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New CJR podcast with legendary interviewers

June 23, 2017 - 2:41pm
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Q&A: Sam Sanders on his new NPR show, audience engagement, ‘going off script’

June 23, 2017 - 2:05pm
Sam Sanders is on a mission: to go beyond the headlines. His new NPR talk show, It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders, covers what’s happening and also tries to understand how it makes people feel. As one of the original co-hosts of the NPR Politics Podcast, Sanders broke down the 2016 election cycle for […]

Tracking a journalist’s killer

June 23, 2017 - 9:52am
On the morning of July 20, 2016, Ukrainian journalist Pavel Sheremet left his apartment in central Kiev, stepped into his car, and began his morning commute. Security footage from that day shows Sheremet, in a red Subaru, inching toward an intersection. Suddenly, the car jerks back as a fiery explosion rips through the front seats. […]

Podcast: The journalist and the arms dealer

June 23, 2017 - 8:46am
On the latest episode of The Kicker, we run through some of the media stories we at CJR are watching this week, including the push for unionization at digital media outlets and a new attempt by NPR to reach younger audiences. Then, I talk to CJR Managing Editor Vanessa Gezari, a former foreign correspondent, about how a […]

Covering America’s ‘testing ground’ for responses to drug use, HIV risk

June 23, 2017 - 5:55am
CJR recently invited contributions from journalists whose work focuses on the healthcare challenges specific to their communities. We asked each reporter the same question: “As the nation anticipates passage of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, what are the health stories that are most urgent for journalists to tell in your region?” As the Senate moves […]

Telling stories that show ‘real life-or-death consequences’ of health care bill

June 22, 2017 - 11:40am
THE BETTER CARE RECONCILIATION ACT—the Senate GOP’s version of the American Health Care Act—may be the most anticipated and least understood piece of legislation put forth by Republican lawmakers under the Trump Administration. Editorial boards around the country have criticized the secrecy surrounding the bill’s conception—as “detestable” and “unhealthy” and “too much.” Newsrooms have an obligation to […]

Q&A: Ira Glass on structuring stories, asking hard questions

June 22, 2017 - 5:55am
A great interview is one of the journalist’s most powerful tools. For the next five weeks, the Columbia Journalism Review and will broadcast conversations with some of the world’s greatest interviewers. Hosted by NPR’s Jesse Thorn, the podcast, called The Turnaround, will examine the science and art of journalism. This first episode features Ira […]

SCOOP! Flood of ‘scoops’ dilutes value of real exclusives

June 21, 2017 - 1:54pm
A few weeks ago, the columnists for Politico Playbook alerted readers about a big exclusive. “SCOOP,” they tweeted. “Trump hosting Capitol Hill Republicans.” The same day, the Playbook team tweeted another exclusive: They had discovered that many reporters wanted to cover the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey, which was then three days away. […]

This survey is as murky as chocolate milk

June 21, 2017 - 1:29pm
Last week, a Washington Post headline provoked a collective groan of embarrassment: apparently “seven percent of all American adults” think that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Unsurprisingly, The Internet took notice. Jokes about American intelligence were plentiful. Many palms hit many faces. I first saw the story when a journalist I respect posted the […]

An unlikely big player in digital media: unions

June 21, 2017 - 5:55am
The axe fell at HuffPost the other day. The news site laid off dozens of staffers, in what has became a painful, disruptive—and depressingly familiar—ritual of online journalism. In recent months, layoffs have hit digital media particularly hard, as the limits of online advertising have become clear. But the HuffPost cuts came with a twist: […]

Q&A: Hannah Dreier on covering a country headed for economic collapse

June 20, 2017 - 12:24pm
Once considered among the richest countries in the world, Venezuela is now known for food shortages, lack of basic medical care, 800 percent inflation, and daily protests against President Nicolas Maduro. Hannah Dreier has witnessed and documented the worst of the crisis in three years as a foreign correspondent in the country’s capital, Caracas. Based […]

Theater critic faces backlash over remarks on Chicago play

June 20, 2017 - 10:37am
Chicago Sun-Times theater critic Hedy Weiss—a 30-plus-year veteran of one of the country’s most vibrant theater communities—is under fire, and not for the first time. A group of local actors and playwrights calling themselves the Chicago Theater Accountability Coalition have started a petition against her on The mission: Have the city’s theaters refuse to […]

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

June 20, 2017 - 5:50am
In this week’s Lower Case…   More adults have died from eating laundry pods than kids — NBC News Health (@NBCNewsHealth) June 16, 2017 A truly winning headline in the Arizona Republic. Hope the psychic is OK. — Greg Rajan (@GregRajan) June 11, 2017 Have a headline you want to share? Snap a […]

Pardon my parentheticals

June 19, 2017 - 2:33pm
Parentheses are useful. As the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) notes on the World Wide Web (WWW), “Parentheses () are used to say something that is important to the main message you are writing but is not an immediate part of it, something that would interrupt the flow of your writing if you didn’t keep […]

Drive-by journalism in Trumplandia

June 19, 2017 - 9:59am
Salena Zito needs a new Jeep. Her current model is slowly dying after 14 years and more than 300,000 miles on the road, much of it crisscrossing the Rust Belt to chronicle socioeconomic decay and deep-seated political disenchantment. But giving up her car would feel like losing an appendage. “I never fly; doesn’t matter how […]

Health care journalists need to cover the AHCA from the ground up

June 19, 2017 - 8:35am
LAST WEEK, Vox’s Congressional reporter Jeff Stein posted photos of the front pages of the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to Twitter. “Nothing about GOP health bill today on the front pages of any of 4 of America’s most influential newspapers,” he tweeted. He followed […]

As AI enters newsrooms, journalists have urgent responsibility

June 16, 2017 - 2:38pm
All new technologies have their champions and their naysayers, luddite matching tit for tat with techno-utopian. The arrival of artificial intelligence in newsrooms is no different. Some see its various iterations as tools for reducing grunt work; others see a field full of ethical land mines. Most see a little bit of both. Artificial intelligence […]

Q&A: Reporter rides ‘poetic’ tale of Maine raccoon attack to internet fame

June 16, 2017 - 1:43pm
It’s not every day that the top of a news story goes viral. The tale of a Maine jogger attacked by a rabid raccoon received national attention primarily because of how the story, in the Bangor Daily News, began: PUT THIS LEDE IN EVERY JOURNALISM TEXTBOOK UNTIL THE END OF TIME (h/t and many thanks […]

Podcast: Megyn Kelly gets trolled

June 16, 2017 - 1:07pm
On the latest episode of The Kicker, we run through some of the week’s biggest media stories, including layoffs across the industry, New York Times stories in search of a public editor, and how a single erroneous tweet can spark a fake news cycle. Then, we move on to Megyn Kelly’s upcoming interview with Infowars’s […]

Viral Golden State Warriors story shows media needs to play better defense

June 16, 2017 - 10:28am
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the Golden State Warriors this season, it’s that they’re extremely good at basketball. If there’s a second thing, it might be that they don’t like Donald Trump. Head coach Steve Kerr thinks Trump is “a bully” and “a blowhard” who “couldn’t be more ill-suited to be president.” Star […]