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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...

Must-reads of the week

October 17, 2014 - 3:05pm
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: Help, we're in a living hell and don't know how to get out (Esquire) - "Fools are nothing new. There have always...

Media changes course on Ebola

October 17, 2014 - 1:05pm
On October 10, two days after Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person to die from Ebola on US soil, news directors of Gannett TV stations discussed on a conference call how to stop the spread of a contagion. The actual virus had killed only one person here, but judging from Gannett viewer feedback across the country, media hysteria...

Stories I'd like to see

October 17, 2014 - 12:55pm
This New York Times story on Thursday outlines the damage done to the reputation of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas as a result of its mistakes in dealing with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan. The hospital, the Times reports, has now "hired Burson-Marsteller, the global public-relations firm, to help tell its side." It would be great to see a...

CJR seeks freelance correspondents

October 17, 2014 - 11:53am
The Columbia Journalism Review is seeking several digital correspondents to write smart, analytic pieces on various beats. The freelance work requires that the correspondents maintain an expertise on coverage and developments within their specific coverage area, that they pitch and write two stories (800 to 1,200 words) on their beat a month and that, when news breaks, they aim to...

Why some newspapers are abandoning endorsements

October 17, 2014 - 6:50am
DETROIT, MI — The newspaper endorsement: It’s a hardy trademark of election season, a platform for editorial boards to dispense their wisdom, even a source of information for data journalists. But the traditional endorsement is increasingly being tinkered with—or dropped altogether. Dozens of newspapers have stopped making endorsements over the last two election cycles, often citing doubts about their impact...

Alex Blumberg's Startup finds new opportunities in podcast advertising

October 16, 2014 - 2:55pm
When I meet radio producer Alex Blumberg, he is wearing the tennis shoes that his wife made him change out of for a meeting with a business investor in episode one of Startup. That's Blumberg's new podcast about how he is starting his own podcast business (he is aware that it's meta). Despite the shoe change, that first investor meeting...

Stop trolling your readers

October 16, 2014 - 10:40am
The newest trend in headlines is flat-out trolling readers. For awhile, the "curiosity gap" was the headline style of choice, meant to entice readers into clicking by omitting a key piece of information. But fewer people are falling for those Upworthy-style headlines. And, though social media referrals remain the most important traffic driver of online content (R.I.P. SEO-bait like...

Sonic storytelling

October 16, 2014 - 6:50am
In August, when documentary filmmakers Pacho Velez and Dan Claridge began shooting a film about a drag-racing track in upstate in New York, they were divided about what story they wanted to tell. While Claridge kept his camera on his uncles, twins who run a dry cleaner by day, and drag-race cars by night, Velez placed microphones around the edge...

Washington Post's partnership with local papers draws encouraging early results

October 15, 2014 - 3:00pm
Back in April, we asked whether a new partnership program between The Washington Post and regional papers around the country—in which print subscribers to participating local papers get free digital access to the Post’s website and apps—might be “one way to put a high-quality local-national news bundle back together.” It’s way too early to say whether that will happen. But...

How to find stories in the new hospital data

October 15, 2014 - 11:08am
America’s hospitals traditionally have been free of financial repercussions for mediocre care. But now, hospitals have their quality evaluated annually by the federal government—and that can provide good fodder for journalists.  The assessments, and the penalties that come with them, can yield new data on how hospitals are performing, prompt closer looks at how federal regulations are affecting hospital revenues...

What hospital data can tell us about how communities care for the elderly

October 15, 2014 - 11:08am
Last year, in a piece for The Nation about hunger among the elderly, I wrote this:  Malnutrition is one of the greatest contributors to costly hospital and nursing home admissions and readmissions. At the same time, Medicare is trying to reduce readmissions by penalizing hospitals. Many seniors on waiting lists have just come from the hospital and need food to...

After a decade online, Guernica releases a print mag

October 15, 2014 - 6:50am
Ten years ago, the founders of Guernica Magazine were ahead of the publishing curve when they released their free, digital-only magazine. This week, they opted to add the more traditional route, publishing the first of what staffers hope will be annual print editions. The physical edition of Guernica was presented Monday at the first of a series of readings to...

The Tennessean is borrowing reporters from other Gannett papers

October 14, 2014 - 8:27pm
Like a number of other Gannett newspapers, The Tennessean of Nashville is asking employees to re-apply for their jobs as part of a major restructuring that is meant to create a “bold new structure” for the newsroom, as executive editor Stefanie Murray described it.  The path to that bold future is a winding one. With one month left to go in the restructuring process—employees...

Political coverage falls short in Kentucky senate debate

October 14, 2014 - 4:03pm
All politics is local, as the old saying goes. But if Monday’s Kentucky Senate debate is any indication, the same can’t be said of political media coverage.  Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes made national headlines during the debate for again declining to share how she voted in previous presidential elections. At the same time, however, the Washington press corps...

Covering a closed-off candidate

October 14, 2014 - 2:50pm
CHICAGO, IL — If the Chicago Tribune’s editorial endorsement is any indication, Bruce Rauner is getting his message across. Rauner is the Republican nominee for governor in Illinois, and he was always likely to get the backing of the right-leaning Tribune editorial board in his campaign to unseat the incumbent Democrat, Pat Quinn. But when the endorsement came out Oct....

Stories I'd like to see

October 14, 2014 - 10:50am
1. Ebola and malpractice tort reform: As we all now know, the death of Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan was preceded by what might have been a fatal mistake made by emergency-room doctors or nurses at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Although he showed up at the hospital complaining of Ebola-like symptoms and reportedly told a nurse that he...

Twitter should ditch its new algorithm and teach news feed building

October 14, 2014 - 6:50am
Last month, Twitter announced plans to roll out a new kind of feed next year that will filter what users see. The change, according to CFO Anthony Noto, is aimed at helping to bring interesting and useful content to users stymied by their raw feeds. While the plans are controversial to early adopters of the platform, the fact is that...

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