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Gawker: The internet bully

October 24, 2014 - 3:49pm
Earlier this week Gawker lost "thousands of dollars" in advertising after a poorly worded tweet was posted by one of its writers. Sam Biddle, one of the more sarcastic employees among the sarcastic throng at Gawker Media, tweeted out a joke: Ultimately #GamerGate is reaffirming what we've known to be true for decades: nerds should be constantly shamed and degraded...

What's next for Ferguson?

October 24, 2014 - 3:42pm
The story of Ferguson, MO, roils on. On Tuesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published Michael Brown’s leaked autopsy report, and The New York Times and Washington Post featured unnamed sources implying that a grand jury may accept police officer Darren Wilson’s account of the confrontation which left Brown dead. Fresh protests of over 200 people followed outside the Ferguson Police Department, as well...

Must-reads of the week

October 24, 2014 - 2:50pm
Culled from CJR's own stories, plus the frequently updated "Must-reads from around the Web," our staff recommendations for the best pieces of journalism (and other miscellany) on the internet, here are your can't-miss must-reads of the past week: The ethics of The Guardian's Whisper bombshell (CJR) - "It was bizarre to see a bit of backlash develop against The Guardian...

Is it ever okay to name victims?

October 24, 2014 - 11:00am
In 1990, The Des Moines Register took the rare step of naming a rape victim in a series that won the following year's Pulitzer Prize for public service. The Pulitzer committee wrote that the series prompted "widespread reconsideration of the traditional media practice of concealing the identity of rape victims." The series, about Nancy Ziegenmeyer's rape and her subsequent experiences...

The biggest threat to press rights may be a failure to understand them

October 24, 2014 - 6:50am
It’s a cliché to say so, but we’re at a moment of transition for American journalism. The digital disruption that has challenged the newspaper industry and other legacy publishers has also created opportunities for independent journalists and startup news organizations. And the disruption has implications for the legal landscape in which journalism is produced, as new platforms and questions emerge....

James Risen on secret sources, joining Twitter, and going undercover

October 23, 2014 - 5:05pm
For more than seven years, James Risen has been locked in a legal battle with the US Justice Department, facing potential jail time in his effort to protect an anonymous source from his 2006 book, State of War. Over that seven-year span, press–government relations have continued to sour, and the Obama administration has pursued more criminal leak investigations than...

Former Sun-Times staffers react to top reporter's resignation

October 23, 2014 - 1:18pm
CHICAGO — It would be hard to overstate the sense of shock and dismay among journalists here, a day after Dave McKinney, former statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times, stepped down from the embattled yet feisty paper. “I’m convinced this newspaper no longer has the backs of reporters like me,” McKinney wrote in his resignation letter to Michael Ferro, chairman of...

Top journalist quits the Sun-Times: Paper 'no longer has the backs of reporters like me'

October 23, 2014 - 11:54am
CHICAGO — Dave McKinney, Springfield bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times, rocked the political and media world here yesterday—not by penning a hard-hitting story, as he has often done throughout his 19-year career at the paper, but by publicly resigning in open letter that questioned the paper’s editorial independence and accused top management of interfering with journalists’ work. It’s a...

How do we know what we know about #Gamergate?

October 23, 2014 - 11:00am
Gamergate is “a heated debate over journalistic integrity, the definition of video games and the identity of those who play them” according to CNN.  It is “a movement of sorts,” says The New Yorker. Its focal point is reported as a critique of ethics in video games media or as a relentless campaign of harassment towards women.  Deadspin says its...

What's happening in Hong Kong?

October 23, 2014 - 6:50am
"What kind of Communists are these people?!" exclaimed Jon Stewart on the October 6 episode of The Daily Show, pointing to the orderliness and civility of the mass protests that having been taking place in downtown Hong Kong since late September. While the segment likely brought awareness to a story that Americans might not be inclined to follow (considering how...

Ben Bradlee, through the years

October 22, 2014 - 3:17pm
Ben Bradlee had, by all accounts, an eventful life at the helm of The Washington Post, and as a result he was a frequent subject for other publications. Stories by and about him from various decades illuminate not only what made Bradlee tick as a newsman, but also his enormous and enduring impact on journalism. Beyond the lengthy obituaries, these...

4 lessons on how Americans consume political news

October 22, 2014 - 2:50pm
The political information reaching voters becomes all the more important as midterm elections loom. At the same time, news organizations — niche and mainstream alike — have amped up their coverage both from inside the Beltway and on the campaign trail. The partisan divisions between Democratic and Republican politicians are readily apparent in this torrent of political news. How a...

A different take on Syria

October 22, 2014 - 12:00pm
In weekly dispatches, readers of The Syria Report have been tracking the implosion of the war-torn country by the numbers: The country will begin importing beef from The Netherlands; olive oil production is expected to drop by half this year; wheat supplied by Syrian farmers is at historical lows. It's one of the few steady voices on macroeconomic and business...

How xenophobia is driving the Ebola narrative

October 22, 2014 - 6:50am
A recent Newsweek cover story showed a photograph of a gorilla accompanied by an inaccurate headline that contaminated bushmeat could bring Ebola to the US. Four weeks later on Fox News, Keith Albow, a member of the network's Medical A-team, accused President Obama of failing to protect us because "His affiliations are with Africa...not us. He's their leader." And these...

The California Sunday Magazine sets out to win the West

October 21, 2014 - 11:00am
After many months of eager anticipation in media circles, The California Sunday Magazine launched Oct. 5 with a print run of more than 400,000 copies. Just don’t call it a “print launch” to Douglas McGray, the co-founder and editor in chief. “None of us see this as a print launch,” he said, a little over a week after the first issue...

Why media probably shouldn't name Ebola victims

October 21, 2014 - 6:50am
By the time the video of Nina Pham was released last week, most Americans were likely familiar with her name--and the fact that she is one of two nurses diagnosed with Ebola after treating victim Thomas Eric Duncan. In the video, uploaded by Dallas Presbyterian Hospital, where Pham was working when she contracted the disease, the nurse smiles through tears...

How common descriptors fall out of favor

October 20, 2014 - 2:50pm
Once upon a time, as far back as 40 years or so, language pedants would not use "hopefully" to mean anything other than "in a hopeful manner." Many others, though, used it to mean "it is hoped," and wouldn't stop, to much derision from the traditionalists. "Hopefully" had become what Bryan A. Garner calls a "skunked term." As explained in...

We Need to Talk is part of the solution

October 20, 2014 - 11:00am
To say that We Need To Talk, CBS Sports Network's new show with a cast of all women, picked a perfect launch date might understate the timing. The show made its debut on September 30, right as the sports world around it had exploded thanks to the NFL's fumbled handling of the domestic violence case involving Baltimore Ravens running back...

The ethics of The Guardian's Whisper bombshell

October 20, 2014 - 10:46am
The Guardian happened upon a huge story while discussing a journalism partnership with Whisper, whose social media app promises anonymity to users, encouraging them to share their secrets. It turns out Whisper users aren't so anonymous after all. The company tracks its users' locations, even when they've turned off geolocation, according to The Guardian. It stores their messages—even deleted ones—indefinitely,...

The Washington Post short-sells a reporter's integrity

October 20, 2014 - 6:50am
In a piece late last month, Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein criticized Adam Feuerstein, a reporter at TheStreet, for his negative coverage of a DC-based biotech company called Northwest Biotherapeutics (NWBO). Feuerstein's NWBO pieces "have not only been filled with exaggeration, mischaracterization and half-truths but curiously have also coincided with the spikes in short trading," he wrote, suggesting that Feuerstein...

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