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The media today: In Mexico, state officials copy tactics of cartel hit men

September 20, 2017 - 6:29am
Earlier this year, after award-winning journalist Javier Valdez was gunned down in the streets of Culiacán, The Washington Post ran an editorial titled “In Mexico, journalism is literally being killed off.” The Post’s editorial board lamented “the drug-fueled violence that has claimed tens of thousands of Mexican lives over the past decade,” and implored Mexican […]

In Mexico, ‘it is the state, not the cartels, that poses the biggest threat to journalists’

September 20, 2017 - 5:55am
Marijose Gamboa has one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. She’s a journalist in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and the things she has endured for her work are comparable to the brutalities suffered by prisoners of war, including imprisonment, torture, and sexual assault. As I’m leaving her brightly lit, well-scrubbed office near […]

Q&A: New Yorker’s Rachel Aviv on making well-worn topics fresh

September 19, 2017 - 2:15pm
The New Yorker’s Rachel Aviv is a master of turning heavily covered topics into breathtaking narrative storytelling, finding cases and channeling characters that show the human side of abstract tragedies. This year alone, Aviv has delivered a series of extraordinary stories. She wrote about migrant children in Sweden who fell mysteriously unconscious after they learned […]

Where day and night meet

September 19, 2017 - 11:59am
On September 25, New York City will observe that magical moment, when day and night are the same length. For you in Miami, that magical moment will be on September 27. But wait! We hear you cry. The equinox is September 22! You’re right. And so are we. September 22 this year marks the “equinox” […]

Trump coverage launches a new phenomenon: muscle paragraphs

September 19, 2017 - 10:13am
A CNN story about the firing of FBI Director James Comey cited interviews with “more than two dozen” officials. A Washington Post article about the collapse of the health care bill was attributed to “roughly three dozen” sources. A New York Times story on White House turmoil relied on “dozens.” In covering the White House […]

The media today: Journalism as national service

September 19, 2017 - 6:26am
CJR’s most recent print edition focused on local news, the backbone of an industry suffering from the steady shift of advertising dollars away from print, leaving newsrooms in crisis—bleeding staff, scaling back coverage, and grasping for solutions. A project announced yesterday at the Google News Lab Summit hopes to help address those concerns. Report for […]

What iOS 11 means for news publishers and readers

September 19, 2017 - 5:55am
Apple’s new iOS 11 operating system, set for release today, will lead to several changes in how readers consume news, be it through podcasts, Apple News, or the Web. It also brings tweaks to privacy and advertising guidelines that have implications for the news business. Publishers have good reason to watch closely: There were more […]

Public-service journalism program pitched in CJR lands funding

September 18, 2017 - 2:05pm
There’s widespread agreement in the news media that the crisis in journalism threatens democracy. But there’s some confusion about what exactly the crisis is, and therefore what the solutions need to be. Journalism really faces two crises—one of the pocketbook and one of the soul. To address these twin problems, we will need a dramatically […]

The lesson journalists should take away from Spicer’s rebranding

September 18, 2017 - 12:47pm
Last week was a triumph for the rehabilitation of Sean Spicer’s image. On Wednesday, Harvard University announced that he would be a visiting fellow, and later that day, he appeared in a lengthy—and mostly friendly—interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! A few days later, on stage at the Emmys, he smiled his way through a cheeky […]

BuzzFeed News embraces video, skips the ‘pivot’

September 18, 2017 - 11:55am
Of all the buzzy phrases that define modern journalism, “pivot to video” is one of the few that still has a bite (unlike, say “fake news”). And it should. We’ve seen decisions to stop doing original reporting and start producing commodified slideshows ricochet through the industry. Which is why it wasn’t surprising, when we began […]

The media today: Ethics questions hamper Murdoch Sky bid

September 18, 2017 - 6:15am
Last week, UK Culture Secretary Karen Bradley referred 21st Century Fox’s proposed takeover of Sky to a competition regulator—a major blow to the Murdoch family’s interests in the country. Should the deal go through, Sky, which is already 39 percent owned by the Murdochs, “will join the Sun, the Times and talkRadio in the Murdochs’ […]

Dating app Tinder can be a tool for journalists

September 18, 2017 - 5:55am
A few weeks ago, I was curious about how the people of Guam were reacting to nuclear threats from North Korea. From a cafe in Washington, DC, I turned to Tinder. “Yes, a lot of people are flipping out. Even other islands, especially Saipan,” said Edward, a 22-year-old student at the University of Guam. Saipan, […]

Q&A: ThinkProgress reporter’s scoop on ESPN anchor Jemele Hill

September 15, 2017 - 3:56pm
The controversy around ESPN Anchor Jemele Hill took an unexpected turn Thursday evening: Three days after Hill called President Donald Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter, ThinkProgress reporter Lindsay Gibbs reported that the network tried to “keep Hill off the air on Wednesday evening.” Gibbs reported that producers contacted two other black ESPN hosts who […]

Motel 6 scoop in Phoenix New Times: an advertisement for alt-weeklies

September 15, 2017 - 1:51pm
A source emailed two reporters at the Phoenix New Times last month, telling them that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were regularly raiding Motel 6 locations in the city and detaining guests. “We were like, ‘This is totally crazy—if it’s happening,’” says Antonia Noori Farzan, one of the alt-weekly’s reporters, in an interview with CJR. […]

Podcast: Combat reporting from the field to the home front

September 15, 2017 - 12:45pm
On the latest episode of The Kicker, Pete talks to retired marine sergeant Thomas Brennan and veteran conflict photographer Finbarr O’Reilly, who have written a joint memoir, Shooting Ghosts, about their time in Afghanistan and their struggles when they returned home. Then, Pete, Meg, and Karen discuss the White House’s call for the firing of […]

Investigative reporting has found a new home: podcasts

September 15, 2017 - 11:21am
It all started on a houseboat. Well, technically, a “housefloat,” clarifies Jay Allison, the veteran public radio producer. “There’s a whole community of these things; they look like tiny cottages.” Allison lives in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, a tiny seaside village nestled in the southwest corner of Cape Cod. A year ago, he had an unexpected […]

The media today: Trump’s immigration deal fractures right-wing media

September 15, 2017 - 6:57am
For a president who campaigned on the wings of “build the wall” chants, Donald Trump seems uncertain about how to deliver on one of his signature promises. The on-again, off-again, on-again deal to protect “dreamers” without securing funding for the long-promised wall that emerged from Wednesday night’s dinner with Democratic leaders caused a revolt among […]

A nationwide reporting adventure tracks improbably frequent lottery winners

September 15, 2017 - 5:55am
Lawrence Mower of the Palm Beach Post in 2014 filed a public records request for 20 years of data on Florida Lottery winners. After analyzing the data, he found something unusual: A small number of lottery players were winning hundreds of times at almost inconceivably long odds. A statistician compared one frequent winner’s feat to […]

Trump’s DACA deal talk exposes old divisions among his media cheerleaders

September 14, 2017 - 1:22pm
President Trump’s apparent deal with Congressional Democrats to protect young immigrants from deportation without a demand for border-wall funds has left many of his media cheerleaders disgusted. Ann Coulter has been particularly vocal on Twitter, lambasting the president with barbs like “If we’re not getting a wall, I’d prefer President Pence.” Breitbart screamed the headline […]

Behind Enquirer’s blockbuster heroin story: ‘We wanted a normal week. It was terrible enough.’

September 14, 2017 - 11:05am
THE HEROIN EPIDEMIC HAS BEEN my full-time beat at The Cincinnati Enquirer for two years, but I’ve covered it for five. I read comments regularly from parents who belong to Kentucky Parents Against Heroin, a private Facebook page for help and support, and talk to those same parents. Their kids are sick, dying, and can’t get […]