing newspapers that go undelivered seems like a task of journalistic purgatory. But The Boston Globe, which rode a Spotlight-backed wave of goodwill throughout the final months of 2015, finds itself in a mess of its own doing. Since the Globe last week changed the company it uses to deliver papers, its print product has failed to reach thousands of...

A look at some of sports journalism’s best leads

The lead. It’s what we were taught in Journalism 101, along with the five “W’s.” Get it up high, make it interesting, grab the reader right away. The lead—or “lede,” as some newspaper copy desks inexplicably write it—is a part of every journalist’s culture. We learned about the importance of that opening paragraph, and then were fed examples that have...

After five years of strong work, a Colorado nonprofit ran out of money at the wrong time

The year 2016 is shaping up as a big one for health policy in Colorado. In the fall, regulators shut down the state’s nonprofit insurance co-op, leaving some 80,000 residents to find other coverage. Many of those people were left to shop for new plans on the state’s insurance exchange, which has been slated for an expanded audit after an...

We've got you covered

As the weather starts to return to normal, in the Northeast at least, it’s time to snuggle under warm bedclothes. While it may or may not be true that the Eskimos have many words for snow, it is true that we English speakers have multiple words for bedclothes. For example, you might have a “comforter” that may or may not...

What an outgoing Detroit columnist learned from nearly 40 years in journalism

Detroit’s media world witnessed an exodus of veteran journalists in late 2015, as buyout offers prompted a wave of departures at both of the city’s major newspapers. One of the voices that will be most missed is Laura Berman, a metro columnist at The Detroit News. The rare writer who can blend original newsgathering with personality, humor, and empathy, Berman...

10 resolutions for a new year

Each month, CJR editor Liz Spayd sends management questions my way. This time, she made a request: How about some 2016 resolutions for news managers? Gladly. To improve your leadership, your journalism and even your community, give these resolutions a try. Bonus points if you commit to all 10! 1. Double your feedback I hear it everywhere from Boston...

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

Happy holidays! In this week's Lower case, a look back through the archives: The Alabama Journal, 4/4/84 Martinsburg (W. Va.) Evening Journal, 10/17/84 Trenton (N.J.) Times, 9/2/82 Tri-City Herald (Pasco, Wash.), 12/16/80 Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 4/15/82

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