Blog Profile / Columbia Journalism Review

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

Blog Post Archive

Denverite, Billy Penn get acquainted after Spirited Media merger

If the name “Jim Brady” rings a bell, then it may be that your subconscious has retained stories about the spectacular failure of TBD, a much-ballyhooed hyperlocal site based in Washington, D.C., that Brady was instrumental in launching, and where he acted as general manager. These days, Brady is hedging his hyperlocal bets as founder and […]

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

In this week’s lower case… Hey I found a hilarious headline from 2 years ago! — Dan Cronin (@croninwhocares) February 28, 2017 Bad Headlines, Cont. — Tengrain (@Tengrain) December 29, 2016 Wait…. Show More Summary

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner has little to do with the press, and much ado about nothing

Michael Oreskes, then The New York Times’s Washington bureau chief, had had enough. The White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner had become an embarrassment to journalism, an unseemly extravaganza whose lofty goals had been overshadowed by the spectacle of reporters in black tie cavorting with second- and third-tier celebrities. Show More Summary

Q&A: How Shea Serrano went from middle school science teacher to NYT bestselling author

On the morning of February 22, Shea Serrano, a staff writer at The Ringer, picked a fight with Donald Trump on Twitter. He didn’t do it for retweets or clicks or to amuse his friends. He wanted to win. Serrano’s publisher, Abrams Books, had recently released Why I March, a book of photos from the […]

Now even high school journalists are getting smeared with ‘fake news’ claim

A once-meaningful term of derision has filtered down from the highest office in the country to the halls of a New York City high school. Two student journalists, who have covered a controversy surrounding their interim principal only to see their efforts demeaned as “fake news” by a Department of Education official, are fighting back. […]

Reporters are caught between Obamacare and Trumpcare. How should they proceed?

A few days ago, a radio host in California told me she did not understand what Republicans were trying to do to repeal and replace Obamacare. “I don’t learn much from the Sunday shows,” she said. “It’s all so much inside baseball and theatrics.” Now, the first details of the GOP’s plan—already dubbed “Trumpcare,” of […]

Advice columns mine a classic formula to stay relevant

The first advice columns, published in the 1600s, fielded pretty basic questions. While revolutionary for their time, people asked about topics ranging from the existential to bodily functions. Like this question featured in The Athenian Mercury: “In what space of time do you think the whole mass of blood circulates through the body?” A simple […]

What happens in Vegas, Norm Clarke knows

FOR 17 YEARS, GOSSIP IN LAS VEGAS wasn’t gossip for long. Until Norm Clarke retired from the Review-Journal last summer, what may have started as whispers among blackjack dealers, cab drivers, or casino managers could be found on page 3A as reliable facts. “Las Vegas had become the center of the universe for entertainment in many […]

How the Indy Star navigated a public records minefield to break its Pence email story

THE REVELATION THAT VICE PRESIDENT Mike Pence used a private email address to conduct state business during his tenure as the governor of Indiana prompted swift condemnations and a rush of coverage that touched on everything from information security to public records accessibility to partisan hypocrisy. Show More Summary

A street newspaper gave her purpose and pride. But the second issue would be her last.

On Friday, Raven Canon proudly handed out copies of the second issue of The Springs Echo newspaper, which she launched this year to raise awareness of people who don’t have a home. Canon, homeless herself, dropped off copies at a Colorado Springs shelter where she had been staying. Hours later, the 41-year-old was found dead […]

Podcast: A Breitbart editor walks into a journalism conference…

On The Kicker this week, I’m joined by CJR’s David Uberti, Christie Chisholm, and Shelley Hepworth to discuss some criticism we received for inviting Breitbart Economics Editor John Carney to our conference on Covering Trump. Did his inclusion add a valuable perspective? Or did we play a role in legitimizing a website that has trafficked […]

The New Yorker’s chief fact-checker on how to get things right in the era of ‘post-truth’

This past year, the Oxford Dictionaries chose “post-truth” as its word of the year in a nod to the idea that objective facts “have become less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Indeed, the ideas of truth, fact, “alternative facts,” and “fake news” have become major preoccupations of the […]

Journalism after Snowden: A new age of cyberwarfare

Editor’s note: This piece is a chapter in Journalism After Snowden: The Future of Free Press in the Surveillance State, a recently released book from Columbia University Press. The book was part of the Journalism After Snowden initiative, a yearlong series of events and projects from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism in collaboration with […]

Universities race to safeguard government data under Trump

In an era when Trump administration officials label unwelcome tidings as fake news,  endorse “alternative facts,” and favor conspiracy theories, many see another looming threat. They fear federal data may become the next casualty of a post-truth world. The Trump administration’s early actions have sounded the alarm. First there was the dispute with the National […]

How not to ‘adjectify’

In The Elements of Style, Strunk and White advise: “Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs.” It was a suggestion, not a rule. Adjectives can add to an image, but but they can also weaken it. Remember that by definition, an adjective is a modifier. So any time you want to use […]

Q&A: Louise Kiernan says ProPublica Illinois will ‘find areas where we can have impact’

LOUISE KIERNAN, A PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING veteran journalist and associate professor at Northwestern University’s Medill journalism school, will be the first editor-in-chief of ProPublica Illinois. Kiernan, who starts her new position on April 4, spent 18 years as a reporter and editor at the Chicago Tribune, a tenure that included a decade as a special projects reporter. […]

Journalists found a bloody body in the street. Hours later, he was dead.

When he saw the body on the side of the road, journalist Carlos Martínez had two questions. Is that a human? Is it alive? It was a muggy afternoon in September 2014. Martínez was driving back from Zacatecoluca, El Salvador, with photographer Fred Ramos, his colleague at the San Salvador-based news site El Faro, which […]

Putin, Politics, and the Press

The 2016 presidential election, which upended voters, journalists, politicians, and special-interest groups, was remarkable for a number of reasons—not least Trump’s unconcealed contempt for the press, whose role was challenged again and again on the campaign trail. As the Columbia Journalism Review put it two weeks after the election in an oral history of the […]

Breitbart editor slams mainstream media in Pulitzer Hall

A Breitbart News editor called the publication he recently joined “the most innovative and exciting source of journalism in America” on Friday, calling out mainstream media bias and inaccuracy while accepting no similar responsibility for the misleading and at times incendiary work for which his organization is criticized. “The real threat to public confidence in […]

Study: Breitbart-led right-wing media ecosystem altered broader media agenda

The 2016 Presidential election shook the foundations of American politics. Media reports immediately looked for external disruption to explain the unanticipated victory—with theories ranging from Russian hacking to “fake news.” We have...Show More Summary

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