Columbia Journalism Review

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Encouraging excellence in journalism
Updated: 11 hours 21 min ago

Time to shift the message away from ‘madness'

August 18, 2015 - 5:08pm
Alarm takes hold the moment you click on a recent Time story about movie theater security. A large, fuzzy image of empty, dark red cinema seats serves as a backdrop for the headline: THEATER MADNESS. It’s a fitting nod to the 1936 pot-panic film Reefer Madness. Instead of marijuana, the Time story focuses on rare theater attacks—and metal detectors, security...

How local papers are looking 'over the top' as part of a new model for video

August 18, 2015 - 2:17pm
The governor comes to Big Beaver Elementary. A rescue crew pulls a body from the Ohio River. There's a rally to end prescription drug abuse, and news that a local animal shelter is at maximum capacity. No, this isn't the rundown for a local nightly newscast somewhere in western Pennsylvania. They are video news clips out of Beaver County, population...

At many local newspapers, there are no reporters of color

August 18, 2015 - 11:55am
Last month I wrote about how editors have explained a lack of minority journalists in newsrooms as a “pipeline problem” (i.e., editors claim they aren’t hiring minorities because there aren’t enough minority applicants), but how data collected from colleges and newsrooms across the country rejects this idea. The problem isn’t a lack of qualified candidates; it’s unequal hiring. But there’s...

'Caught in the middle': Journalists seeking asylum often stuck in limbo

August 17, 2015 - 12:18pm
Mexican journalist Ricardo Chávez Aldana was leaving his home, his job, and his country behind as he hurried across the border into El Paso, Texas in December 2009. Chávez had been covering drug cartels and corruption for Radio Cañón in Ciudad Juárez, and he believed that his reporting had made him and his family targets for cartel retaliation. His two...

The secret to strengthening online security tools

August 17, 2015 - 11:58am
In the wake of the Arab Spring, the UK riots, and Occupy Wall Street, when the same digital tools that were enabling journalists to share information and organize in unprecedented ways--through Twitter, Facebook, mobile phones--had also enabled the authorities to surveil and target their efforts, journalist Susan McGregor understood that metadata was the biggest security risk to her colleagues and...

The many layers of 'cuckservative'

August 17, 2015 - 10:50am
The buzzword of the moment is “cuckservative,” a portmanteau of “cuckold” and “conservative.” At its heart, it’s used for a conservative who is not sufficiently conservative, who has sold out true conservatism to win votes. It’s not a compliment. The New York Times noted it, as did The Guardian and other publications. Appropriately, BuzzFeed had an excellent piece that delves...

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