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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...

What coverage of New York's 'surprise billing' fix left out

April 9, 2014 - 11:00am
Last week, The New York Times ran an article announcing a significant healthcare provision in the budget deal reached by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature a few days earlier. The story, by Anemona Hartocollis, noted that the deal requires that patients be notified in advance when an out-of-network doctor will be involved in their care. And when patients...

The Local goes global

April 9, 2014 - 6:50am
In 2004, James Savage and Paul Rapacioli were two Brits who had fallen in love with Swedes, leaving them with a need to find work in Stockholm. Rapacioli started emailing weekly news updates to friends and newcomers. One early recipient was Savage, who approached Rapacioli with the idea of a full website. "He said, 'Together we could make something of...

WNYC is beefing up its data journalism

April 8, 2014 - 3:00pm
WNYC's data team has tracked a lot over the years: cicadas, flood zones, and even wireless internet access on the subway. Now the station's newest project, a community data experiment called "Clock Your Sleep," aims to help New Yorkers monitor their sleeping habits. Launched last Tuesday, the sleep study is part of WNYC's ongoing data journalism expansion. Spurred on by...

Al Jazeera journalists still jailed in Egypt

April 8, 2014 - 11:05am
On December 29, three Al Jazeera English journalists were arrested in Egypt. One hundred days later, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed, held on charges including spreading false news and holding illegal meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood, remain in prison. As part of a global demand for the immediate release the Al Jazeera staffers, the Dart Center for Journalism...

'Nobody's that lucky'--except in Florida's lottery?

April 8, 2014 - 6:50am
MIAMI -- When The Palm Beach Post's Lawrence Mower asked the Florida Lottery for information on winners from 1997 to 2013, the newspaper hit the jackpot. Mower's months-long investigation, published March 30, found that over the last decade some 200 people--"against astronomical odds"--cashed in tens or hundreds of winning tickets worth $600 or more. What he uncovered was less likely...

Audit Notes: Online polls, local TV news, HuffPost art

April 8, 2014 - 6:50am
The Washington Post's Erik Wemple picks apart poor Los Angeles Times coverage of an Internet survey that found that 90 percent of fast-food workers had their wages stolen. It was paid for by a labor group and had all kinds of methodological problems, like inducing people to take the survey on Facebook by offering the chance to win a gift...

Tina Brown's glossy feminism

April 7, 2014 - 5:00pm
In the program booklet for Tina Brown's fifth annual Women in the World summit, which took place this past weekend at Lincoln Center, she calls it a "live journalism event" meant to expose Americans to the voices and experiences of women around the globe, and to connect full wallets with worthy causes. But in her opening remarks, she eschewed journalism,...

Vox.com is going to be a great test of Ezra Klein's critique of journalism

April 7, 2014 - 4:23pm
Vox.com, the much-discussed new project from Ezra Klein, Melissa Bell, and Matt Yglesias, launched late Sunday night. With the obvious disclaimer--cautioned by the Vox crew--that it's way too early to draw any real conclusions, I agree with what seems to be the prevailing view online: It's off to a pretty good start. The Vox founders had a chance to observe...

Wal-Mart. Walmart. wal*mart.

April 7, 2014 - 2:50pm
One style change the Associated Press has made recently is to decide that the giant discount chain based in Bentonville, AR, be known in all uses as Wal-Mart. The corporation's name, after all, is Wal-Mart Inc. But to look at a store is to see this: In other times, that sign has read "wal*mart" and "WAL*MART." But in The New...

Toledo Blade lawsuit alleges military guards detained journalists, deleted photos

April 7, 2014 - 11:37am
The Toledo Blade filed a federal lawsuit Friday against various government officials after military police reportedly detained two of the paper's journalists outside a military manufacturing facility, seized their equipment, and deleted digital photographs. We'll get into some discussion of The Blade's claims below. First, here's what we know about the events, from the paper's point of view. Reporter Tyrel...

More female journalists means broader foreign coverage

April 7, 2014 - 11:25am
In 2013, Lauren Wolfe, a freelance journalist who has reported extensively on sexual violence director of Women Under Siege at the Women's Media Center, met a Syrian rape survivor in a hospital in Jordan. She was left paralyzed, she told Wolfe, after being imprisoned, raped, and tortured by the Syrian regime's forces. She gave Wolfe permission to publish her name...

Falling for internet hoaxes

April 7, 2014 - 6:50am
There is a certain language that accompanies sharing News of the Weird. Popping into my Facebook feed with some regularity are comments expressing delighted incredulity followed by links to stories reporting on developments that would have previously been considered scientifically improbable, like stories on aliens in Canada.  The only problem? They aren't remotely true. They aren't even meant to be. ...

Must-reads of the week

April 4, 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: The Star Tribune gets a new life, but David Carr remembers the old one -- "It was a good newspaper, not a great one, but it...

Afghanistan appears deadlier for journalists

April 4, 2014 - 1:10pm
Afghanistan may be becoming more dangerous for journalists, most recently evidenced by the violent attack by an Afghan policeman on two Associated Press staffers on Friday, resulting in the death of a photographer. The attack killed Anja Niedringhaus, 48, a German Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, and injured reporter Kathy Gannon. The policeman fired into the reporters' car in the Khost province...

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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.