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Updated: 3 years 28 weeks ago

Warnings from whistleblowers past

November 6, 2013 - 1:50pm
Following Edward Snowden's leaks to the press about the scope of NSA surveillance, public opinion polls have posed questions like, "Do you think Snowden is a whistleblower, or a traitor?" Regardless of the polls' results, the fact that a distinction is being made between the two terms is progress, according to Dana Gold, a senior fellow at the Government Accountability...
Categories: Media

David Miranda challenges his UK detention

November 6, 2013 - 11:40am
David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald's partner, was in a UK court today challenging the legality of his nine-hour detention at Heathrow under anti-terror laws in August and requesting the return of confiscated material. Under tough questioning from a three-judge panel, Miranda argued that the UK government illegally detained him and that the materials he was carrying were protected. The reigning Lord...
Categories: Media

Where, oh where are all those poor people?

November 6, 2013 - 5:50am
Unless you've been under a rock for the past two weeks, odds are you've heard the unhappy tale of at least one "Obamacare loser" or "rate shock" victim or "poster child." (On Monday, I traced one Deborah Cavallaro's media-go-round--CBS 2, NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, Marketplace, Fox News--telling the world about her health insurance cancellation letter and her inability to find...
Categories: Media

The NYT paywall plugs the hole

November 6, 2013 - 5:50am
Felix asks what my graph of New York Times digital revenue would look like including print ads. Here's the original chart, which shows the paywall doubling NYT digital revenue in just over two years: Now here's the chart Felix requested, which adds in print ad revenue. Let me note that the non-2013 numbers in this post are based on my...
Categories: Media

A lot: that's how many

November 5, 2013 - 1:48pm
On Monday the University of California, Berkeley released the results of the kind of awe-inspiring study that makes for excellent space journalism. Using data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft, a team of scientists deduced that there are numerous "Earth-like" planets in the Milky Way, with temperatures in the "Goldilocks zone"--meaning not too warm, or too cold, to host liquid water (and...
Categories: Media

Evidence for the hard-to-prove assertion

November 5, 2013 - 1:28pm
Jean Eaglesham had a nice get—an exit interview with the outgoing enforcement chief of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, who complains the agency is underfunded. Right. Aren't we all? That's usually the problem with stories like this. The question of appropriate funding levels for a regulator is not only esoteric, it's necessarily murky and impossible to demonstrate. How much is...
Categories: Media

Audit Notes: Potshots at Snowden, News Corp. snake pit, Jamie Dimon

November 5, 2013 - 10:00am
Bloomberg Businessweek deputy editor Romesh Ratnasar takes to the pages of the magazine to criticize the "unbearable narcissism of Edward Snowden." In his letter to Ströeble, however, Snowden strikes the pose of a man being framed for crimes he didn't commit at all. He refers to his leaks as a "public service" and "act of political expression" and contends that...
Categories: Media

Sounding the alarm

November 5, 2013 - 5:55am
Earlier this year, when the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released reports showing that the rate of surface temperature increase had slowed, some publications interpreted the information as a global warming "pause"--evidence that scientists had been alarmist about the impact of human emissions on the environment. Others argued that if the coverage of the "pause" demonstrated anything, it was...
Categories: Media

The NYT paywall don't get no respect

November 5, 2013 - 5:50am
I wrote Friday about a landmark for The New York Times: Its paywall revenue has overtaken its digital ad revenue—just two years after the paper bucked conventional wisdom and asked readers to pay. GigaOm's Mathew Ingram spins that news as negatively as possible, writing on Twitter that "'the Times's paywall revenue has soared past its digital ad revenue'... because ad...
Categories: Media

A failure to 'ask the questions'

November 4, 2013 - 3:10pm
Deborah Cavallaro, a real estate agent in suburban Los Angeles, sure became a minor media celeb last week. Cavallaro, a 60-year-old blonde, emerged as a face of a story to which reporters came inexcusably late: Some people in the individual insurance market are receiving cancellation letters from their insurance providers, along with offers to buy often pricier Obamacare-compliant policies. Cavallaro...
Categories: Media

Don't tread on me

November 4, 2013 - 2:08pm
The requirement of the Affordable Care Act that employers provide access to free contraceptives "trammels the right of free exercise" of religion, a federal judge wrote. A reader asked: "Didn't the judge mean trample, as in 'trample on the rights'?" No, the judge meant "trammel." The difference between the two words is important. As a verb, "trammel" means to constrain...
Categories: Media

Beacon of hope in St. Louis?

November 4, 2013 - 10:05am
FAIRWAY, KS -- So much for Midwestern reserve. The St. Louis Beacon, a digital news startup founded in 2008, and St. Louis Public Radio are not quite household names in the halls of big media. But with the two outlets headed toward a merger soon, their leaders are not being shy about airing their ambitions. By merging, the organizations "will...
Categories: Media

The little team that could

November 4, 2013 - 5:49am
Medora, Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn's moving new documentary, is much more than a year in the life of a floundering sports team--it's also a portrait of a once-prosperous, now shrinking small town where many live close to the poverty line. Over the course of one season, the boys on the Medora Hornets high school basketball team try to shift...
Categories: Media

Must-reads of the week

November 1, 2013 - 1:50pm
Culled from CJR’s frequently updated “Must-reads from around the Web,” our staff recommendations for the best pieces of journalism (and other miscellany) on the Internet, here are your can’t-miss must-reads of the past week: Is Glenn Greenwald the future of news? -- A conversation between Greenwald and Bill Keller about how journalism fulfills its mission Why I bought The Globe...
Categories: Media

The NYT's paywall overtakes digital ads

November 1, 2013 - 11:07am
It was only a little more than two years ago that the conventional wisdom said The New York Times shouldn't—or couldn't—charge online. You don't hear that anymore with the massive success of the Times's paywall, which hit 727,000 subscribers in the quarter, up 28,000 in three months. Even bigger, the Times's paywall revenue has soared past its digital ad revenue....
Categories: Media

Must-reads of the week

October 18, 2013 - 1:50pm
Culled from CJR’s frequently updated “Must-reads from around the Web,” our staff recommendations for the best pieces of journalism (and other miscellany) on the Internet, here are your can’t-miss must-reads of the past week: The secrets of Bezos -- How Amazon became the everything store The troubles of HealthCare.gov -- "For the past 12 days, a system costing more than...
Categories: Media

Science writing harassment underscores freelancer instability

October 18, 2013 - 1:50pm
"This happened," wrote science writer Monica Byrne, who went on to detail an account of sexual harassment by an editor at Scientific American whom she was trying to impress. Byrne, a freelancer, had thought she was attending a work coffee and had brought clips in the hopes she might procure an assignment. But the editor instead talked to her about...
Categories: Media

A concrete example of journalistic success

October 18, 2013 - 10:00am
In media criticism as in journalism in general, it's easier to write compellingly about failure than success. As the old saw suggests, it is hard to make a decent lede out of the airliner that lands safely. But sometimes journalism is well enough planned and executed to constitute, in itself, news--as in the case with recent earthquake coverage at the...
Categories: Media

Audit Notes: Fast Food welfare, finance in the doctor's office, sharing economy

October 18, 2013 - 6:12am
Researchers from Berkeley and the University of Illinois have found that most fast-food industry workers are paid so poorly that they receive public assistance, something that costs the federal government $7 billion a year. Contrary to industry propaganda, your typical fast-food worker isn't some teenager needing gas money: The median age is 28. Reuters: Data from the U.S. Census Bureau...
Categories: Media

Modern-day newsies

October 17, 2013 - 2:00pm
He gets up before dawn, ready to work when the rest of us are still rolling out of bed. His office is a shady patch on the corner of Broadway and 125th street in Manhattan. He spends hours trying to get people to take something for free. His name is Gregory Adams, and he is a newsie. On a Thursday...
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