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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...

Why you use your 'logon' to 'log on'

October 13, 2014 - 2:50pm
Time to start work. So you "log on" to your computer, using your "logon" or "log-on," or your user name. The latter is a noun, the former a verb, and they have not yet fused into one word for both forms. Here's what The Associated Press Stylebook says: login, logon, logoff (n.) But use as two words in verb form:...

Des Moines Register prepares for a 'very stressful' newsroom restructuring

October 13, 2014 - 11:00am
It’s a time of transition at the Des Moines Register. Along with other Gannett newspapers, Iowa’s largest daily has begun a process of newsroom reorganization that will bring some pain. New reporting jobs are being added even as other positions go away, but a number of longtime staffers will likely find themselves out of a job at the end of the...

Western media: Stop ignoring the Central African Republic crisis

October 13, 2014 - 6:50am
With gunfire and mob attacks in the streets of the capital, the Central African Republic is teetering again on the edge of mass violence. Nine people killed were killed in two days, including a UN peacekeeper from Pakistan and a Muslim civilian whose dead body was decapitated and burned by an angry mob in the capital, Bangui. But world's media...

Must-reads of the week

October 10, 2014 - 2:45pm
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: Will feminist writers save Playboy? (CJR) - As Playboy’s safe-for-work site has passed the one-month mark, a look at the online media’s...

Why this news nonprofit is crowdfunding a police shootings database

October 10, 2014 - 11:00am
The New Mexico Compass is creating a searchable, interactive database of public records related to fatal police shootings in Albuquerque—and it’s asking for your help. The nonprofit news outlet, staffed by volunteers, has launched an Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund the database’s development and to support reporting based on records the outlet has obtained. A portion of the funds will go toward building...

Life as a ghostwriter

October 10, 2014 - 6:50am
Willie Mays' agent was on the phone. I was ghostwriting Willie's autobiography, even though we had never met. "Willie likes the book," his agent told me. "But he thinks there ought to be a chapter in there about how he learned how to become a mensch when his playing days were over." A "mensch"--Yiddish for a person of substance, a...

We still don't know how to stop misinformation online

October 9, 2014 - 2:50pm
From the beginning the story seemed suspect, but that didn't stop the New York Post's report last month of a surgically enhanced, three-breasted woman from overtaking the internet. By the time the story was debunked, just a day later, the tabloid-friendly tale had already made the rounds, generating posts on BuzzFeed, The Week, The Telegraph and the New York Daily...

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