Columbia Journalism Review

Subscribe to Columbia Journalism Review feed
Columbia Journalism Review: The future of media is here
Updated: 1 day 1 hour ago

Stop using 'Brooklyn' to mean hipster neighborhoods

September 11, 2014 - 6:50am
Last week the Daily Beast trolled the entire internet with an article claiming, absurdly, that "the Upper East Side is now cooler than Brooklyn." In so doing, it epitomized one of the media's worst habits: treating the entirety of Brooklyn as if it were only a few of its neighborhoods, and all of its wildly diverse 2.5 million residents as...

After James Foley: News leaders divided on how to handle kidnapped reporters

September 10, 2014 - 4:17pm
The murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff ignited fierce debate over how to react when a reporter is kidnapped. Joel Simon, head of the Committee to Protect Journalists, argued in CJR last week that it was time to end what had essentially been standard practice of instituting media blackouts of such abductions. He writes:  The best course of action...

Columbus Dispatch lets down readers by unpublishing story

September 10, 2014 - 3:15pm
DETROIT, MI — Each day, editors across the country make choices about what news is “fit to print.” But what about the news that's fit to un-print? That was the question faced last week at the Columbus Dispatch, where the editor had second thoughts about a politically sensitive story hours after it appeared on the paper’s site. The decision to...

Why hiring Benny Johnson is a smart play for National Review

September 10, 2014 - 10:56am
It comes as no surprise that National Review hired Benny Johnson, BuzzFeed’s former viral politics editor who was fired in late July for 41 instances of plagiarism. Like so many of the conservative magazine’s mainstream counterparts, National Review is fighting for a share of an increasingly crowded online market. And Johnson gives it an immediate advantage in that arena, despite...

Keep calm and write a headline worth reading

September 10, 2014 - 6:50am
Facebook announced recently that it would be cracking down on teaser headlines crafted to lure readers into clicking on weak content, and it was a gratifying win for the newspaper traditionalists. The art of writing a headline--fitting an accurate, compelling, occasionally clever description of a story into a tight space--has been on the decline since the rise of Twitter and...

What embedding the Ray Rice video reveals about news judgement

September 9, 2014 - 5:27pm
That there is no Golden Rule guiding editors who must decide whether to publish graphic images has never been more obvious than in the past few weeks. On August 19, the ISIS video showing James Foley's murder ignited a debate between journalists who believed that publishing images of the executioner's knife at Foley's neck was essential to readers' understanding of...

Florida newspaper exposes sweet deal for state politicians

September 9, 2014 - 3:00pm
MIAMI, FL -- The Tampa Bay Times has been rolling out an impressive expose of secret hunting trips to Texas taken by more than a dozen current and former Florida lawmakers and officials including Gov. Rick Scott, who is in a tight race for reelection. While the findings may strike some readers as business as usual in politics, the story...

Stories I'd like to see

September 9, 2014 - 11:00am
1. Cancer money: The Stand Up to Cancer telethon -- simulcast Friday night on all four major broadcast networks and 28 cable channels, and livestreamed on Yahoo and Hulu (available on YouTube here) -- reminded me of a story I have long wanted to read: How much money is being spent on cancer research, where is it going and how...

Audit Interview: Carol J. Loomis

September 9, 2014 - 6:50am
Carol J. Loomis, who retired in July after 60 years at Fortune, where she became, indisputably, a giant of business journalism. Along the way, she blazed a trail for women journalists, felled CEOs, and became close friends with a little-known Omaha investor named Buffett. Put it this way: She won a Loeb award for Lifetime Achievement in 1993 and continued...

Paywall pioneer Press+ merges with Piano Media

September 8, 2014 - 8:00pm
European investment fund 3TS Capital Partners is buying American paywall pioneer Press+ for an undisclosed sum and will merge it with its European paywall company, Piano Media. The deal creates a global digital-subscription services company that aims to expand rapidly in Europe and elsewhere across the globe, and, importantly, will have more data on what works in digital subscriptions across...

How to properly use [sic]

September 8, 2014 - 2:50pm
Twitter, Facebook, email, and the like are great reporting tools, allowing reporters access to more sources, wider reporting, and more information. But a problem arises when the written communications don't reach the publication's standards of style, spelling, or capitalization, or if they are ungrammatical or unclear. What's a journalist to do? Repeat the text verbatim, and have a reader believe...

How not to report on inflation

September 8, 2014 - 11:00am
"Food Prices Are Soaring and Washington Doesn't Care," screeches conservative site The Federalist. The New York Post blares, "Meat, poultry, and fish prices spike to all-time high." CNNMoney declares, "Soaring prices make it hard to be a foodie." Even anti-vax quack site Natural News joined in with "Ground beef prices hit all-time high in US." Then there's The Wall Street...

What American news looks like in other countries

September 8, 2014 - 6:55am
During the crisis in Ferguson, Vox wondered how the US media would cover the events if they were happening in another country, offering its own satirical answer to the question, inspired by a recurring Slate feature. The premise behind the satire seemed to be an impression that US news coverage of international events simplify complex issues (“Ferguson…is ruled overwhelmingly by members of America's...


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.