Blog Profile / Columbia Journalism Review

Filed Under:Media / Media Industry News
Posts on Regator:5934
Posts / Week:15.5
Archived Since:April 26, 2008

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Charleston's rival newspapers just merged. Is two-paper Detroit next?

DETROIT, MI — The sudden merger this week of two newspapers in Charleston, West Virginia, was big media news in that city. It also resonated here in Detroit, more than 350 miles away, for one major reason: The Motor City is one of the few two-paper towns left in the US, and that small group is now even smaller. As...

Shades of suffrage: -ette vs. -ist

In Suffragette, a movie due out in October, Meryl Streep portrays Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the early 20th-century British movement that helped get women the vote. In a discussion of the movie on a women’s group forum, one member objected to the term “suffragette”: The “-ette” suffix is a diminutive, the member argued, meaning it conveys the idea of...

How ICIJ established a new model for cross-border reporting

In the fall of 1998, powerhouse journalists from a few dozen countries met for the first time in a small room at Harvard University. Most were accustomed to working on their own projects, in their own newsrooms and nations. They had been brought there by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)--at the time just a fledgling offshoot of the...

Being a good journalist means learning how to keep a secret

The role of journalists is to make information public. The irony is that in order to do so, they need to keep lots of things secrets. They do that in all sorts of ways. Sometimes journalists promise anonymity in order to get officials to divulge what they're not supposed to reveal. Sometimes they cloak the exchange of sensitive documents. Sometimes...

Why the Laura Poitras case is bigger than you think

When the documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras filed a complaint under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against three US government agencies this week, most media outlets ran stories on the details that built her argument, overlooking the issue of public records. Show More Summary

Why things could get even worse for reporters in Egypt

A request at the Egyptian Government Press Office for some long-sought-after piece of documentation normally results in someone pulling out a stack of papers or going to a cupboard stuffed with folders. But my request to find the people working for FactCheckEgypt was met with confusion: What, I was asked, is FactCheckEgypt? My effort to track down the FactCheckEgypt office...

Unfortunate photo placement

Now that our department Lower case is a regular feature online, we decided to take a look back at some classic headlines from our print archive. This one, from the 1982 Wimbledon Championships, is stirring: The Post-Journal (Jamestown, N.Y.) Have a headline you want to share? Snap a photo and email it to or tweet it to us at@CJR.

How university foundations try to avoid public scrutiny—and what reporters can do

In 2012, College of DuPage President Robert Breuder paid $185 to taxidermize a cock pheasant. He gave the bird, mounted on an oak stand, to an upscale campus restaurant, where it serves as a decorative piece. A year later, Breuder bought a black-powder rifle as a gift for the outgoing president of the college’s foundation board. The rifle and its...

"The police are out to get us"

Ángela Ríos often wakes to the sound of military helicopters circling: It's five in the morning and the sirens on the border fence are screaming to announce another wave of migrants, as they attempt to climb into Melilla, one of Spain’s two enclave cities on the Moroccan coast. More than 20,000 people tried to make it over this border last...

Colorado loses another top political reporter— this time to PR

The congratulations from fellow journalists in Colorado started sadly marching down my Twitter feed like a funeral procession sometime before noon Mountain Time. Lynn Bartels, a legendary political reporter for 16 years at the Rocky Mountain News and six at The Denver Post, had taken a buyout. Show More Summary

One of the best baseball reporters reflects on how coverage has changed

DETROIT, MI—Tom Gage is a Detroit baseball writer who will be inducted this month into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as the 2015 Spink Award winner, the highest honor in the field. (The New Yorker’s Roger Angell won last year.) Gage is due to give a speech this month during the lavish induction weekend in Cooperstown, New York. Trouble is?...

A lesson on portmanteaus

A letter to a newspaper about a lowering of local speed limits said that “The ‘car-maggedon’ the DOT scared us with didn’t happen.” In an article on fuel efficiency, Consumer Reports advised how to “identify cars most likely to survive...Show More Summary

Four tips on long-distance managing

Liz: There are a lot of major news stories unfolding around the world. The Greek debt crisis, the growing threat of ISIS, the escalating war in Iraq. Many of the news organizations covering these stories have multiple reporters in the field and probably no onsite editors. A similar scenario plays out domestically when big stories break far from the newsroom....

Meet the photographer who captured the Confederate flag’s removal

The eyes of the nation have been on South Carolina over the last few weeks, after nine parishioners were murdered in a historic black church in Charleston. Three weeks later, on July 10, the Confederate flag was removed from the grounds of the capitol building. By the end of the day, the only remnant of the flag was a round...

What it's like to get paid for clicks

The mission sounds simple: Pay writers and edit their work. This is not revolutionary, nor should it be, given journalism’s sepia-tinted legacy of pensions and expense accounts. But the idea was enough to draw more than 100 writers to Slant, a slick publisher-platform hybrid that launched in late June to server-busting traffic numbers. Led by expats from The Huffington Post,...

How do you develop newsroom expertise? Here's a new option for the legal beat

Among the important challenges facing newsrooms these days—and local newsrooms in particular— the question of how to build journalist expertise is right up there with how to connect to digital audiences and figuring out the whole business-model thing. Show More Summary

Why the LA Times chose Dexter Thomas to cover Black Twitter

This week, the Los Angeles Times hired Dexter Thomas, a California-born writer and Ph.D. candidate studying Japanese hip-hop, to cover Black Twitter and other online communities. Black Twitter is not a standard journalistic beat. But over the last year, it has emerged as a force in shaping the national discourse about race. “It’s truly been an emblem of democracy,” says...

Here’s how not to report on the US government’s terror warnings

If you turned on the television or checked your phone in the lead up to July 4th, it was almost impossible to miss the wall-to-wall coverage blaring ominous warnings from the US government: ISIS terrorists could strike Americans at any minute over the holiday weekend. As it often is in such instances, the media’s reporting was breathless, hyperbolic, and barely...

Rash coverage of the 'Subway Guy' can't be undone

“The Subway guy,” Jared Fogle, is a world-famous sandwich promoter, but his charity, the Jared Foundation, is a modest operation, and its executive director and sole employee, Russell Taylor, drew moderate coverage when he was arrested in April on child pornography charges. Show More Summary

Iowa students create independent newspaper following controversy

The stories in the student paper that started all the trouble at Muscatine Community College, near the banks of the Mississippi in eastern Iowa, seemed innocuous enough. A report on “confusion” and a potential conflict of interest in student of the month selections. Show More Summary

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