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Laid-off Metro Pulse editors plan a new publication in Knoxville

December 12, 2014 - 9:29am
Three former editors for Metro Pulse, the Knoxville, TN, alt-weekly recently shuttered by E.W. Scripps, have rejected their severance payments in order to start a new publication in the city. If all goes as planned, the Knoxville Mercury will launch in February, and it will be in many ways a resurrection of Metro Pulse--a mix of news, opinion, features, and...

News roundups can be part of a smart media diet

December 12, 2014 - 5:50am
Each morning around 3:30am, Adeel Hassan and Victoria Shannon start reading and summarizing the day's top news. By 5am, they have a completed draft of major world events, upcoming NYC happenings, what's happening with the markets, what's noteworthy, and a short backstory on an interesting topic (the softer news was planned ahead of time). Shannon edits it, sends it to...

Price hike at UC Berkeley's journalism school

December 11, 2014 - 10:00am
The price of a two-year graduate journalism degree at UC Berkeley is set to rise to $46,600 for in-state students, a nearly 50-percent increase, and $71,450 for out-of-state students after months of impassioned debate among the school’s faculty, alumni, and students. The first class of students to be affected will enter in 2015, though the additional annual fee of $7,500...

Ohio lawmakers are about to decide on a big execution secrecy bill

December 11, 2014 - 6:40am
During the past decade, the State of Ohio hasn't exactly been the smoothest operator when it comes to carrying out the execution of death-row inmates. Earlier this year, a much-publicized Buckeye State execution left one inmate choking and snorting for 26 minutes before his death. It was Ohio’s fourth botched execution since 2006, according to the American Civil Liberties Union....

Casting a critical eye on Rick Perry's border deployment

December 11, 2014 - 5:50am
AUSTIN, TX -- On July 21, Texas Gov. Rick Perry stood before cameras here to announce with great flourish--"I will not stand idly by"--his plan to deploy "up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the border" to assist overworked Department of Public Safety officers. "Our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor,"...

Senate torture report details CIA's media strategy

December 10, 2014 - 4:25pm
The Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture of terrorism suspects not only reignited a national debate over the former interrogation policies, but also shed light on how the agency manipulated media coverage of the secret programs. Despite federal laws that prohibit the leaking of classified information — not to mention frequent complaints from the Bush Administration that such leaks...

The New York Times on making do in retirement

December 10, 2014 - 3:45pm
In a Friday New York Times column, Floyd Norris presented a pretty bleak picture for the future of retirement in the US. But he did it with such compassion and humanity that I'd call it recommended reading for other reporters who are serious about covering this critical issue. Norris, who is taking a buy-out from the Times and will be...

How to handle a story correction

December 10, 2014 - 1:50pm
Rolling Stone has been in deep water this week, as journalists eviscerate the outlet for failing to fully vet the narrative thread for "A Rape on Campus," a November story on the University of Virginia's culture of silence surrounding sexual assault. With the Washington Post leading the effort, various outlets have ripped apart the story as told by "Jackie," a...

Will Denver really have a newspaper war?

December 10, 2014 - 12:00pm
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -- The first salvo came from a newspaper in Colorado's capital that wasn't The Denver Post. "EXCLUSIVE," blared an online headline shortly after 3pm yesterday in the Denver Business Journal. "Anschutz explores bringing back Rocky Mountain News in Denver." That's Philip Anschutz, a publicity-shy billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist who lives in Denver and whom The New Yorker...

The new Pulitzer Prize rules explained

December 10, 2014 - 10:00am
As the boundaries between newspaper, magazine, and online journalism continue to dissolve, the Pulitzer board announced Monday that it was broadening prize eligibility. Magazines and their websites can now enter the Feature Writing and Investigative Reporting categories, previously only open to newspapers and online news outlets. Meanwhile, journalists from ineligible organizations—like broadcast news networks—who collaborate with newspapers and sites can...

Meet the reporter who broke Philadelphia's civil forfeiture story--two years ago

December 10, 2014 - 5:50am
DETROIT, MI — Call it slow-burn impact reporting. Two years ago, an investigative reporter named Isaiah Thompson exposed the massive and troubling scale of “civil asset forfeiture” in Philadelphia—that is, how law enforcement exploited its authority to seize cash and personal property suspected to be connected to a crime. The idea is to take ill-gotten gains from drug dealers or...

Hey millionaire tech bros: Have patience with the editorial process

December 9, 2014 - 2:25pm
In 2011, I was hired as an executive editor to reinvent a semi-known media brand, both online and in print. My bosses at GOOD magazine were young guys, one of them a millionaire, who weren't exactly startup dudes but spoke the language fluently. They alternately professed their deep commitment to meaningful journalism and made unreasonable demands about our traffic and...

How political campaigns use Twitter to shape media coverage

December 9, 2014 - 11:23am
A month before the first 2012 presidential debate, widely considered a decisive victory for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, GOP campaign staffers began conducting dry runs of their debate-night social media use. Romney’s digital team put together a 90-page dossier of research to reinforce his arguments, also crafting around 200 infographics that could be shared during the contest.  That preparation...

How to report on Medicaid in 2015

December 9, 2014 - 5:50am
Tom Wilemon’s great Medicaid coverage for The Tennessean—including his report last week that Tennessee’s Medicaid budget could be cut by $400 million—got me thinking about other states, and other reporters who’ve tried to get their arms around this beast of a story. What’s the Medicaid story going forward? How do we move beyond the now-familiar story of conservative politicians saying...

Understanding acronyms

December 8, 2014 - 1:50pm
A news columnist, Reg Henry, recently assailed what he called "the attack of the killer acronyms," which, he said, are "serving where honest words were once employed." He made note of ones like "MRE" (meals, ready to eat), "LOL" (laughing out loud), and "STEM" (the educational mandate to teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). If you want to be technical...

The return of HealthNewsReview.org

December 8, 2014 - 10:00am
A unique health journalism watchdog will resume posting new articles next month, after a nearly 18-month hiatus. HealthNewsReview.org, run by University of Minnesota professor and former CNN journalist Gary Schwitzer, has secured a $1.3 million, two-year grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. The website will take up residence within a new institute, provisionally called the Center for Health...

Changing the US hostage policy

December 8, 2014 - 5:50am
Journalists around the world are confronting a hostage-taking epidemic of record proportions, punctuated by the death Saturday of freelance journalist Luke Somers alongside South African teacher Pierre Korkie. Both were reportedly killed by their Al Qaeda kidnappers during a rescue attempt by US special forces in Yemen. Reporters are being abducted, ransomed, and killed in countries from Afghanistan to...

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