Columbia Journalism Review

Subscribe to Columbia Journalism Review feed
Columbia Journalism Review: The future of media is here
Updated: 1 day 6 hours ago

What law did the Toledo Blade break? The Army won't say

April 16, 2014 - 3:22pm
After military police detained two journalists last month outside a military manufacturing plant, an Army spokesman said the journalists had violated "Federal law and Army Regulations" by photographing the facility. But which law, and which regulations? The Army didn't say at the time--and it won't say now. We have a pretty good idea, though, of one federal law the government...

Another Pulitzer for reporting classified info

April 16, 2014 - 11:35am
The Pulitzer committee's decision to give its public service award this year to the Washington Post and the Guardian for their stories on government surveillance has elicited a few predictable reactions from those who believe that the source of the National Security Agency material--former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden--is not a whistleblower, but a criminal. US Rep. Peter King of New...

3 signs you're in a bad relationship with your editor

April 16, 2014 - 6:50am
Just like any successful romance, a good editorial relationship starts with two people, a mutual attraction, and the hope that they can build something special and lasting together. While staff writers tend to settle down with one or two people, freelancers have a harder time committing: We juggle one-piece stands, steady dates, and editorial partners that are always up for...

Why was 'Dasani' shut out of the Pulitzers?

April 16, 2014 - 6:50am
On Monday afternoon, the Pulitzer board awarded the local news reporting prize to an impressive, powerfully written series of stories about the homeless. Each article, each photograph, in this series brought home the incompetence and neglect with which we treat those at the bottom rungs of society's ladder. But, for many of us, the surprise in the prize was this:...

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does the Medicaid story we've been looking for

April 15, 2014 - 3:05pm
Not long ago, we faulted press coverage of the Medicaid expansion debate for overlooking the personal experiences and struggles of people caught in the coverage "gap"--earning too much to qualify for Medicaid in states that turned down federal funds to expand that program, and too little to receive subsidies to buy insurance on the new exchanges. So it's only fair...

USA Today's third-rate clickbait

April 15, 2014 - 11:00am
What happens when America's Newspaper tries to go Business Insider? Something like this: That's the America's Markets section of USA Today's website, which puts business journalism on the Hamster Wheel—I counted 12 bylines in one day from one reporter—with predictably poor results. Like this headline: Is a 1987-type market crash 37 days away? Betteridge's Law says if a headline is...

Stories I'd like to see

April 15, 2014 - 10:55am
This column, a regular feature, was originally published on Reuters.com. 1. Sealing deadly court files: In the wake of continuing disclosures about General Motors' failure to acknowledge critical safety issues related to faulty ignition switches, there's a looming issue that has not been addressed: How litigation settlements negotiated by private parties can result in court-sanctioned cover-ups that endanger the public....

Pretentious, or quaint?

April 15, 2014 - 6:50am
The headline on a recent article in a Tennessee newspaper said the local teachers were "among best-paid" in the state. The article, though, said the county teachers' salaries ranked "13th amongst all school systems," but "No. 3 amongst county systems." All told, the article used "amongst" five times. A college newspaper's review of the play Rentdiscussed the endurance of "the...

IBT Media is allegedly breaking labor law

April 14, 2014 - 5:45pm
IBT Media, the parent company of International Business Times and Newsweek, has been violating New York labor law for years by breaking rules for how frequently employees are paid, according to multiple employees affected. Nine former and current IBT Media employees told CJR that they are paid only once a month, including Benjamin Reeves, who worked for International Business Times...

2014 Pulitzer Prizes announced

April 14, 2014 - 3:00pm
This year's Pulitzer Prizes were announced at 3pm on Monday at Columbia University, the final prizes overseen by outgoing administrator Sig Gissler. Big news events that swept the awards included the NSA revelations, the topic of the double-win in public service, and the Boston Marathon bombings, the topic of both the breaking news reporting and feature photography pieces. There was...

16 women whose digital startups deserve Vox-level plaudits

April 14, 2014 - 11:30am
Even casual consumers of media news have heard of Ezra Klein and Nate Silver, two names that are now synonymous with the future of journalism. Their startups, Vox and FiveThirtyEight, are being closely watched as examples of what happens when journalists leave the mainstream-media nest and try to do things differently, on their own. But ask those same news consumers...

The enduring pull of mag covers

April 14, 2014 - 6:50am
In some ways, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus Rolling Stone cover is a sign of how far we've come: A 53-year-old woman is naked on the cover of a major American magazine and the ensuing controversy isn't about bare skin, but historical accuracy--the US Constitution is printed on her back with "John Hancock" scribbled atop her butt, but his famous signature actually...

Must-reads of the week

April 11, 2014 - 2:50pm
Culled from CJR’s 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: Ezra Klein on Vox's launch, media condescension, and competing with Wikipedia -- "If media professionals look at this and think, That's ridiculous, I already know all...

The AP downplays its Obamacare scoop

April 11, 2014 - 1:30pm
Earlier this week, David Espo of The Associated Press broke the news that an unlikely alliance of Democrats and Republicans in Congress had quietly repealed a significant provision of the Affordable Care Act. But, oddly, the AP piece downplayed its own scoop, calling the rule in question "relatively minor," and focusing instead on decoding what's happening within the Republican caucus....

OnEarth eliminates print

April 11, 2014 - 11:31am
Back in February we praised OnEarth, the editorial arm of the Natural Resources Defense Council, for using its website to publish original longform with the type of polish usually reserved for print. In an announcement today from editors Doug Barasch and Scott Dodd, they said that OnEarth is eliminating its quarterly print publication to focus all its resources on digital...

Michael Wolff's digital media bloopers (UPDATED)

April 11, 2014 - 6:50am
Having accurately predicted that Lachlan Murdoch would return to his dad's company, Michael Wolff, in his exhilaration, made this crack recently: ...and I thought I was kind of making this stuff up: http://t.co/8O0ZhTQ8PU— Michael Wolff (@MichaelWolffNYC) March 27, 2014 Good one. Except he's gotten so much other stuff wrong lately, particularly on the state of digital media, that you start...

A small paper scores an open-records win in a recovering city

April 10, 2014 - 11:13am
KANSAS CITY -- Voters in Joplin, MO, the small Midwestern city still recovering from a 2011 tornado, went to the polls earlier this week, and a council member who's been at the center of a local controversy won re-election to his seat. But before that, The Joplin Globe scored a victory of a different sort: The paper secured a court...

The promise and peril of new Medicare data

April 10, 2014 - 8:00am
Yesterday's release by the Department of Health & Human Services of Medicare physician payment and service data--for decades out of public reach--holds great promise for journalistic exploration. Included in the unprecedented data dump: $77 billion in Medicare payments from 2012 for the some 800,000 doctors who treat Medicare Part B beneficiaries; the doctors' names, addresses and specialties; the number of...

The press and the tech bubble

April 9, 2014 - 4:30pm
Here's a headline you don't like to see if you're worried about a possible social-media/tech bubble: Slate wrote this toward the end of March: Candy Crush's Terrible Market Debut Shows We're Not in a Tech Bubble The stock performance of one company among thousands doesn't show much of anything, much less that tech valuations are reasonable. Particularly when that company...

Audit Notes: CNN, SEC scorched, how we read now

April 9, 2014 - 3:00pm
CNN is launching a show built for Twitter called Your 15 Second Morning, The Wall Street Journal reports. Fifteen seconds! But will it have a 30-second pre-roll ad? If that's not exciting enough, there's this from what's ostensibly still the Cable News Network: Beyond that show, which executives hope will become a daily habit among younger news consumers, CNN has...

Pages

Bill Moyers presents "United States of ALEC," a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of -- ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.