Blog Profile / Columbia Journalism Review

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

Blog Post Archive

Q&A: Floyd Abrams on the battle for the soul of the First Amendment

Attorney Floyd Abrams, who represented The New York Times in the 1971 Pentagon Papers case and went on to become America’s leading First Amendment litigator, talked with CJR about President Trump’s unprecedented assault on the press, whether leaks from government officials are appropriate, and how the growing acceptance of speech restrictions is an ominous sign […]

Can donor-funded newsrooms be truly independent?

Around the world, media outlets are taking millions of dollars from private donors and foundations in order to pay for news. The Mail & Guardian in South Africa receives grants from the Gates Foundation to cover health, and Gates funds development news at The Guardian in the UK. In Latin America, Plaza Publica (in Guatemala) […]

Dysfunction, leaks, and burnout: Tips for news managers covering Trump

In this month’s edition, CJR Editor Kyle Pope and resident management guru Jill Geisler talk about lessons newsroom managers can learn from dysfunction in the Trump administration, how to ethically report on leaks, and ways to deal with newsroom burnout. Kyle: There have been an abundance of stories about dysfunction in the Trump administration. What management lessons […]

Cost of the Cadillac: The Obamacare story reporters are missing

In the deluge of recent media stories about who will lose if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA), one crucial provision has received short shrift from journalists: the so-called Cadillac tax, written into the law as a way to raise money for government subsidies for the uninsured. The Cadillac tax, which will affect nearly […]

The case against ‘onboarding’

Nearly four years ago, we noted how business jargon creeps into mainstream journalism, focusing on “metrics” and “optics.” More than six years ago, we discussed the creeping use of “granular” and other jargony terms that were often part of Buzzword Bingo. Sadly, many of those terms have been “mainstreamed,” adopted so much that many are […]

Revenge of the copy editors: Grammar pros find internet stardom

Backed by the cheery fiddle and guitar of Tom Moss’s “Gypsy Night Dance,” the bespectacled white-haired gentleman in a blue blazer, striped bow tie, and pocket square is holding forth on the language issue of the day. “I’m sometimes asked,” he tells the camera, speaking patiently but gesturing intensely, “‘Is “data” singular or plural?’ The […]

As Trump assails reporters as enemies, Colorado GOP makes nice

During a time of “press-as-enemy” rhetoric, Republican lawmakers in Colorado are redoubling efforts to ensure a friendlier relationship with journalists. While their counterparts in other states seem to be scaling back accessibility,...Show More Summary

We analyzed two weeks of Spicer press briefings. Here’s what we learned.

Since George E. Akerson became the first official White House Press Secretary in 1929, under Herbert Hoover, the nation’s media has had a direct line to Office of the President, most notably in the form of press briefings. Usually mundane events, freshman Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s briefings have become an unexpected spectacle of the Trump administration–already […]

How Pamela Colloff became the best damn writer in Texas

Unemployed college graduate Pamela Colloff and her friend Margaret Brown in 1994 set off from New York on a road trip in a rusty Volvo with no real destination in mind. They were broke and wanted to live lives filled with adventure and art. Eventually they meandered to Austin, Texas. The plan was to stay […]

Platforms and publishers: No sign of retreat

Despite publishers’ disillusionment with low financial returns, there is no sign of them retreating from publishing material directly onto Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and other distribution platforms. Anxiety and uncertainty abound around the future of journalism. Show More Summary

Dramatic Washington Post slogan recalls another era for newspapers

The Washington Post’s new slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness” might sound like something pulled from the banner of Clark Kent’s Daily Planet, and it is certainly getting its share of eye-rolls and ribs on Twitter, Slate, and even late-night talk shows. But the dramatic motto is actually in keeping with history, not only of the […]

Here’s what non-fake news looks like

Journalists literally “make” news. They do not find it. They do not publish transcripts of reality. Even in their best efforts, they would not provide a copy of reality, but reality in a frame, reality enhanced, reality reconfigured by being heightened on a page or a screen, reality retouched by the magic of publication itself. […]

‘It does not feel like transparency’: Atlanta mayor dumps 1.47 million pages of public records

IN A SURREAL SCENE near the end of Black Orpheus, the title character seeks his lost love, Eurydice, in a government building at night. Orpheus sees a janitor pushing a broom toward him from the other end of a long, half-lit hallway; he asks the man to show him the Office of Missing Persons. “This is […]

‘Everyone genuinely seems to care. Collectively, not much changes.’

If the 1960s epitomized the modern civil right movements, then the 1980s were the golden age of affirmative action. In the wake of deadly riots and widespread civil disobedience that rocked urban America into near revolution in the earlier decade, diversity—nee affirmative action, integration, desegregation—was seen as the workplace answer to the problems. Whether from […]

4 steps newsrooms are taking to boost diversity

It’s hard to overlook the painful moments that arise from the lack of diversity in the news industry. NBC was accused of whitewashing after giving Megyn Kelly the 9 am time slot occupied by Tamron Hall and Al Roker; Reliable Sources featured a panel of seven media observes who were all white; and the San […]

Avoiding questions about Trump’s mental health is a betrayal of public trust

Just about every week, the media invites a psychiatrist or psychologist to admonish other psychiatrists or psychologists for calling Donald Trump mentally ill. This has become the default recourse when it comes to the question of Trump’s mental health for a media relentlessly accused of being partisan, “fake,” and deliberately dishonest. But leaving the question of […]

How Mark Zuckerberg could really fix journalism

“A strong news industry is... critical to building an informed community. Giving people a voice is not enough without having people dedicated to uncovering new information and analyzing it. There is more we must do to support the news industry to make sure this vital social function is sustainable—from growing local news, to […]

Retreat from town hall: Reporters pursue access as some GOP officials pull back

AFTER DUCKING HIS CONSTITUENTS and protesters this month—by leaving a closed meeting through the back door, in one instance—Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam, a Republican who represents the west Chicago suburbs, hosted 18,000 people for a teleconference call last week through his campaign website. Show More Summary

When flacks catch flak

When Donald Trump talked (very briefly) about Black History Month, one reporter wrote that “The president took some flack” for speaking of Frederick Douglass in the present tense, “making it appear as though he may have thought Douglass, who died in 1895, was still alive.” Actually, what the president took was “flak.” His “flacks,” however, […]

New editor in chief takes Texas Monthly in a ‘lifestyle’ direction

The new editor in chief of Texas Monthly plans to pull back from the kind of longform and political coverage that gave the title a national profile to focus instead on lifestyle coverage, website enhancements, and a live-events business. Tim Taliaferro, who took over after the sale of the magazine to Genesis Park LP, tells […]

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