Columbia Journalism Review

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How conservative spin cut up the CBO health bill analysis

May 26, 2017 - 1:26pm
THERE WASN’T MUCH FOR THE GOP to cheer about when the Congressional Budget Office released its report on the updated American Health Care Act late Wednesday. That evening, Politico published a rundown of the report’s key points, many of them grim: 23 million fewer people insured within a decade, more than half within a year […]

A nonprofit newsroom rescued its local newspaper. Now it wants to expand.

May 26, 2017 - 11:00am
Brian Wheeler ran Charlottesville Tomorrow for about four years before he considered himself a journalist. When the nonprofit newsroom launched in 2005, Wheeler—the organization’s executive director and only full-time employee—strived for something low-tech and high-impact. He began with a blogging platform and an email list to help residents stay abreast of local elections and development […]

Behind the story: ‘What bullets do to bodies’ by Jason Fagone

May 26, 2017 - 5:55am
Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, took to the floor of the Senate late last month. As he stood next to a placard adorned with photos of faces, clustered around the hashtag #VoicesOfVictims, Murphy told his colleagues about a story published a day earlier—“What Bullets Do To Bodies” by Jason Fagone in Huffington Post’s […]

Tracking Trump-era assault on press norms

May 25, 2017 - 2:51pm
Every few days, Donald Trump issues a new threat against the press. Some are minor–essentially, name calling and common complaints about coverage–while others are harder to dismiss. The fear among some press freedom experts is that even small incidents can erode the media’s power to do its job, and create a trickle-down effect in which […]

Help us track job losses in local newsrooms

May 25, 2017 - 12:18pm
America’s local journalists are disappearing. But nobody knows exactly how quickly. Earlier this month it was Gannett, the country’s largest newspaper publisher, quietly letting go of staffers from its sprawling network of local news organizations. Now McClatchy, owner of the Miami Herald, Kansas City Star, and other papers, appears to be paring down some of […]

Lessons in audience engagement from Chicago’s Curious City

May 25, 2017 - 10:00am
1) Grow audience 2) Kill audience 3) Eat audience Thus read the Post-It notes affixed to a computer in Curious City’s corner of WBEZ Chicago Public Media. Despite poking fun, Curious City, the radio series that invites listeners to ask questions about Chicago, is serious about audience engagement. In 2016, Curious City embarked on a […]

Curious Communities: Online engagement meets old-school, face-to-face outreach

May 25, 2017 - 9:59am
In the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, numerous analysts have criticized the polarized nature of media and its failure to include perspectives that reflect the ideological and demographic diversity of the country. Many have argued that media must do more to listen to multiple publics. Curious City, a radio series based at WBEZ […]

A ‘disgusting slap in the face’: Reporters must stop misgendering trans murder victims

May 25, 2017 - 9:05am
Chayvis “Chay” Reed is one of 10 transgender women killed so far this year. Reed, a 28-year-old living in Miami, was shot last month as she was crossing the street. Her assailant fled before police arrived. Her murder follows the brutal slayings of women like Alphonza Watson, 38; Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28; Tiara Richmond, […]

Social media fills vacuum left by China’s ‘hollowed out’ press

May 25, 2017 - 5:55am
In videos shot earlier this month, Chinese human rights lawyer Xie Yang stands before the court, looking thinner than before his two-year detainment, but otherwise healthy. It’s the last leg of his trial, and now, along with his guilty plea, Xie must make several statements, starting with a denial of foreign news reports—decried as “fake […]

Montana House candidate takes ‘enemy of the people’ to its logical conclusion

May 24, 2017 - 11:08pm
On Wednesday night, news rippled across social media that a Republican candidate for a Montana congressional seat allegedly body-slammed a Guardian journalist on the eve of the state’s special election. Reporter Ben Jacobs’s audio recording of the event suggests that he was assaulted after asking candidate Greg Gianforte a routine question about the GOP’s health […]

My media serves me well; yours is smut

May 24, 2017 - 2:00pm
“The media” lies in the eye of the beholder. For Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont socialist and novice podcaster, the phrase represents corporate interests inexorably pushing America toward neoliberal oblivion. Fox News host and recreational conspiracy theorist Sean Hannity lambasts the singular entity as a cabal of cultural elites cracking down on Real American™ values. […]

Podcast: The media’s model for covering terrorist attacks is broken

May 24, 2017 - 11:51am
On the latest episode of The Kicker, we run through some of the week’s biggest media stories, including a ratings leaderboard shakeup for cable news, a spurious conspiracy that consumed the right-wing media universe, and a new study that says–surprise–journalists drink too much caffeine and alcohol. Then, we move on to the media coverage of […]

Texas journalists collaborate on nonprofit to share data, enrich reporting

May 24, 2017 - 10:30am
A FEW YEARS AGO, SOME AUSTIN, TEXAS, residents were up in arms over “stealth dorms.” As the city council debated occupancy limits, Austin Monitor publisher Michael Kanin realized he couldn’t answer a basic question: How many stealth dorms were there? Dan Zehr had the same question. “The city council was deliberating this basically off of […]

Press freedom group to deploy $1M Bezos gift, its largest ever, on local level

May 24, 2017 - 6:34am
JEFF BEZOS, AMAZON’S CEO AND The Washington Post’s owner, is giving $1 million to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The gift, announced Tuesday night at the Freedom of the Press Awards Dinner in New York, is the largest personal contribution in the RCFP’s history. “It’s an institution-changing gift for us,” Bruce Brown, the […]

Facebook’s moderation is of public interest. It should be public knowledge.

May 23, 2017 - 3:56pm
When Facebook announced two weeks ago that it would hire an extra 3,000 moderators to review livestreamed video, many wondered what moderating the vast platform might actually look like. This week, The Guardian exclusively obtained documents that allow a more detailed look inside the Facebook moderation processes than ever before. It is clear from the […]

On government transparency under Bush, Obama, and Trump

May 23, 2017 - 12:58pm
As Donald Trump has amped up his attacks on the press, fears have grown about the collateral effects on journalism—from an assault on libel laws and open records, to a tougher environment for Freedom of Information Act requests. Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, has been on the front […]

Testing news paywalls: Which are leaky, and which are airtight?

May 23, 2017 - 9:55am
It’s widely known but rarely acknowledged: Most news paywalls are full of holes. Publishers aren’t just offering a few free articles per month. They’re building in sweeping exceptions that allow tech-savvy readers—and often simply those entering through search or social media—to access most or all of what subscribers pay for. It’s easy to understand why […]

There are times journalists should become the story

May 23, 2017 - 5:55am
I had a bit of an ordeal earlier this year that led to me losing my job as a national reporter, and these days, every time a journalist gets fired or quits and then writes about it, people text, email, and tweet at me. The stories echo one another. The last time my phone blew […]

Joe Lieberman atop FBI would be a First Amendment disaster

May 22, 2017 - 12:54pm
Former Senator Joe Lieberman is reportedly President Trump’s leading choice to replace the recently-fired James Comey as FBI director. If you’re a person who values free speech and press freedom rights, it’s hard to imagine a worse pick for FBI director than Lieberman. It was only a week ago we learned that Trump allegedly urged […]

Q&A: Quartz’s David Yanofsky on coding as a journalist

May 22, 2017 - 11:46am
The journalist who writes code is one of the least understood roles in the news business. Even the job titles are mysterious, and vary from newsroom to newsroom: data journalist, visual journalist, graphics editor, news app developer. When an interactive, visual story, or news app is published, the work is often chalked up to “wizardry,” […]