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Shortchanged

September 10, 2013 - 5:50am
Roy Peter Clark--aging journalist, Chaucer expert, esteemed writing teacher, and overall doyen at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies--has for the past decade been publishing elementary writing guides that serve as inexpensive, shockingly comparable alternatives to entry-level journalism classes at any American college or university. See: Writing Tools or The Glamour of Grammar. With his newest venture, How to Write...
Categories: Media

Audit Notes: Reporting numbers, The Onion on the hamster wheel, info consumerism

September 10, 2013 - 5:50am
Auditor-turned-journalist Francine McKenna, writing at Medium, has some cautionary advice for journalists on reporting unaudited and unverified financial information. She points to recent reporting on Buzzfeed's revenues and profitability, but the problem isn't limited to nonpublic companies that aren't required to disclose their numbers. McKenna finds the hallowed New Yorker getting iffy with the facts on Comcast-owned MSNBC: I called...
Categories: Media

Politico publisher acquires Capital New York (UPDATED)

September 9, 2013 - 3:00pm
[UPDATE, 4:06 pm] Jim VandeHei, executive editor of Politico and new president of Capital New York, says the site will quadruple staff--hiring about two dozen reporters over the next 30 to 45 days--and cut its coverage of sports and culture, focusing on city hall and state politics for a more "intensive approach." They also plan on installing reporters in Albany,...
Categories: Media

Un-coordinated

September 9, 2013 - 1:50pm
Recently, in a column about other things, we asked whether you needed a comma in the phrase "the large blue box." The answer is that, most of the time, you do. But, depending on what the sentence intended to say, you may not. If you were speaking of all the blue boxes and wanted to point out the large one,...
Categories: Media

4 Syrian journos: We want Western help

September 9, 2013 - 10:00am
Before a room of fresh-faced Columbia Journalism School students on Friday, four Syrian journalists asked the budding professionals, and indeed the Western World itself: "Why now? Why are you just now paying attention?" The Syrian delegation, online and radio reporters who asked to remain anonymous in print, has been touring the US with the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program....
Categories: Media

In Syria, freelancer demand amidst increasing restrictions

September 9, 2013 - 10:00am
News organizations are desperate for Damascus-based reporters, so they are calling on freelancers, stretching their own rules against doing so. "It's the freelancer hypocrisy--they ignore us until they realize they're desperate," says one freelancer whose work appears in major news outlets. Like many sources I spoke to, he did not want to be named. In the British news industry, a...
Categories: Media

Advance Publications scraps AnnArbor.com

September 9, 2013 - 5:50am
Back in 2009, Advance Publications shut down the 174-year-old daily Ann Arbor News, unveiled a new website named AnnArbor.com, dropped a lot of Jarvis-esque buzzwords, and started a "new" twice-a-week paper it called AnnArbor.com with fewer than half the journalists the old News had. So much for that. Advance is now about to fold AnnArbor.com (the website) into MLive.com, the...
Categories: Media

Even more interactive news

September 9, 2013 - 5:49am
Clickable. Shareable. Likeable. Social media increasingly drives more web traffic than search engine optimization, and a clever headline now outweighs even the most diligent string of tags and phrases. That's why some sites are offering unique, personalized experiences that they hope will not only attract visitors, but also make them stick around. Gawker is letting readers rewrite headlines and reframe...
Categories: Media

Must-reads of the week

September 6, 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: Did Twitter kill the boys on the bus? -- Searching for a better way to cover a campaign How Futurama's 31st-century technology illustrated today's changing media...
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A weakened Washington Post, a serious ethical breach

September 6, 2013 - 10:00am
Erik Wemple breaks a huge media-corruption story for the Washington Post, and unfortunately for his employer, it's about the Post itself. This is just about as bad as it gets, and it's mitigated only slightly by the fact the Post allowed Wemple to publish his tough piece. Wemple reports that the Chinese wall between advertising and editorial at the Washington...
Categories: Media

Invasion of the Job Snatcher

September 6, 2013 - 10:00am
FAIRWAY, KS -- Texas and Missouri no longer square off as Big 12 opponents, but governors Rick Perry and Jay Nixon--with some help from Missouri's media--have ignited a new interstate rivalry. Perry, a Republican, has recently taken his ongoing job-poaching tour to the Show-Me State, running radio and TV ads in Missouri markets, and making an appearance in Chesterfield, MO,...
Categories: Media

Scientific American eats

September 6, 2013 - 5:58am
Scientific American has been on a food spree recently. Its September issue is food-themed, with pieces ranging from the conflicting science of GMOs to a Gary Taubes feature on obesity, and its website has been running food-themed content all week. And this food focus is continuing with an ongoing blog. Launched on Tuesday, "Food Matters" aims to cover the topic...
Categories: Media

War reporting for amateurs

September 5, 2013 - 1:50pm
I confess that I've been watching all the coverage of Amanda Lindhout's book with a bit of chagrin. Lindhout, who traveled to Somalia as an aspiring journalist in 2008, was kidnapped along with her photographer companion and their guides. She spent 15 months in captivity before her family finally hired a private security firm and raised the ransom money. Later...
Categories: Media

The minimum wage and the Danish Big Mac

September 5, 2013 - 10:00am
The Los Angeles Times drops into the debate over whether or how much prices would have to rise at fast-food restaurants for their employees to get $15 an hour. Actually, this is the first time I've seen the question of whether prices would rise treated seriously. Even the bad-math types we've seen in the last few weeks have always assumed...
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Exchange Watch: Washington State

September 5, 2013 - 10:00am
Yesterday, the board of Washington's insurance exchange, called the Washington Healthplanfinder, finally certified plans the exchange will sell beginning Oct. 1. The board had been trying to make this certification for several weeks now, but a question arose that is relevant to all the state exchanges. Specifically: How many plans must an exchange offer to insure robust competition and give...
Categories: Media

Think taxpayers, not just NFL fans

September 5, 2013 - 5:50am
Journalists threw the public for a loss last week when reporting on the tentative settlement of a lawsuit brought by former professional football players with concussive brain injuries against the National Football League. As reported, the story was about a minority of retired players, a story of interest mostly to the minority of Americans who are football fans. The story...
Categories: Media

Misbegotten

September 4, 2013 - 1:55pm
The Revolutionary War split the colonies from England, and with it, American English began to split from British English. We dropped letters (colour/color, humour/humor) or transposed them (theatre/theater, centre/center). We replaced their words with our own (lorry/truck, chemist/drugstore), and we added a lot more (aerobics, wannabe). We've got our own language now. Or, we've gotten our own language now. You...
Categories: Media

When coverage gets ahead of the facts

September 4, 2013 - 10:40am
We often speculate about how media coverage could make people cynical about politics and government. But new political science research suggests just how significant those effects can be, using Jack Welch's jobs report conspiracy theory and coverage of the IRS scandal as case studies. The research comes in a pair of papers by Boston University political scientists Katherine Einstein and...
Categories: Media

Britain's spooks don't get the 4th estate

September 4, 2013 - 5:50am
Last week I disembarked in Denmark to find myself already embroiled in European intrigue—an international espionage scandal, even. Okay, not quite, but humor me. I was, however, quoted by the UK's deputy National Security Adviser, Oliver Robbins, to bolster his case in his testimony to Her Majesty's High Court of Justice why it was necessary to disrupt journalistic communications, via...
Categories: Media

Altweekly gets a sober judgment

September 4, 2013 - 5:49am
Attention Coastal Carolina University students: Readling a local altweekly might drive you to drink. Authorities at Coastal Carolina University, in South Carolina, denied on-campus distribution to altweekly newspaper The Weekly Surge on August 19 because they believe its articles and adverts promote drinking. The Surge had been distributed since its 2006 founding at CCU, albeit informally, but when its staff...
Categories: Media