Columbia Journalism Review

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Encouraging excellence in journalism
Updated: 1 day 10 hours ago

Huffington Post Highline cuts through the noise

September 25, 2015 - 3:40pm
It doesn’t feel like a Huffington Post story—it feels like a tome. The narrative is historical and methodical, exhaustive and, at times, exhausting. It’s 58,000 words split over 15 chapters, one released each day since Sept. 15. “If you come to something online that’s a massive thing, your first reaction is that you can’t read all of that: I have...

Why one reporter is suing Missouri over death-penalty secrecy—again

September 25, 2015 - 11:30am
Reporter Chris McDaniel, formerly of St. Louis Public Radio, took a job with BuzzFeed and moved to New York City earlier this year. But he hasn’t let go of the story—and the related legal battle—that occupied much of his time in Missouri. In May 2014, while still with SLPR, McDaniel filed a lawsuit, along with the Reporters Committee for Freedom...

Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

September 24, 2015 - 1:07pm
In this week's headlines ... Wording on this headline is just so bad.— Ben Waldman (@BenjWaldman) September 17, 2015   Have a headline you want to share? Snap a photo and email it to or tweet it to us @CJR. This article originally posted a headline from the 1980s that has since been removed.

How should news organizations handle graphic content in the social media age?

September 24, 2015 - 6:50am
This summer saw the on-camera slayings of two TV journalists in Virginia*, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, and the photo of a young Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, washed up dead on a Turkish beach. This imagery added to an already bloated cache of relatively recent atrocities, from recorded beheadings at the hands of ISIS to police shootings caught on tape in the...

The media's Trump conundrum

September 23, 2015 - 2:51pm
Donald Trump was telling the truth. “It's a simple formula in entertainment and television,” he explained before a crowd of thousands in Dallas last week. “If you get good ratings—and these aren't good, these are monster—then you're going to be on all the time, even if you have nothing to say.” It was one of a handful of media critiques...

Downsizing time again. Now what?

September 23, 2015 - 2:47pm
Liz: Gannett recently announced that it's offering buyouts to employees 55 and older across its newsrooms. At its flagship property, USA Today, this will be the latest in a string of efforts to shrink the staff. Downsizing newsrooms is hardly new, but the challenge of facing the troops is still very real. Any advice for managers at these Gannett papers...