Columbia Journalism Review

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Updated: 2 hours 43 min ago

Attention all journalists: US border patrol agents can search your phones

November 30, 2016 - 11:13am
Award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker Ed Ou, who has covered the Middle East for over a decade, has worked under threat as a journalist in almost too many countries to count. Authorities in Turkey, Egypt, Somalia, Djibouti, and Bahrain have arrested or detained him at some point in his career. But he always assumed working in the United States would be...

The age of the cyborg

November 30, 2016 - 7:27am
You’ve probably heard that news organizations such as AP, Reuters, and many others are now turning out thousands of automated stories a month. It’s a dramatic development, but today’s story-writing bots are little more than Mad Libs, filling out stock phrases with numbers from earnings reports or box scores. And there’s good reason to believe that fully automated journalism is...

Election Day mobile notifications offer peek into future of news delivery

November 29, 2016 - 1:55pm
More Americans than ever this year learned about Election Day results from their phones, including via mobile push notifications news organizations deployed in brand-new ways. According to data collected by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism as part of a larger project examining the role of push notifications in the digital strategies of 23 publishers, 469 notifications were sent on...

5 takeaways from the Rolling Stone defamation verdict

November 29, 2016 - 12:31pm
The verdict came down in the first defamation case stemming from Rolling Stone's famously flawed investigation about college rape on the Friday before Election Day.  Now that the electoral shock has ebbed, it's time to give the results a second look. In this case, a former associate dean at the University of Virginia, Nicole Eramo, charged that the magazine and...

The glamorous restaurateur, and other anomalies

November 29, 2016 - 10:35am
English is fun. Let’s prove it: A “restaurant” can be full of “glamour.” But the “restaurateur” is “glamorous.” Note the difference? Each drops a letter when it gains a suffix. This is not the kind of letter-dropping that occurs with words like “fire/firing,” where the letter that’s dropped is at the end of the original word. No, “restaurant” and “glamour”...

Revolution at The Washington Post

November 29, 2016 - 6:25am
Is it an underhanded compliment to be called the most innovative company in the newspaper business? The Washington Post will happily take it. In the three years since Amazon’s Jeff Bezos bought the Post for $250 million—now seen as a steal for one of the great brands in publishing—the Post has reinvented itself with digital speed. Its Web traffic has...

Five lessons on covering trauma from the campaign trail

November 28, 2016 - 3:27pm
Of the many crises unleashed by America’s recent election, that faced by journalism is high on the list. Combine the fact that so much campaign reporting simply got this election wrong with the escalating hostility, harassment, and threats directed at news professionals and media companies, and you have a grimly astringent moment of reckoning. Most post-election news analysis has, understandably,...

The Times responds to discrepancy between Trump transcript and news coverage

November 28, 2016 - 2:47pm
Lost amid the print media back-slapping last week after The New York Times’ on-the-record meeting with Donald Trump was confusion over how the newspaper covered its own sit-down with the president-elect. At issue: a potential Trump U-turn on torture that would eventually be picked up by numerous other outlets around the country and world. A roomful of Times journalists didn’t...

Q&A: Photojournalist on documenting Cuba, challenging country's stereotypes

November 28, 2016 - 1:23pm
Despite the American fascination with Cuba, life there continues to be a mystery to many outsiders--helped little by media coverage of the island. Now, the death of Fidel Castro offers the opportunity to move beyond the tired themes, from communism to old cars, and toward a better understanding of a nation that has had such an outsized influence on US...

The tech/editorial culture clash

November 28, 2016 - 9:55am
At this year’s annual meeting of the Online News Association in Denver, many of the 2,000 attendees and delegates crowded into the opening keynote address. In the middle of the most charged US election in living memory, at a time when the relevance and role of the news media were under intense scrutiny, the assembled newsroom operatives were not coming...

A note from the editor

November 28, 2016 - 5:50am
We began work on this issue with the belief that the conventional wisdom about journalism is almost certainly wrong. You know the litany: Newspapers are dying; young people are abandoning mainstream news sources for Snapchat and Twitter; talented college students are choosing different professions; journalism, at least as it has been practiced for the last century, is done. The result...

A TV station taps viewers to help ‘truth-test’ the news

November 25, 2016 - 10:50am
Broadcast chain Tegna about a year ago assigned reporter David Schechter the task of finding an innovative way to “truth-test” the news. Schechter, who works at the Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA, knew what he wanted to avoid: a reporter talking at the screen, delivering his verdict on the truth, with only a handful of graphics to break up the visual...

Canadian journalists who covered Rob Ford offer tips on Trump

November 25, 2016 - 8:30am
Americans would agree the US has never seen a politician quite like Donald Trump. Constant falsehoods, attacks on newspapers, over-the-top insults directed at individual reporters--these are things many in the US media haven’t had to deal with before. To Canadians, though, this type of media manipulation is all too familiar. For several years, former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford treated journalists...

Podcast: What we're thankful for in journalism this Thanksgiving

November 23, 2016 - 4:13pm
The holiday weekend is as good a chance as any to reflect on what's going right in journalism, even after an election that left many of us flummoxed.  On The Kicker this week, I'm joined by Associate Editor Nausicaa Renner and Delacorte Fellow Pete Vernon in discussing what we're thankful for in 2016, trolls' effect on journalism, and CJR's massive...

A new normal in journalism for the age of Trump

November 23, 2016 - 12:29pm
President-elect Donald Trump’s latest attempt to humiliate a media still licking post-election wounds came with a Twitter salvo beginning at 5:16 a.m. on Tuesday. “I cancelled today's meeting with the failing [New York Times] when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment,” he wrote, incorrectly, in reference to a sitdown with Times journalists scheduled...

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