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Blog Profile / Columbia Journalism Review

Filed Under:Media / Media Industry News
Posts on Regator:12881
Posts / Week:38.6
Archived Since:April 26, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Covering sex trafficking: Journalists can do better

When journalist David McSwane pitched a story about sex trafficking in minors to his editors at the Serasota Herald Tribune in 2012, they were skeptical. As one of his colleagues put it: “People don’t want to read about sex with children when they’re eating their food.” To McSwane, that comment later resonated with a more general attitude toward the issue....

Webster's new dictionary means change for copy editors

Webster's New World College Dictionary has a fifth edition. Big whoop, you say. But this is not just any dictionary: It's a new edition of the one used by The Associated Press and many other news outlets. That means many of you should pay attention. Here's one biggie: "Healthcare" is now the only spelling listed for what AP and many...

First Look runs headlong into journalism's two big problems

When Pierre Omidyar, the eBay billionaire, announced the creation of a news organization featuring, for starters, investigative heavyweight Glenn Greenwald, media expectations were set soaring—even here—and understandably so. In a disrupted...Show More Summary

The great newspaper spinoff

It's hard to recall a spate of media deconsolidation like the one in recent months, as companies shed their publishing divisions. Time Warner unloaded its magazine division, Time Inc. Meantime, Tribune spun off its newspapers, as has News Corporation, with EW Scripps, Journal Communications, and now Gannett planning to follow suit soon. Show More Summary

Is communications security for reporters improving?

In the year since Edward Snowden's leaks revealed the extent of the National Security Agency's snooping, American journalists have shored up our defenses. I see more reporters with their public PGP keys--the first step to sending encrypted messages using the Pretty Good Privacy program--published on their Twitter feeds and websites. Show More Summary

How American journalists covered torture after 9/11

Editors’ note: Torture, and specifically the US government’s use of it, is back in the news. The Senate Intelligence Committee is set to release a much-anticipated report on the CIA’s treatment of terrorism suspects in the wake of 9/11,...Show More Summary

Why we should be wary with a new survey showing a spike in uninsured Kansans

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — “Bottom line, Rep. [Tim] Huelskamp appears to be utterly full of hooey,” Charles Gaba of told CJR in May, after the bombastic Tea Party congressman had claimed that more people in his home state of Kansas were uninsured under Obamacare than before. Show More Summary

Did a spy agency screw The Intercept?

Predicated on mutual trust, the relationship between reporters and the intelligence community has become increasingly fraught in recent years. The most recent example of the changing dynamic came Tuesday, when the National Counterterrorism...Show More Summary

Data reveals Congress isn't talking about terrorism

Charles Ornstein, a senior reporter for ProPublica, wrote a comprehensive story for The New York Times' Upshot about the drug Achtar, which cost the Medicare program about $141.5 million in 2012 despite being prescribed just 3,387 times under Medicare that year. Show More Summary

Local news outlets are joining the data journalism bandwagon

A few years ago, Gene Balk noticed that numbers and statistics were increasingly becoming more available and compelling as a central subject in news stories. "Data journalism has been getting more popular, and I noticed that there's so much data that's local that we weren't using," said Balk, a news librarian at The Seattle Times since 2002. With the backing...

Gannett's changes bring excitement, some pain, and a full-time beer beat

Yesterday was a busy one for Joshua Awtry. He was one of a handful of editors at Gannett-owned papers around the country who spent the day explaining to reporters and staff the specifics of some big changes coming their way. Gannett,...Show More Summary

A lonely fight

Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught Up with Rupert Murdoch By Nick Davies Chatto & Windus 448 pages Hardcover, £20 In 2008, Nick Davies put out a book arguing that the British press had become passive conduits of propaganda and public relations. It was the serious newspapers and broadcasters that concerned him then. "Nobody needs a book to tell them...

IRS controversy raises the question: What are the limits of the local angle?

DETROIT, MI — In May 2013, two weeks after investigative reporter James Pilcher returned to The Cincinnati Enquirer after a stint working for a local telephone company, news broke that the Internal Revenue Service had apologized for singling out for scrutiny certain groups applying for nonprofit status—namely, Tea Party groups. Show More Summary

How a new Washington stifles a new political press

The video featured all the trappings of a heartwarming human interest piece: uplifting piano music, a hometown angle, and a main character named Earnest. Released by the White House last week, the four-minute film shows Press Secretary Josh Earnest, a Kansas City native, inviting four locals to dinner with President Barack Obama. More than 42,000 viewers watched the clip as...

Why The New Yorker's radical feminism and transgenderism piece was one-sided

Last week's New Yorker article, "What Is a Woman: The Dispute Between Radical Feminism and Transgenderism" by Michelle Goldberg has been widely criticized since its publication. The article purports to offer a history of conflict between trans-exclusionary feminists and trans women. Show More Summary

The backstory on native advertising

Back in antiquity (five years ago), when I ran a popular Web 1.0 content site called Beliefnet, we used to cockily predict to investors that our advertising rates were going to rise every year. We knew this because the prestigious market researchers told us so. And their logic seemed flawless: More and more ad dollars were going to shift online,...

SI, Drew Brees, and TRX

The opening photo of a July 28 Sports Illustrated "exclusive" on New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees' off-season training is splashed across two pages and it is glorious. Wearing a black T-shirt with the logo of an exercise brand called TRX across his chest like Superman's S, he appears to levitate. He is actually supported by a solidly planted single...

Bill Keller-led Marshall Project gives readers a 'sneak preview'

The Marshall Project published its first piece Monday, revisiting the story of a 2004 Texas execution that The New Yorker had seemingly nailed down in a 16,000-word tour de force five years ago. Still, the Bill Keller-led criminal justice nonprofit managed to break new ground, landing interviews with a key witness and casting more doubt on a case that could...

Stories I'd like to see

This column, a regular feature, was originally published on 1. Inside Qatar: The terrorists' benefactor and America's friend As the war in Gaza continues, we keep hearing that one pipeline for negotiations with Hamas goes through Qatar, the tiny, oil-rich kingdom in the Gulf that has friendly relations with Hamas. In fact, Qatar hosts the leaders of Hamas and...

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