Blog Profile / Columbia Journalism Review

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

Blog Post Archive

Time for a new game plan for covering high school football

The question “Would you let your son play football?” is now a staple of Super Bowl media day, and of just about every substantive interview with a current or former NFL player. (Bo Jackson says “no.”) The game on Sunday will not be a safe space from talk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. If […]

As fact checkers proliferate, where are the policy checkers?

The failures of the press in the 2016 election have by now become familiar: an over-emphasis on personality and politics, a lack of detailed coverage of policy, a focus on the controversial and provocative. These failures were, I believe, fundamentally not the result of any lack of ability or courage on the part of journalists, […]

White House ‘Skype Seats’ offer fodder for local journalists

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer interspersed four “Skype Seat” questions throughout yesterday’s briefing. Those questions—from TV news reporters based in Rhode Island and Ohio, a conservative radio show host in Oregon, and aShow More Summary

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

In this week’s Lower Case… Is it wrong how funny I found this headline? — Laura (@LNH_9) January 31, 2017 Funny headline of the day. Of course it means transportation of chickens & other domestic fowls. Because of Newcastle Disease. — Hugh Ellis (@ellis_hugh) October 25, 2016 @CJR one for The Lower Case. […]

How The Chicago Tribune used ‘rock-solid science’ to shake up pharmacies

The day before President Donald Trump’s chief strategist advised the media to shut up, Chicago’s leading daily newspaper reminded its audience exactly why good journalism must keep talking. The Chicago Tribune detailed Illinois Governor...Show More Summary

Donald and Melania Trump’s relationship through a lens

In the social-media age, the protest sign has become the new pull quote. Demonstrators who took to the streets for the Women’s March took President Donald Trump to task over women’s rights, health care, immigration, xenophobia, and the environment, using thousands of unique and creative messages. But the sign that most stood out to me […]

Facebook and the press: The transfer of power

Journalism’s business crisis is well known, but in the wake of the US presidential election it is increasingly obvious that the true existential crisis for journalism is its lack of influence. Fake news, a decline in trust, and plunging revenues are all proxies for a loss of influence and impact over public opinion and policy. […]

Podcast: Objectivity and Trump’s refugee ban

How has Breitbart used memes to build a huge audience on Facebook? Should journalists’ notion of objectivity change in the face of immoral or un-American acts? What aspects of press freedom may change under the Trump Administration? We discuss that and more this week on The Kicker, where I’m joined by Tow Editor Nausicaa Renner […]

Two dozen freelance journalists told us the best places to write

Most freelance journalists have a love/hate relationship with the job. They trade the freedom to pitch pieces and determine their own schedule for the price of dealing with slow responses from editors and delayed payments. Plus, rates are often lousy, and work is less plentiful these days in a news industry with a grim outlook. […]

Is ‘fake news’ a fake problem?

Since the presidential election, “fake news” has become a buzzword leveraged by both sides of the political aisle, with many organizations directing resources toward understanding and fighting it. Some efforts focus on improving technology:...Show More Summary

Q&A: Olivia Nuzzi on covering ‘psychodrama of the Beltway in the Trump era’

Politico named Olivia Nuzzi one of the breakout media stars of the 2016 election thanks to her political reporting for The Daily Beast. Now she’s been scooped up by New York magazine in the media world’s ongoing game of post-election musical chairs to take up the newly created post of White House correspondent. Nuzzi’s journalism […]

As president, Trump sings a different tune on ‘transparency’

It’s easy to forget that our 45th president—who calls journalists “scum,” refuses to release his tax returns or fully disclose his business ties, and calls for media “blackouts” at executive agencies—was recently one of America’s loudest government transparency advocates. During the height of his “birther” zeal, Donald Trump went on a prolonged campaign in favor […]

Memes trump articles on Breitbart’s Facebook page

Hoax, conspiracy, propaganda, or just a moneymaker for Macedonian teenagers? The definition of fake news has been debated to death since the election. But that debate has mostly referred to one thing: the spread of inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise invented articles passed as real news. The fake news conversation has taken place in the realm […]

Letters from our readers: Trump and the press

We received an unprecedented amount of reader feedback in response to several recent stories related to the media and President Donald Trump’s incoming administration. Here is a selection of emails and Facebook comments we’ve received since January 11. Show More Summary

What makes a good FOIA request? We studied 33,000 to find out.

Every journalist has ideas about what makes a good public records request. But surprisingly few people have actually tried to systematically analyze how requests can be written to improve their chances of success. To fill this vacuum, we analyzed more than 33,000 Freedom of Information Act requests and identified a few characteristics that were typical […]

Get woke, America

In Riverdale, a TV program about the iconic comic book figures Archie, Betty, and Veronica, reality has intruded on this formally idyllic town: Dark secrets, diversity, and a hero with six-pack abs. “Meet our new Archiekins,” the reviewer wrote, “not just ripped, but woke.” That doesn’t mean he’s awake, or that he “woke” to discover […]

Texas Senate cites ‘decorum’ to increase distance between legislators, reporters

Reporters in Texas have long enjoyed an unusual level of access to their state legislators. But when the legislative session started earlier this month, they became the latest statehouse journalists to find that access diminished in the name of order and propriety. And as the adversarial relationship between the Trump administration and the press intensifies, […]

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

In this week’s Lower Case… Meanwhile in Kildare…check out this hilarious headline from today’s Leinster Leader ???? — Shane Beatty (@ShaneBeattyKFM) January 17, 2017 Although certainly not a funny story, the immature side of me had to laugh at the unfortunate way this headline was shortened. Show More Summary

In Colorado, a reporter’s error becomes evidence for ‘fake news’ claim

On Jan. 14, a TV reporter for Denver’s 9News covered a public constituent meeting held by Republican congressman Mike Coffman, who is helping lead an effort to repeal Obamacare. The meeting, held at the Aurora Central Library, attracted more than 100 people, plenty of whom wanted answers about the future of their health insurance. Coffman […]

Behind the story: ‘She would have been the perfect mom for someone that was actually sick’

Reporter Michelle Dean and BuzzFeed editor Marisa Carroll were having drinks last July at Astoria’s Sparrow Tavern. Dean, a crime writer and literary critic, asked Carroll, her editor, if the 8,400-word story about a bizarre murder in Springfield, Missouri they’d been working on for months would actually find an audience or “if it was just […]

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