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Updated: 17 hours 2 min ago

Why sportswriters are questioning football

December 17, 2014 - 12:10pm
Photo credit: Associated Press A few days before Thanksgiving, Grantland's Bill Barnwell wrote a column that, at first glance, looks like an ode to America's favorite sport. The piece, entitled "Together, We Appreciate Football," primarily consists of Barnwell fawning over a magnificent catch by Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. However, the opening paragraph includes the line, "If you're a...

Billionaire's support for Pittsburgh paper is at issue in court case

December 17, 2014 - 10:00am
A conservative billionaire, heir to one of the country’s great fortunes. His wealthy children, with whom he had sometimes-strained relationships. And the newspapers he loved. All have roles in a court case now playing out in Pittsburgh, which pits the grown children of Richard Mellon Scaife against the trustees who worked with Scaife as he poured money into the Pittsburgh...

Reporters fail to capture implications of pension provision

December 17, 2014 - 5:50am
Thanks in part to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the rollback of banking regulations woven into the recently-passed, so-called "crominbus" spending bill generated--understandably--plenty of press coverage. But another provision in the spending package did not get nearly the examination from reporters that it warrants: language that guts one of the fundamental tenets of the Employee Retiree Income Security Act, better known as...

Reporter won't be forced to reveal source

December 16, 2014 - 2:44pm
CHICAGO, IL — An Illinois appellate court sided Monday with Patch.com editor Joseph Hosey in his fight to conceal the identity of a confidential source—a ruling that preserves the principles of the state’s shield law. The appellate judges reversed a lower-court ruling that found Hosey in contempt of court for refusing to disclose the source who leaked police records in...

The problem with sharing uncredited photos

December 16, 2014 - 1:50pm
In October 2011, two men wearing George W. Bush masks robbed a bank in Seattle. Christopher Boffoli grabbed a camera and rushed to the scene for West Seattle Blog, a hyperlocal site. The next day, a Huffington Post video flashed a screenshot of his article for its own story. Most reporters covet attention from a larger news organization. Not Boffoli....

An Ohio court urges lawmakers to defend freedom of the press

December 16, 2014 - 10:05am
Robert E. Murray, the Ohio coal baron who is perhaps best known nationally for suing meddlesome journalists, lost his latest court battle last week. That’s good news for the staff of the little Chagrin Valley Times, a weekly paper which has been in court against Murray and his company, Murray Energy, for the past two years, defending its coverage of...

How to improve the reporter-editor relationship

December 16, 2014 - 5:50am
Liz Spayd: The implosion at The New Republic left many of us in wide-eyed amazement. It's rare that you see so many staffers actually quit in protest of their editor being pushed out. But I'm curious, for those still there and for their bosses, how do you go about putting the pieces back together again? Jill Geisler: It won't...

The public-records fight behind the battle over James Brown's will

December 15, 2014 - 2:55pm
On Sunday, the front page of The New York Times featured an article about the “downbeat legacy” of James Brown. It's a story about legal wrangling over the legendary soul singer’s will, and how a series of complicated disputes “prompted the South Carolina government to seize control of Mr. Brown’s estate, jettison his instructions and redirect half of his assets.”...

The Oxford English Dictionary adds words

December 15, 2014 - 2:00pm
Four times a year, the venerable Oxford English Dictionary releases a list of words it has added, revised, or otherwise updated. Given that the OED contains nearly 300,000 entries, releasing a new edition that thoroughly updates is a monumental task. (The latest fully updated edition was only the second, and was released in 1989.) So, in this online world, the...

#FergusonNext asks readers: What now?

December 15, 2014 - 10:20am
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS -- Late last month, a few days before the news broke that there would be no indictment in the Michael Brown case, Matt Sullivan reached out to Tony Messenger. Sullivan is the editorial page editor for The Guardian's US bureau; Messenger is his counterpart at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In August, after Brown’s shooting death at the...

The New Republic: A public trust or a business?

December 15, 2014 - 5:50am
On Thursday, December 4, Frank Foer resigned as editor of The New Republic, having learned from a gossip site that the magazine’s owner, former Facebook executive Chris Hughes, had already hired someone to replace him. Leon Wieseltier, who was widely known to be on the chopping block, and whose renowned back-of-the-book Hughes had already threatened, followed suit. The next morning,...

Must-reads of the week

December 12, 2014 - 4:10pm
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: How to handle a story correction (CJR) - Rolling Stone needs a transparency lesson. Hey millionaire tech bros: Have patience with the...

FOIA reform dies while the press looked the other way

December 12, 2014 - 12:44pm
More than two years of work by open government advocates collapsed on Thursday night when House Speaker John Boehner closed the final legislative session of the 113th Congress without bringing the FOIA Improvement Act of 2014 to a vote. Similar legislation passed the House with a vote of 410-0 earlier this year, and the Improvement Act was given unanimous consent...

Laid-off Metro Pulse editors plan a new publication in Knoxville

December 12, 2014 - 9:29am
Three former editors for Metro Pulse, the Knoxville, TN, alt-weekly recently shuttered by E.W. Scripps, have rejected their severance payments in order to start a new publication in the city. If all goes as planned, the Knoxville Mercury will launch in February, and it will be in many ways a resurrection of Metro Pulse--a mix of news, opinion, features, and...

News roundups can be part of a smart media diet

December 12, 2014 - 5:50am
Each morning around 3:30am, Adeel Hassan and Victoria Shannon start reading and summarizing the day's top news. By 5am, they have a completed draft of major world events, upcoming NYC happenings, what's happening with the markets, what's noteworthy, and a short backstory on an interesting topic (the softer news was planned ahead of time). Shannon edits it, sends it to...

Price hike at UC Berkeley's journalism school

December 11, 2014 - 10:00am
The price of a two-year graduate journalism degree at UC Berkeley is set to rise to $46,600 for in-state students, a nearly 50-percent increase, and $71,450 for out-of-state students after months of impassioned debate among the school’s faculty, alumni, and students. The first class of students to be affected will enter in 2015, though the additional annual fee of $7,500...

Ohio lawmakers are about to decide on a big execution secrecy bill

December 11, 2014 - 6:40am
During the past decade, the State of Ohio hasn't exactly been the smoothest operator when it comes to carrying out the execution of death-row inmates. Earlier this year, a much-publicized Buckeye State execution left one inmate choking and snorting for 26 minutes before his death. It was Ohio’s fourth botched execution since 2006, according to the American Civil Liberties Union....

Casting a critical eye on Rick Perry's border deployment

December 11, 2014 - 5:50am
AUSTIN, TX -- On July 21, Texas Gov. Rick Perry stood before cameras here to announce with great flourish--"I will not stand idly by"--his plan to deploy "up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the border" to assist overworked Department of Public Safety officers. "Our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor,"...

Senate torture report details CIA's media strategy

December 10, 2014 - 4:25pm
The Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture of terrorism suspects not only reignited a national debate over the former interrogation policies, but also shed light on how the agency manipulated media coverage of the secret programs. Despite federal laws that prohibit the leaking of classified information — not to mention frequent complaints from the Bush Administration that such leaks...

The New York Times on making do in retirement

December 10, 2014 - 3:45pm
In a Friday New York Times column, Floyd Norris presented a pretty bleak picture for the future of retirement in the US. But he did it with such compassion and humanity that I'd call it recommended reading for other reporters who are serious about covering this critical issue. Norris, who is taking a buy-out from the Times and will be...

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