Columbia Journalism Review

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Updated: 16 hours 26 min ago

How local news sounded the alarm over the GOP’s defeated health plan

March 24, 2017 - 7:33pm
The GOP’s decision to pull the American Health Care Act, which would have repealed most of the major provisions of Obamacare, reflects in no small measure the groundswell of opposition from local news outlets. The bill would have substantially increased the number of uninsured, including the 13 million or so that gained coverage under Obamacare’s […]

Cleveland.com resets its politics coverage with ‘Ohio Matters’

March 24, 2017 - 11:55am
A FEW WEEKS AFTER DONALD TRUMP’S decisive victory in Ohio, Chris Quinn—the president and editor of Advance Ohio, which publishes Cleveland.com—recounted his politics team’s “miscalculation” on the news site. “I made the call early to focus on Cuyahoga County, where the size of the Democratic margin of victory decided the previous elections,” wrote Quinn. As a […]

In quest for homepage engagement, newsrooms turn to dreaded ‘A’ word

March 24, 2017 - 10:02am
Leave it to the Scandinavians to be open to change and innovation, even in the ever-traditional world of newspaper journalism. I often mention my client, Aftenposten, of Norway, and a part of the Schibsted Group, as a newsroom where the laboratory of change and innovation is always open. Many media critics pronounced Sweden’s  Svenska Dagbladet […]

One question that turns courageous journalists into cowards

March 24, 2017 - 5:58am
There are many ways to cover politics—data, field reporting, expert analysis—but all of them require a sense of not just what to seek and include, but what to exclude. So when I was verbally sexually harassed by a Trump supporter after an interview, that didn’t make my coverage. It wasn’t germane to the story I […]

How two Marshall Project collaborations shined a light on prison payments

March 23, 2017 - 3:38pm
The Washington Post this month published a story by Eli Hager, a staff writer for the nonprofit investigative outfit The Marshall Project. Hager’s reporting showed how some states and counties place a hefty financial burden on the low-income families of juvenile offenders by charging them for their children’s incarceration. Though Hager surveyed all 50 states for […]

Podcast: Trump strains the news/opinion divide

March 23, 2017 - 3:14pm
ON THE KICKER THIS WEEK, I’m joined by CJR’s David Uberti, Nausicaa Renner, and Carlett Spike to discuss The Wall Street Journal’s scathing editorial attacking President Trump’s credibility. We also cover the divide between newsrooms and editorials, and question whether readers understand the distinction. Then, we turn to homepages, where algorithms are taking over. Finally, we […]

Magazines find there’s little time to fact-check online

March 23, 2017 - 11:10am
Days after Kellyanne Conway uttered the now-infamous phrase “alternative facts” during a TV interview, Mother Jones magazine launched a new product in its online store: a T-shirt bearing that phrase, but with “alternative” boldly struck out in red, celebrating the magazine’s commitment to publishing only real facts. Most great magazines share that commitment; the medium […]

‘A trillion trillion’: Recent notable corrections from major publications

March 23, 2017 - 11:09am
The authors of CJR’s look at the evolution of magazine fact-checking in the digital age are keenly aware of the consequences of less-robust fact-checking: more frequent corrections. Here are a few of their recent favorites:   Wired, March 9, 2016 Correction: Due to an oversight involving a haphazardly-installed Chrome extension during the editing process, the name Donald […]

TV station’s breast implant exposé: When lower regulations meet high-caliber reporting

March 23, 2017 - 6:05am
REPORTING ON PATIENT SAFETY STORIES, particularly those involving medical devices, is tough. The road to publication or getting on-air is littered with obstacles—from federal and state regulators as well as device makers—and often constrained by the newsroom itself. Nonetheless, as the 21st Century Cures Act (which loosens regulations over medical device makers and makes it […]

5 tools to enhance your Trump coverage

March 22, 2017 - 3:00pm
The news cycle is no longer a cycle, in the sense there’s no longer any time to recover before the next Donald Trump-related news bombshell hits. To help journalists manage the endless barrage of news stories, CJR has compiled a list of five tools to solve common problems you may encounter covering Trump. Want to […]

Unpacking WSJ’s ‘watershed’ Trump editorial

March 22, 2017 - 12:13pm
The Wall Street Journal, an outlet that has faced criticism including from within its own newsroom for soft news coverage of President Trump, this morning published a scathing editorial questioning Trump’s credibility and comparing his inability to admit error to an alcoholic clinging to an empty bottle. The piece represents a shift in the paper’s […]

Q&A: Garry Kasparov on the press and propaganda in Trump’s America

March 22, 2017 - 5:55am
Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion, Russian pro-democracy leader, and chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation since 2012, has long been a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin and authoritarians everywhere. An early critic of Donald Trump and his admiration for Putin, he corresponded with CJR via email about Trump’s “regular echoes of authoritarian […]

10 great podcasts to diversify your listening lineup

March 21, 2017 - 12:05pm
CJR asked Berry Sykes, who runs the PodcastsinColor.com directory, for some suggestions for programs with diverse hosts that she believes deserve a broader audience. Here are 10 shows—from her directory of more than 300—that she never misses: Dreams in Drive—Features interviews with entrepreneurs of color like Necole Kane of XONecole.com, actress Yolonda Ross, and beauty […]

Why are #PodcastsSoWhite?

March 21, 2017 - 12:04pm
Within the first three minutes of the premiere of the podcast Little Black Dress, entertainment journalist Nina Parker laid out the show’s mission: “There’s definitely a lot of podcasts with women, but there’s not a ton of podcasts with some who look like us. Nothing against the other podcasts, but we just wanted to represent […]

Don’t work overtime: The final word on the Oxford comma

March 21, 2017 - 10:33am
Much ink has been spilled recently about how the lack of a comma could cost a local dairy millions of dollars in overtime pay. Among language aficionados, much of the coverage was gloating, as in “Nyah, nyah! We TOLD you the Oxford comma should rule!” We have also spilled much ink over that tiny punctuation […]

Saint Joseph turns 88: Meet the longest-serving statehouse reporter in America

March 21, 2017 - 6:00am
DISCARDED PEANUT SHELLS LITTER THE SIDEWALKS of downtown Trenton around the entrance of the New Jersey statehouse, where Joseph Albright—the longtime octogenarian Jersey Journal columnist—arrives every weekday at 1 p.m. sharp. Albright carries the peanuts in a basket attached to his red walker; on most afternoons, after a couple of hours mingling with the reporters on […]

An important lesson on covering Trump from Jimmy Breslin

March 20, 2017 - 3:30pm
Jimmy Breslin’s book on the impeachment of Richard Nixon begins at the end: in the Federal Courthouse in Washington, DC, where five of the men behind Watergate were standing trial. After a tense wait, the jury reached a verdict, and reporters ran through the empty hallways to secure a place in the courtroom. It was […]

US public broadcasting, target of Trump cuts, found its voice amid presidential scandal

March 20, 2017 - 2:41pm
And then they came for Big Bird. They always do. The much-discussed Trump federal budget proposal zeros-out the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the National Endowment for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts, both of which also support some public broadcast programming. The yellow, feathered giant on the federal chopping block is […]

From the archives: Jimmy Breslin, The Son of Sam, and New York tabloid wars

March 20, 2017 - 2:18pm
With the passing of Jimmy Breslin on Sunday, we’re republishing a couple of pieces that we wrote about the legendary columnist over the years. Breslin’s wit and rage were constant companions for those who plucked copies of The New York Herald Tribune, The New York Daily News, or Newsday from their driveways or corner stores […]

USA Today gets new editor in chief

March 20, 2017 - 1:55pm
Gannett Chief Content Officer Joanne Lipman has been named the editor in chief of USA Today, the company announced Monday, making her the first woman to permanently hold that title at the McLean, Virginia-based news organization. Lipman’s official ascension to the role, effective immediately, comes nine months after Dave Callaway left for The Street. Patty Michalski, […]

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