Blog Profile / Columbia Journalism Review

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

Blog Post Archive

Exposing the Invisible Empire

After a white supremacist gunned down nine black worshippers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last June, reporters at The Post and Courier, where I work, filed hundreds of stories on the shooting and its aftermath. One of my pieces, about questionable financial dealings by the church’s interim pastor, elicited a threatening email. As I scanned it on...

Remembering Shadid

The best way to understand the enduring greatness of Anthony Shadid is to begin with the words of Anthony himself, so here’s something he wrote after his first Pulitzer and after his second Pulitzer, at a time when he was considering the life that reporting had given him and who he had become. It’s from his memoir, House of Stone,...

100 years of data

Within the cardboard boxes and reams of microfilm that hold the last century of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism lies a troubling story about a group of journalistic underdogs: the women and people of color who are being shut out of American journalism’s most prestigious award. As the graphics in these pages show, the ranks of Pulitzer winners have grown more diverse,...

Gawker can’t hide its bad behavior behind press freedom

Earlier this month, a Gawker reporter unleashed a mini-bombshell. Mike Nunez at its sister site, Gizmodo, revealed that Facebook routinely suppressed conservative news from its trending news section, citing unnamed former Facebook employees, thus blemishing Facebook’s preferred guise as an impartial arbiter of the world’s communications. Show More Summary

Denver's new local site has the feel of a national startup

This winter, Dave Burdick, then a 33-year-old deputy features editor for The Denver Post, got an email that at first he thought could be spam. An investor in New York City had found him on LinkedIn and wanted to talk about an idea for a local online news startup. On Wednesday, that startup, dubbed Denverite, made a soft launch with...

How fake news sites frequently trick big-time journalists

It would’ve been one hell of a story. Early this month, “news” surfaced that Michael Jordan--yes, the Michael Jordan--had threatened to move his NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets, from North Carolina unless the state repealed a law barring transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice. Air Jordan hadn’t seemed so heroic since he saved Bugs Bunny in the...

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

In this week's Lower case... Lewiston (Maine) Daily Sun, 4/2/79 San Francisco Chronicle, 12/15/82 The Toronto Star, 1/6/86

Why candidates' social media use may tell us more than polls

The 2016 election cycle has been one of the costliest so far, and one of the most unpredictable. Roller-coaster shifts in voter poll data, a cobweb of campaign money, and the reportedly disproportionate attention media outlets have given—or refused to give—to populist and independent candidates have stymied pollsters and pundits. Show More Summary

A local startup with an emphasis on uplift looks to grow

What’s the right formula for a for-profit, local online news startup in a smaller market? There’s probably no single answer to that question. But in north-central Ohio, the people behind Richland Source say they have a recipe that’s working for them. It includes original content that’s free to read, a diversifying revenue base anchored by digital ads, engagement with live...

Fact or fiction? Some favorite newsroom myths.

When you work for The New York Times, you become immersed in its history and its fabled writing and writers. You connect to the Pulitzer Prizes, to the war correspondents, to the drama critics. And, of course, to the urban legends. In my 44 years at the Times, I discovered a host of newsroom myths, virtually all of them riffing...

When will courts realize that leaks are vital to the American public?

WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning filed her long-awaited appeal to a 35-year jail sentence last week, and her case brings up an important question for journalists: When will courts finally rule the Espionage Act unconstitutional...Show More Summary

Garner's presents inclusive approach to English in new edition

Someone looking to see what the “usage authorities” think doesn’t have a lot of places to turn, especially if they’re looking for something that is in the process of changing, such as the way we just used the indefinite (singular) pronoun “someone” with a plural pronoun, “they.” Many usage guides are available, but few can be considered both definitive and...

Why one local paper launched an online section for older readers

Figuring out how to reach younger readers online is one of the perpetual concerns of the newspaper business. But a new effort from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this spring is a little unusual: It’s aimed directly at older audiences. In April, the paper launched Aging Edge, a section of its website dedicated to the interests and concerns of the area’s “older...

Scoring the 2016 candidates on press freedom

When it comes to political campaigns, journalists traditionally serve as the referees, covering the action but not taking sides. There is one issue, however, on which journalists might be forgiven for showing preference--choosing who among the candidates is best for the media. For anyone trying to see how the candidates measure up, here’s a scorecard to help them decide. Up...

How one open data advocate is influencing the discussion about Chicago Public Schools

Jeanne Marie Olson is not a journalist. She will be the first to tell you that. And she will repeat it several times in a single conversation to make sure you understand. But Olson is a Chicago-based researcher and a fierce open data advocate, one who’s committed to making information about the city school system more accessible and holding government...

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

In this week’s Lower case … Today in headlines in need of commas: cc @CJR — Alan Neuhauser (@alneuhauser) May 16, 2016 The Jersey Journal (Hudson County, New Jersey), 5/16/2016

The voiceless have a voice. A journalist's job is to amplify it.

One of the first things I noticed about Bridget Hegarty was her voice. It was a strong voice, but a pained one. Three years earlier, as a 17-year-old student at a Catholic high school, she’d been raped and decided to have an abortion. “My understanding was that I was going to kill my child,” she told me. I was...

How a newspaper veteran returned to journalism with a public radio station

One day last week, Nancy Klingener updated her Facebook profile to feature a picture of herself, in sunhat and sandals, biking down a street in Key West, Florida. It might be an image of sun-drenched contentment, but for Klingener, it’s also something of a professional milestone. The bike sports the logo of WLRN, a Miami-based public radio station that opened...

CJR's Elizabeth Spayd named New York Times public editor

Elizabeth Spayd, editor and publisher of CJR, has been named public editor of The New York Times, according to a news release. She’ll start in the new role this summer. Spayd's experience "will serve us well as she assumes this critical position serving as a reliable and engaged representative of our readers," Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. said in a statement....

Knight, Columbia commit $60 million to launch digital-era First Amendment center

The Knight Foundation and Columbia University today announced the creation of new center that will use research, education, and litigation to advance First Amendment rights in the digital age. An independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,...Show More Summary

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