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How two Florida reporters 'watchdogged' misuse of the state's open-records law

I teach journalism and media law courses at the University of Kansas, and part of my job is to help students think critically and creatively about the legal problems that mass communicators most often face. We read stories and casesShow More Summary

Jennifer Preston on leaving The New York Times, joining the Knight Foundation, and spurring innovation in newsrooms

Jennifer Preston has plenty of experience in the journalism business: “I’ve worked as a city hall bureau chief, a circulation marketing manager, a deputy metro editor, a senior newsroom manager. I ran news administration for the office of the executive editor,” she told me. Preston was a political reporter, editor, and manager at The New...

Why Wyoming's press association is worried about a state privacy amendment

The nation's least populous state may become the next battleground pitting a citizen's right to privacy against the public right to access information. At issue is a debate over whether to amend the Wyoming state constitution. The new language would provide that “the right of individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be...

Journalism has a plagiarism problem. But it's not the one you'd expect

Some of Fareed Zakaria’s past and present publications are finally facing the music, even though they won’t acknowledge what it sounds like. Plagiarism accusations have dogged the CNN host and Washington Post columnist for years, though the drumbeat has crescendoed in recent months. Corrections and apologies have been added to a wide array of his previous work. But Zakaria...

Will radio save science journalism?

In hiring a brand-new health journalism staff, WNYC may be one of the only news outlets in the country that is actually expanding its physical offices to accommodate more reporting muscle. The flagship station from New York Public Radio is building out a new health unit to house four reporters, an editor, a community projects manager, and the managing editor...

The role of 'in' vs. 'on' for a popular phrase

Did you know that there's a difference between acting "on behalf of" something and "in behalf of" something? Didn't think so. But you're in good company if you don't think there really is a difference. For some people, "on behalf of" means you are acting as the agent or representative of something: "On behalf of the mayor, let me welcome...

What it's like to be a polygamy beat reporter

Last Tuesday, The New York Times’ frontpage headline read “It’s Official: Mormon Founder Had Many Wives.” That Joseph Smith married as many as 40 women—one of them 14 years old, and others already married to his followers—was a rare story for national news. But it was just another day on the job for Nate Carlisle, perhaps the nation’s only polygamy beat...

Connecting dissidents and journalists

One of the greatest obstacles to understanding authoritarian societies is that the dissidents within them have few outlets through which to describe their lives, argue their opinions, and refute official propaganda. The people behind...Show More Summary

Maybe “time saved” is a better metric to watch than “time spent” on mobile

You may known Cory Bergman as the cofounder (and now general manager) of the innovative mobile app Breaking News, or as the cofounder of Seattle hyperlocal network Next Door Media. But now he’s got a new email newsletter, Mobile Media Memo, that I suspect a number of Lab readers will be interested in. (Subscribe here.)...

Reporters shouldn't overlook this aspect of Obamacare

As healthcare reporters begin to focus on Obamacare open enrollment, one major, but overlooked issue comes to mind. That's the messy business of reconciling at tax time what the government paid in health insurance subsidies--based on projected income for the year--with what consumers were actually entitled to. Show More Summary

Solutions in Seattle: A partnership has helped The Seattle Times rethink its education coverage

For nearly two decades, a community group on Chicago’s Northwest Side has been recruiting parents to spend more time in their children’s schools. Since its formation in 1995, about 1,800 parents have spent two hours a day during the academic week in their kids’ school for a semester or more through the Logan Square Neighborhood...

The Virginian-Pilot produces a breakthrough investigation amid layoffs

Last month, The Virginian-Pilot announced it was laying off 32 employees, knocking its newsroom back by about a quarter. The cuts would be the deepest the paper has suffered since 2008 and will leave the newsroom “at less than half of its size in 2007,” when it had almost 250 staffers. So it's been a bittersweet time at the 140-year-old paper in...

It’s small touches that can make a difference in New York’s layouts

In a recent long New York magazine interview with Jon Stewart, the Daily Show host made an offhand reference to a man named Conrad Murray, whom many likely recognized as the doctor who was convicted of manslaughter for prescribing the pills to Michael Jackson that eventually led to the singer’s death. But if you’re like...

After it splits, Gannett’s newspaper half will be ready for acquisitions

CFO magazine has an interview with Victoria Harker, the chief financial officer of Gannett, which is one of a number of news companies in various stages of splitting off its print properties (newspapers, mostly) from its broadcast and digital ones. The positive spin is that it’ll let each type of company pursue the best approach...

What's the state of local political news?

In the wake of last week’s midterm election and some ensuing commentary about the state of local media, CJR associate editor Greg Marx and United States Project correspondent Deron Lee shared thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of local news. A record of the discussion is below. From: Greg Marx, 11:11pm Nov. 11 Hey Deron, It feels like we’ve had a...

In a rush to maintain profits, newspapers are abandoning the art of customer service

We are at least a decade into panicked conversations about whether the U.S. newspaper industry can save itself — or evolve its way through our transformation to a digital culture. For a while, apathy, denial, and the inaction that comes with both were the worst reactions to this wakeup call. But over the past few...

How to run a successful newsroom

Liz Spayd: The highly-touted First Look Media seems to be thrashing in choppy waters lately. The most recent evidence came when top editor John Cook left in quick succession to former Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi. Taibbi's noisy departure came after clashes over management style and other issues. It's pretty clear that First Look and other startups are struggling...

Why ISIS coverage sounds familiar

In the months since ISIS beheaded two American journalists and released the video tapes for all the world to see, there have been reports of shadowy new terrorist cells in Syria, lone wolf attacks in the West, and the progress of the US-led airstrikes. These reports belong to a larger narrative that is changing week to week, sometimes day...

Morning Report for November 19, 2014

University of Delaware’s student paper drops “Lady Hens.” (The women’s sports teams will now be call Blue Hens.) (collegemediamatters.com) New York Times runs its first print native ad. (Shell bought the eight-page wraparound.) (digiday.com) Bob Schieffer would love to interview the pope. (washingtonpost.com) Jamie Horowitz was bounced after pushing too hard … Read More

Viewship Is Up but Ratings Are Down—What's Going On?

There's a problem with the metric that TV networks are asking everyone in the media to look at when it comes to viewership: At least from an advertising perspective, it includes unicorns. This season more than ever before, networks are...Show More Summary

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