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Must-reads of the week

November 14, 2014 - 1:50pm
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: Why won't journalists ask Bill Cosby the tough questions? (CJR) - "To talk about aspects of famous people other than their publicly...

What's the state of local political news?

November 14, 2014 - 12:30pm
In the wake of last week’s midterm election and some ensuing commentary about the state of local media, CJR associate editor Greg Marx and United States Project correspondent Deron Lee shared thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of local news. A record of the discussion is below.  From: Greg Marx, 11:11pm Nov. 11 Hey Deron, It feels like we’ve had a...

How to run a successful newsroom

November 14, 2014 - 9:40am
Liz Spayd: The highly-touted First Look Media seems to be thrashing in choppy waters lately. The most recent evidence came when top editor John Cook left in quick succession to former Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi. Taibbi's noisy departure came after clashes over management style and other issues. It's pretty clear that First Look and other startups are struggling...

Why ISIS coverage sounds familiar

November 14, 2014 - 5:50am
In the months since ISIS beheaded two American journalists and released the video tapes for all the world to see, there have been reports of shadowy new terrorist cells in Syria, lone wolf attacks in the West, and the progress of the US-led airstrikes. These reports belong to a larger narrative that is changing week to week, sometimes day...

Beware labeling Pope Francis a liberal

November 13, 2014 - 1:45pm
A non-Catholic, casual news consumer might be forgiven for thinking that Pope Francis is pro-same-sex unions, pro-evolution, and anti-capitalism. Since he became the 267th pope in March 2013, the media have frequently suggested that the head of the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church is planted firmly on the left. The latest example was Francis’ speech in late October paying tribute to...

What can Jim Brady's new site do for Philadelphia journalism?

November 13, 2014 - 10:00am
DETROIT, MI  — “Can it last?” That was the question we asked a year ago about AxisPhilly, an ambitious nonprofit journalism outlet in Philadelphia. The answer, sadly, was no. Over the summer, it went the way of Metropolisand NEastPhilly.com, other Philly news sites that started up, ran out of resources, and shut down. Just last week, the Gun Crisis Reporting Project stopped daily...

Medium provides community, feedback for aspiring writer

November 13, 2014 - 5:50am
On Tuesday, Matter announced the six finalists for a new international reporting fellowship. In an experiment with crowdsourcing the fellowship jury, Matter is letting readers vote for their favorite proposal, deciding who takes home $10,000 for the project. Only readers who are logged into their profile on Medium, the platform that publishes Matter, can vote by using Medium’s recommend option,...

What political reporters learned from the Colorado midterm election

November 12, 2014 - 3:30pm
DENVER, CO -- While the midterms are over here in America's favorite swing state, that doesn't mean reporters are taking a breather from political coverage. They're writing stories about what happened: how the Republican wave crashed on the Rockies (Democratic Sen. Mark Udall lost, while incumbent Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper held on), how the GOP's ground game, the state's new...

Why activists increasingly focus on online media strategy

November 12, 2014 - 1:50pm
In July, a video featuring various Lego characters went viral on social media, but the rigors endured by the plastic toys suggested this was no promotional video for the brand. In a chilling doomsday scenario, set to a slowed-down version of the theme song from the recent Lego movie, the entire miniature world slowly drowned in oil. The video was...

European Union journalists cross borders for story collaboration

November 12, 2014 - 10:00am
When Brigitte Alfter was the European Union correspondent in Brussels for a Danish newspaper a decade ago, the stories she covered were only relevant to her Danish audience. Her sources came primarily from Nordic countries. But to cover the EU from the viewpoint of one country or region often misses crucial context. "If you want to hold power accountable or...

Why won't journalists ask Bill Cosby the tough questions?

November 12, 2014 - 5:50am
Photo credit: Associated Press You'd think that, in this TMZ-fueled age, movie and pop stars could do little that isn't salaciously spread across the internet. But if the celebrity press goes overboard, the establishment press does worse: It often lets stars with dubious pasts off the hook completely. Remember Anthony Weiner, the married Democratic congressman who sent an intimate...

A different approach to Veterans Day coverage

November 11, 2014 - 1:31pm
MIAMI, FL -- "A lot of [veterans] I know, especially the younger guys, are kind of tired of the woe is me narrative." This is one reason Howard Altman, military affairs reporter for The Tampa Tribune, told me that he opted for a notably different approach to front-page Veterans Day coverage today. Altman wrote about a retired Navy SEAL who...

How did local TV cover California's Prop 45?

November 11, 2014 - 9:56am
Almost lost in the aftermath of last week’s midterm elections was the defeat of California’s Prop 45, a ballot initiative that would have given the state’s insurance commissioner veto power over health insurance rates he deemed excessive for individual and small-business policies. Regulators in 35 other states have that authority, but 60 percent of California voters sided with the insurance...

Climate change coverage at a crossroads in Australia

November 11, 2014 - 5:50am
Australia is entering what meteorologists are predicting will be another sweltering summer, with October already experiencing its hottest day on record. But coverage of the record temperatures, which scientists agree can be traced to global warming, isn't always covered as such here. Australia's concentrated media landscape, dominated by two owners that skew toward climate-change skepticism, has led to coverage that...

Capitalize this

November 10, 2014 - 1:50pm
If you read a historical document, like the Declaration of Independence, you'll notice the capitalization of lot of words we don't ordinarily capitalize today, and then not consistently: "Men," for example, is not capitalized in the phrase "all men are created equal," while it is capitalized in the phrase "Governments are instituted among Men." Capitalization used to be fairly haphazard...

A look inside Guantánamo Bay by Vice

November 10, 2014 - 12:06pm
Since the first detainees were shipped to Guantánamo Bay in January 2002, media coverage of the US military prison has focused on it as a legal quandary and political dilemma. Details on life within its walls, on the other hand, have only dribbled out. Reporters’ access there is highly restricted, and few journalists — the Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg...

Knoxville's alt-weekly wasn't losing money. It got shut down anyway

November 10, 2014 - 10:42am
In mid-October, the entire staff of Metro Pulse, Knoxville’s alt-weekly, was laid off. On Nov. 7, the News Sentinel, Knoxville’s daily paper, which had owned Metro Pulse for seven years, launched a free arts and entertainment supplement. The timing was no coincidence. Unlike some of its counterparts around the country--like the recently shuttered Providence Phoenix and San Francisco Bay Guardian--the...

Why did Iran imprison Jason Rezaian?

November 10, 2014 - 5:50am
Everywhere he traveled in the world, Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian invited people to visit Iran, where he has lived for nearly 10 years, and reported for the Post since 2012. His brother, Ali Rezaian, said people would respond with caution to Jason's invitation. "He'd say, 'It'll be fine, it's great. People will be really nice to you. People are...

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