Blog Profile / Columbia Journalism Review

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

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4 media ventures that failed

Journalism experiments often fail. That’s part of the game. But what can we learn by looking in the rearview mirror at some of the high-profile flops in digital journalism past? That’s what we tried to find out by looking at a few experiments that arrived with fanfare at the time of their launch but didn’t last long. What can the...

The second death of Tony Hart

Carolyn Ross was at work this winter when someone asked if she’d heard the news about her dad. There wasn’t much to hear, she thought, because Pa, as she affectionately calls him, had died more than six years ago. But when she searched his name online, the results were peculiar. “There it was: All this huge fuss, and people reacting...

News you can take with you

A few decades ago, “mobile news” was a clumsily folded newspaper on a commuter train. That era is far gone. A Pew study on cell internet use in 2013 found that 57 percent of all Americans go online with a cellphone. Further, 34 percent of cellphone users mostly use their phones to go online. But what are they doing on...

The 11 best experiments in journalism

After scoping the vast terrain of new media ventures, our class of 14 students focused in on 11 experiments we believe represent journalism’s most noteworthy steps forward. None are guaranteed to succeed, but after research, debate, and a final vote of the class, we chose these as the ones most worth watching. Quartz's code for confirmation Perhaps one of the...

Reporter who exposed Chicago police torture 25 years ago reflects on historic reparations deal

Former investigative journalist John Conroy—that’s how he describes himself these days—spent the better part of two decades writing about police brutality in Chicago. He never expected to see what happened last week: a unanimous vote...Show More Summary

Bill Simmons is leaving Grantland. Can the site survive without him?

Bill Simmons and ESPN launched Grantland on June 8, 2011. To say the journalistic-literary world hated it would be an overstatement, but not much of one. Business Insider summed up the initial reviews as “underwhelmed.” In CJR, Sam Eifling...Show More Summary

When metrics drive newsroom culture

As analytics have entered newsrooms the digital world has divided into two camps. There are those that think attention paid to metrics creates a world where Kim Kardashian beats out more important subjects, like the Syrian conflict.Show More Summary

In South Carolina, buyouts take a big bite out of The State's newsroom

On April 20, about two hours after news broke that The Post and Courier of Charleston, SC, had taken the Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism, a meeting was convened in the newsroom of The State in Columbia, the state capital. The pow-wow wasn't about how the McClatchy-owned paper might step up its reporting game in the wake of the...

Why a New York Times nail salon exposé is published in four languages

While doing dogged shoe leather reporting for her New York Times investigative series on the exploitation of workers in the nail salon industry, Unvarnished, journalist Sarah Maslin Nir had unusually well-groomed nails. Getting interviews...Show More Summary

How one locally owned TV station does statehouse coverage right

Late last month, a North Carolina news outlet unveiled a new feature on its website: Hover over the name of a sitting state lawmaker mentioned in any story, and you’ll see the top five donors to the legislator’s most recent campaign. The tech tool, called Donor Reveal, was inspired by a browser plug-in developed by a teenager to track donations...

Police videos: Are the shooters witnesses or journalists?

Feidin Santana recorded the horrific video in South Carolina of a police officer shooting eight times at fleeing suspect Walter Scott and then leaving him to die. In a not too distant past, the media might have considered Santana a source, a witness to a newsworthy event who turned over crucial information. But the fact that he recorded a video...

How British media bring UK general election news across the pond

Two men face off to decide the future of the their country. One, shrouded in red, bears the focused gaze of an upstart seeking to topple the status quo. The other, cloaked in blue, smirks as if he knows something his opponent doesn’t. The storylines leading up to today’s general election in the United Kingdom have by no means been...

Georgia governor vs. local media

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is proud of his office’s ability to bypass traditional media to get his message out via social media, so much so that he touted that fact at an unusual venue--the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism Centennial Gala last month. The Atlanta Journal Constitution headlined its blog post about the event, “Nathan Deal to journalists:...

In Baltimore, a tale of two transparencies

In the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death from a spinal injury sustained while in the custody of Baltimore police officers, the department did something unusual: It allowed a reporter for The Baltimore Sun to observe the work of the task force investigating Gray’s death. At the same time, a more common scenario was playing out: A coalition of news organizations...

Illinois photo editors seek to tap into Instagram’s popularity

Ten months ago, the Chicago Tribune simultaneously launched two accounts on Instagram, the photo-sharing social media platform: one showcasing the work of the paper’s staff photographers and another highlighting old photos from the basement archives. Show More Summary

Don't interrupt yourself

One thing that writers, and by that we mean journalists, fiction writers, public relations people, speechwriters and people of that ilk, love to do is interrupt themselves. They do it with dashes, they do it when making comparisons, they do it just because they can. Take our opening sentence. A reader is trying to form an image of what the...

Judge weighs in favor of First Amendment by striking down 'Silencing Act'

When Pennsylvania lawmakers earlier this year passed a statute that threatened the relationship between journalists and sources who had been convicted of a violent crime, a coalition of media outlets, journalists, inmates, and advocacy groups fought back. Show More Summary

Is the news behaving more like advertising?

When The Wall Street Journal set out to redesign its digital products, it changed more than the look of its website. The paper is forming teams of engineers, designers, and reporters, adapting their content to mobile and social platforms, making their news experiences more personal, and bringing analytics into the editorial department. Show More Summary

There’s finally an increase in environmental journalism, but it’s inconsistent. Here's how to fix that

Last year, when the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity won its first Pulitzer Prize since its founding in 1989, it didn’t go to its investigations on presidents or corruption in Washington. It went to a story in the Center’s environmental...Show More Summary

Following a same-sex marriage case from Michigan to the Supreme Court

In a historic case, the US Supreme Court this week heard arguments on the validity of state same-sex marriage bans. The hearing combined cases from Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky—and Michigan, where a lesbian couple with four adopted children are prevented by state law from sharing legal parental rights. Few people know the Michigan case better than Rick Pluta, the state capital...

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