Columbia Journalism Review

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Boston authorities should not have blocked media from covering protest

August 21, 2017 - 4:07pm
While plenty of media commentators and politicians lauded the efforts of Boston politicians and the Boston Police Department to keep the peace Saturday during a extreme-right-wing rally and massive counter protests, they failed at protecting the media’s right to cover a newsworthy event. Reporters were not able to actually cover the program of the event […]

After ‘bizarre’ demand, reporter snagged a rare friendly interview with Jerry Lewis

August 21, 2017 - 11:25am
Ten years ago, I was a freelancer in Las Vegas and pitched Newsweek a Q&A with Jerry Lewis to coincide with the Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day telethon. The magazine accepted, so I found an email address for a publicist on a page that dubbed itself “The Official Jerry Lewis Website” and sent off my […]

White-supremacy threat demands its own beat reporters

August 21, 2017 - 9:55am
America’s most dangerous terrorists aren’t always imported or foreign; many are homegrown. But that’s a reality not yet reflected in the coverage priorities of mainstream news outlets. The ugly events in Charlottesville should raise a question for US newsrooms: Why don’t we cover white supremacy the way we cover ISIS? White supremacy and the right-wing […]

The media today: Time for the eclipse

August 21, 2017 - 6:48am
All the major news organizations have gone eclipse crazy. The Atlantic launched a special project, Two Minutes of Darkness, for coverage of the total solar eclipse, writing about everything from offbeat ways to enjoy the eclipse to Annie Dillard’s classic essay about eclipses. BuzzFeed published this handy guide on everything you should know about today’s […]

Behind the unlikely success of PolitiFact and the Truth-O-Meter

August 21, 2017 - 5:55am
There were lots of good reasons we shouldn’t have started PolitiFact. We were out of our league. The St. Petersburg Times was a regional paper with a good reputation, but we didn’t know much about fact-checking or developing new products in a digital age. I knew nothing about building a website. My first diagram of […]

NYT’s botched boba story stereotyped Asian culture

August 18, 2017 - 3:54pm
On Wednesday night, The New York Times’s business section published a story about the growing number of bubble tea businesses and their struggle to expand in the United States. But, as many have noted, the paper of record thoroughly botched its execution of the feature, including two tone-deaf headlines and an unattributed quote from Reddit. […]

Podcast: The media responds to Charlottesville

August 18, 2017 - 3:26pm
On the latest episode of The Kicker, we dedicate the entire episode to the media’s response to Charlottesville. Meg talks to CJR Associate Editor Brendan Fitzgerald about how local news covered the events last weekend. Plus, his personal experience working as a reporter in the city. We also discuss the language journalists should be using […]

Sports writers still struggle covering violence against women

August 18, 2017 - 9:32am
Domestic and sexual violence are notoriously challenging for journalists, especially for sports writers. Those challenges were on full display earlier this month in a Boston Globe story about New England Sports Network television analyst and former Boston Red Sox player Steve Lyons, who was arrested on charges including domestic battery and intimidation of witnesses (all […]

Why isn’t local media covering the Clean Power Plan?

August 18, 2017 - 7:35am
A daily newspaper in Texas published an editorial about a month ago arguing that any changes President Trump makes to Barack Obama’s climate-change plan shouldn’t include propping up the coal industry at the expense of other energy sources: “The EPA has no business in picking winners and losers.” “We’re in the middle of oil country,” […]

The media today: The death penalty of the internet

August 18, 2017 - 7:22am
It started with a tweet. Amy Siskind, founder of the New Agenda, called out GoDaddy on Sunday for hosting The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, after it posted a hateful, misogynist, and obscene article about Heather Heyer, the woman killed during the Charlottesville protests last weekend. GoDaddy’s response was swift and decisive: It gave the […]

Sign of the times: A local newsroom aims to build trust

August 17, 2017 - 12:52pm
It stung the first time Sheila Hagar saw the billboard. It was late winter, and she and her husband were passing through the outskirts of Dayton, a town 30 miles northeast of Walla Walla, Washington. The billboard, the size an average sheet of plywood, caught her eye. The words stenciled on it, “HEY CROOKED NEWS […]

Union-Bulletin managing editor on downsizing: ‘We’ve been stung’

August 17, 2017 - 10:10am
The Union-Bulletin has been Walla Walla, Washington’s hometown paper for more than a century. While they’ve reached a point of stability after recent downsizing, they are uncertain about what comes next. “We’ve been stung, and I think we’re going to be stung more,” says Managing Editor Alasdair Stewart. They have some good things going for […]

Q&A: Peter Hessler on a foreign correspondent’s approach to Trump country

August 17, 2017 - 9:52am
In a recent issue of The New Yorker, staff writer Peter Hessler brought readers to the western Colorado city of Grand Junction for a piece that delves into the personalities of Trump supporters in a place that becomes a stand-in for rural America writ large. At nearly 6,500 words, Hessler’s story, headlined “How Trump is […]

The media today: Vice News Tonight’s shocking view of the Charlottesville terror

August 17, 2017 - 6:53am
For almost a year, Vice has brought its millennial-focused style of reporting to the stodgy establishment of nightly news. Airing on HBO, Vice News Tonight usually features a mix of mini-documentary feature segments and voiceover narration of video clips with slick graphics. On Monday night, the format changed, and the result was something special. “Charlottesville: […]

Sam Sanders’s podcast on Charlottesville quotes only white people. Here’s why.

August 17, 2017 - 5:55am
My producer Brent Baughman and I had planned to run an episode (of our podcast It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders) about The Onion (the satirical newspaper) on Tuesday. I had spent a day in their headquarters a few weeks ago and got some great tape. The whole thing was going to be about […]

Study asks whether reporters are influenced by who they follow on Twitter

August 16, 2017 - 11:26am
Do the people you follow on Twitter—your “followership”—influence your work as a journalist? According to a first-of-its-kind study conducted by a team of researchers at Northeastern University, there is “a modest correlation between the ideologies of who a journalist follows on Twitter and the content he or she produces.” Of course, correlation isn’t causation, so […]

Q&A: Filmmaker on FBI surveillance of her neighborhood and the fight for the records that prove it

August 16, 2017 - 10:41am
Growing up, Assia Boundaoui felt like she was being watched. She wasn’t the only one. Just about everyone she knew in her Arab-American community of Bridgeview, just south of Chicago, suspected that the US government was spying on them. Even after Boundaoui left Bridgeview in 2010—to attend New York University for her master’s degree in […]

The media today: Lessons from Kentucky on overcoming polarization

August 16, 2017 - 6:51am
It’s no secret, after this past weekend’s events in Charlottesville, that political polarization has reached a boiling point—and that much discontent on the right, incited by Trump, centers around the press. And we are all aware of how geographic stereotypes—Main Street versus Wall Street, coastal elites versus “flyover” states, urban cosmopolitans versus “real America”—have come […]

Diversity in newsrooms has been bad for decades and it probably won’t get better: study

August 16, 2017 - 5:55am
A new study says some of the biggest newsrooms in the country are still failing to fulfill a nearly 50-year-old pledge to increase the employment of people of color in top masthead positions, despite repeated reviews and greater coverage of the issue. The report, titled “Missed deadline: The delayed promise of newsroom diversity” and conducted […]

Lessons on overcoming polarization from Bowling Green and Ohio County, Kentucky

August 15, 2017 - 2:35pm
Political polarization. The so-called urban-rural divide. A growing sense of distrust for journalists. In the wake of a contentious presidential election, how are these national issues playing out in everyday media use? This pilot study examines what political polarization looks like at the local level, and provides recommendations for how local journalists and community members […]