Blog Profile / Columbia Journalism Review

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

Blog Post Archive

How ‘the public is priced out of public records’ by Michigan universities

In Michigan, transparency comes at a cost—and a seemingly arbitrary one at that. The Society of Professional Journalists chapter at Central Michigan University recently conducted a FOIA audit of the state's 15 public universities. It...Show More Summary

Panama Papers show the value of newsroom collaboration

In early 2015, an anonymous source began forwarding German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung encrypted files from a Panamanian law firm specializing in offshore companies. The trove of documents kept growing, and eventually numbered in the millions. Show More Summary

A matter of AP Style

One sure sign of spring is the sighting of new entries for The Associated Press Stylebook. For the past few years, changes in the AP Stylebook have been announced to coincide with the annual conference of the American Copy Editors Society. (Full disclosure: This columnist is a member of the ACES board.) AP caused some consternation—or relief—when it announced that...

What the Paris attacks tell us about how foreign news gets made

In 1969, Gay Talese described breaking big stories as an act of exhilaration and majesty. A reporter “sensed the vast machinery of [his newspaper] moving and reaching across the world grasping for the truth,” Talese writes. “[H]e was constantly impressed at how smoothly the enormous organization seemed to be closing in on a single story.” In an era of social...

A crucial skill that most J-schools aren't teaching

At the recent annual data journalism conference in Denver, Colo., the job postings covered a large bulletin board. News organizations from the Atlanta Journal Constitution to Vox were seeking reporters, editors, producers, designers, and developers. Show More Summary

Black Lives Matter: the movement, the organization, and how journalists get it wrong

Last month, The New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb detailed the birth and development of Black Lives Matter as few others had before him. Central to his analysis was his clear differentiation between the sprawling social movement that has dominated headlines and the civil rights organization with more than 30 chapters across the United States. Show More Summary

Why Kuwait’s news outlets are ahead of the digital game

Kuwaiti parliamentarians, opposition leaders, youth activists, and businessmen tend to stop talking when alerts light up their phones, which are glued to their hands and never on silent. Twitter and WhatsApp are the most frequent culprits. Kuwait is hardly the only place in the Middle East whose residents are addicted to social media. What sets it apart, however, is just...

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

In this week's Lower case... The New York Times, 3/30/16 Submitted by Richard Knee, San Francisco, California

What’s going on in Libya? Ask a local

It’s shaping up to be a pivotal week in war-torn Libya, but you’d be hard-pressed to read a headline about it. Over the weekend, members of a UN-sponsored "unity government" were rumored to be flying to Tripoli from nearby Tunisia to take over the country from the two rival factions now in charge. Instead, one of the factions closed the...

The influence and limitations of Black Twitter

For certain journalists, the age-old combination of breakfast and a newspaper doesn’t cut it any more. “I don’t know any black reporter who, the first thing in the morning, doesn’t check Black Twitter,” Jamilah King, a senior writer at Mic, said at a February conference on the topic. That term, as many by now know, unofficially refers to a sprawling...

Esquire loses a man at his best

Above all, Esquire Editor in Chief David Granger wants to bring his readers to tears. As the longest-serving editor of America’s oldest men’s magazine, Granger, who exits this week, restored Esquire’s relevance by embracing the emotional depth of men’s interests. Show More Summary

Independent local opinion writing is essential—and endangered. Can we redesign it for survival?

For some of us who grew up reading newspapers, one of the most troubling signs of the medium’s decline has been the shrinking of the editorial section—in size and substance. At its best, the editorial page has been the most vital part of the paper, a vibrant hub of argument, reflection, humor, and community engagement in which national and local...

How access to athletes has changed over time for sportswriters

The revered journalist Walter Lippmann is said to have claimed that “Cronyism is the curse of the newspaperman.” Perhaps. But once it was the mother’s milk of sportswriters--for better or worse. My career as a New York Times sportswriter straddled two eras, from that time (1959) when reporters wore suits and fedoras and played poker with athletes on train rides,...

Heir, apparently?

If you draw up a “lease,” chances are you will find a “lessor” and a “lessee” inside. Someone who “abducts” is an “abductor,” and the victim is an “abductee.” English has lots of pairs in which one is a “do-er” and the other a “do-ee.” If you “inherit” something, you are the “inheritor”; there is no word “inheritee,” for the...

Once on the verge of leaving journalism, a Montana reporter launches a nonprofit news outlet

The last time I talked to John S. Adams, nine months ago, he was living in a cabin on Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, where he used a stack of old newspapers to stoke fires in a wood-burning stove. An accomplished political reporter, Adams had recently left the Great Falls Tribune amid a much-publicized Gannett restructuring. A couple of Montana's top political journalists...

New Jersey sites tap into local news

Mike Shapiro used to pick up a copy of the local newspaper from the driveway of his home in New Providence, New Jersey. That publication—the Independent Press—was the only news source devoted to his town of about 12,000 residents. Its website was far from sophisticated. It wasn’t on any social media platforms. And since it was a weekly, it generally...

With partnerships and young reporters, Chicago's City Bureau builds a collaborative community newsroom

Police accountability in Chicago would have been a meaty, important story anytime. But when City Bureau, a nonprofit community newsroom rooted in the city’s South and West sides, launched last fall with city policing as its initial focus, the timing hardly could have been more apt. In mid-October the bureau published its first story, about protests over the acquittal of an...

Why a weekly tabloid owned by Maury Povich might have 'the best newsroom in Montana'

Though Brock Osweiler didn’t play a single down in the Denver Broncos’ 2016 Super Bowl victory, a few members of his hometown press were still on hand to document the experience of the backup quarterback. Flathead Beacon writer Dillon Tabish and photographer Greg Lindstrom flew from Kalispell, Montana, to Santa Clara, California, to follow the local hero. They talked with...

How two court rulings involving universities breathe new life into the right to know

Sunshine Week brought some welcome news for transparency advocates this year: Two state courts ruled, in suits brought by news organizations, that freedom-of-information laws require private entities to disclose their records if they perform a public function. Show More Summary

David Axelrod's next act

Don’t let David Axelrod’s mellow voice fool you: The man is something of a machine. Since 2013, the famed strategist behind President Barack Obama’s White House bids has directed The University of Chicago Institute of Politics, hosting political professionals and journalists as visiting fellows and speakers. Show More Summary

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