Columbia Journalism Review

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Updated: 4 hours 41 min ago

What does Trump have in common with Hugo Chavez? A media strategy.

February 17, 2017 - 11:18am
President Trump is an avowed admirer of Vladimir Putin, and his administration is under investigation for its ties to Russia. But Trump’s governing style in the first few weeks has more in common with the Latin American populists who have risen to power in the last several decades. In particular, Trump’s unrelenting attacks on the […]

A man of God in the Philippines is helping document a bloody war on drugs

February 17, 2017 - 6:19am
The only perk of the night shift in Manila is the lack of traffic. By day, the streets and highways are clogged, with vehicles crawling along them slowly, close together, like long lines of disorganized ants. But in the dark hours from midnight to dawn, there is no waiting. That’s how we got to the […]

Podcast: Why it matters who gets called on at White House briefings

February 16, 2017 - 4:29pm
I’m joined by Delacorte Fellow Pete Vernon to discuss why it matters that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer primarily allows friendly outlets to ask questions at press briefings. CJR United States Project correspondent Corey Hutchins calls in to discuss fake news at the local level. And freelance journalist Jenni Monet, who was arrested while reporting […]

Zombie ‘death panels’ myth in Florida should rally reporters against Obamacare misinformation

February 16, 2017 - 12:24pm
Death panels made a comeback at a recent town hall in Pasco County, Florida. On Saturday, Bill Akins, secretary of the county Republican executive committee, and U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, who represents the area, tried to convince attendees that death panels—2009’s “Lie of the Year,” according to PolitiFact—were indeed part of the Affordable Care Act. […]

A reporter’s arrest crystallizes her commitment to cover Standing Rock

February 16, 2017 - 9:45am
The day the Department of the Army granted the final easement for the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, I hopped into my pickup truck—a beater that I rent from a local—and drove straight to the Sacred Stone Camp. Darkness fell slowly over the yurt-village of campers, who were only then learning the news. Nearly […]

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

February 15, 2017 - 2:37pm
In this week’s lower case… Wow!!! How Crazy Is This Headline?!!?#Funny #Comedy #Bonkerzcomedy — Bonkerz Comedy Club (@BonkerzComedy) October 29, 2016 Have a headline you want to share? Snap a photo and email it to or tweet it to us @CJR. Want to see more regrettable headlines? Check out the Lower Case archives.

Former White House photographer grabs headlines with Instagram sass

February 15, 2017 - 10:51am
As White House photographer under President Obama, Pete Souza carefully avoided discussion of politics or the idea his photos conveyed any particular agenda. In his new life, Souza’s Instagram feed has become quite political. He’s served as a virtual photo deejay—mixing images from Obama’s tenure based on the news cycle. Those photos repurpose history as […]

‘I’ve had it’: Family-owned Colorado paper threatens state legislator with lawsuit

February 15, 2017 - 7:00am
When a Republican lawmaker in Colorado recently called his hometown newspaper “fake news,” the family-owned Grand Junction Daily Sentinel didn’t let it go unchallenged. On Saturday, the paper’s publisher, Jay Seaton, wrote a pointed column taking the state senator, Ray Scott, to task over the allegation. “I don’t think I can sit back and take […]

‘Fake news’ is dead

February 14, 2017 - 1:02pm
“Fake news,” a term for a specific brand of media fabrication that provided endless fodder for journalistic navel gazing since the presidential election, died on Monday. It was less than a year old. The catchphrase had long battled chronic overuse by subjects of hard-edged news coverage, rendering it effectively meaningless. Despite clinical trials by journalists […]

An essential reading list for understanding Donald Trump

February 14, 2017 - 11:30am
At times it feels like Donald Trump has always been with us. Nearly four decades of coverage have made him a ubiquitous presence in the gossip pages and on magazine covers. With journalists understandably focused on the daily deluge of news from the Trump White House, we thought it might be helpful to put together […]

Flynn resignation shows leaks under Trump are working. Keep ‘em coming.

February 14, 2017 - 5:50am
Leaks are coming out of the White House at a seemingly record pace, many of which have painted a picture of a dangerously ignorant and ill-equipped president who is narcissistic to the extreme, unable to let go of even the smallest of slights. But some of these leaks have halted a Trump appointment and controversial policies […]

Ponder the ‘pivot’

February 13, 2017 - 1:35pm
Nobody seems to turn anymore. They can’t just change direction, face a new way, do something new, figuratively speaking. Instead, they have to “pivot.”   When President Trump said he might sign a new executive order on immigration rather than waiting for the courts, The New York Times said “The president’s pivot represented a short-term […]

Journalists see Trump as a threat to their careers, and calling

February 13, 2017 - 11:13am
Seen through their own eyes, journalists in these times believe they are doing what they have always done, which is to uncover and report the truth. Seeing themselves through the eyes of their increasingly powerful and influential detractors in the White House, though, they are on edge: They must tread carefully so as not to […]

Facebook appeals to Texas reporters during local journalism roadshow

February 13, 2017 - 7:51am
Facebook called local news “the starting place for great journalism” last month, in a wide-ranging announcement for the company’s new “Facebook Journalism Project.” That announcement may not have immediately impressed local news outlets: While Facebook expressed an enthusiasm to collaborate with them, it shared no concrete plans. Now, it appears that those plans include a […]

With Alan White as editor, ‘anything was possible’

February 10, 2017 - 1:03pm
Snow flew sideways as I read the neon words: “In our thoughts and prayers Alan White.” On that January morning, I eyed the electronic board hanging outside the Plum Island town office, stunned that ‘Al’ was gone. Al was a legend at the Eagle-Tribune, a mid-sized daily in Andover, Massachusetts. He taught me and scores […]

Q&A: The Marshall Project’s Bill Keller on the future of criminal justice reporting under Trump

February 10, 2017 - 5:57am
President Donald Trump on Tuesday repeated his false claim that the country’s murder rate is the highest it has been in 47 years. The same day, The Marshall Project won a National Magazine Award for general excellence in its coverage of our nation’s criminal justice system. The irony is not lost on Marshall Project Editor […]

Podcast: The Jake Tapper-Kellyanne Conway showdown

February 9, 2017 - 2:24pm
Why are so many news organizations expanding into Australia? What is the state of health journalism as Obamacare hangs in the balance? Why were so many journalists talking about CNN anchor Jake Tapper’s interview with Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday? We discuss that and more this week on The Kicker, where I’m joined by CJR Editor and […]

Jefferson vs. Orwell on the fake news problem

February 9, 2017 - 1:05pm
“We can solve the problem of fake news.” This was the proposition brought to a lively panel of six experts Wednesday night for a debate hosted by the Daily News Innovation Lab in collaboration with NYC Media Lab. The conversation managed to breathe new life into an overwrought subject, if only to remind the audience […]

PR flacks may be the media’s secret weapon against Trump

February 9, 2017 - 11:38am
Look past CNN’s posse of pundits for a moment, and its Real News™ branding carries weight. Nevertheless, the font of centrist journalism has become a favorite punching bag for the Trump administration and its right-wing media machine, a universal stand-in for the “crooked media.” And an onslaught this week pushed the network’s PR shop into […]

Is Facebook a media company? Some online news consumers think so.

February 9, 2017 - 9:25am
A new Pew Research Center report out today shines new light on how people read and use online information. The report, “How Americans Encounter, Recall, and Act Upon Digital News,” surveyed 2,078 online news consumers twice a day for a week to get a clearer picture of how people get their news, whether they know […]