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Washington Post public editor: The bright side of 2020? Less campaign froth

Washington Post public editor: The bright side of 2020? Less campaign froth

The voice of journalismAugust 13, 2020It is August of 2020, in an alternate and more predictable reality. We are closing in on the second full year of presidential campaign coverage. The headlines of the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, and any magazines that remain in business are dominated by horse race coverage of political pettiness. “Trump Names Eighth Campaign Manager.” “Biden Confuses Snickers Bar for Cell Phone.” Pundits briefly acknowledge the latest plan to imprison or humiliate refugees before droning on at excruciating length about upcoming debates and strategic vice...

August 14, 2020
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The campaign begins (again)

The campaign begins (again)

The voice of journalismAugust 12, 2020 Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by .Kyle Pope is the editor in chief and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review.The run-up to the 2020 November elections in the US has produced new networks of shadowy, politically backed “local news websites” designed to promote partisan talking points and collect user data. In December 2019, the Tow Center for Digital Journalism...

August 14, 2020
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MSNBC public editor: A strained symbiosis with Obama

MSNBC public editor: A strained symbiosis with Obama

The voice of journalismAugust 10, 2020 Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by .Maria Bustillos is the founding editor of Popula, an alternative news and culture magazine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The Guardian.Yesterday, shortly after Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for president, picked Kamala Harris, the senator for California, as his running mate, Peter Doocy, a Fox News correspondent, tweeted, “But… you told me on Saturday…” That day, Doocy asked Biden—who was...

August 13, 2020
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Stop using ‘officer-involved shooting’

Stop using ‘officer-involved shooting’

The voice of journalismAugust 7, 2020FROM THE ARCHIVES:  Months into this profound reckoning, news outlets still reflexively use ‘officer-involved shooting.’We don't have a style rule on officer-involved shooting yet but we are discussing it.— APStylebook (@APStylebook) RECENTLY:This story has been updated to clarify the publication date of Assar’s column.Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by .Mya Frazier is a business and investigative journalist based in Columbus, Ohio.This week, Jonathan Swan’s interview with Trump bucked the traditions of deference and White...

August 8, 2020
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As election looms, a network of mysterious ‘pink slime’ local news outlets nearly triples in size

As election looms, a network of mysterious ‘pink slime’ local news outlets nearly triples in size

The voice of journalismAugust 4, 2020Figure 1: The organizational structure of the networkFigure 2: A single algorithmically-generated story with different stock photography that appeared across over 850 domains Evolution and Sprawl of the Network in 2020 Figure 3: Metric Media and LGIS # sites per stateFigure 4: Different page ownerships on Facebook for publications within the same networkHas America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by .Priyanjana Bengani is a senior research fellow at Columbia Journalism School's Tow Center for Digital Journalism.On February 29,...

August 5, 2020
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The logistical and ethical challenges of sports reporters’ restart

The logistical and ethical challenges of sports reporters’ restart

The voice of journalismJuly 28, 2020In mid-March, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer issued a joint statement: members of the media would henceforth be barred from locker rooms and clubhouses, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The leagues pledged to make players and staff available in more socially-distanced settings, , warning against “unnecessary” limits on their hard-won access, and pointing out that the leagues still intended to let fans attend games. The latter objection, at least, was quickly...

July 28, 2020
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The attacks on press freedom in Portland

The attacks on press freedom in Portland

The voice of journalismJuly 24, 2020This week Dave Miller, who hosts a daily talk show on Oregon Public Broadcasting, interviewed “two very tired people”: Tuck Woodstock and Sergio Olmos, both independent journalists. Since late May, daily protests in solidarity with Black lives and against police brutality have taken place in Portland. Local outlets have often sent reporters, but not to cover every protest; mainstream national outlets , when OPB reported that federal agents in unmarked vehicles were snatching protesters off the streets. By contrast, freelancers like Woodstock and Olmos...

July 25, 2020
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MSNBC public editor: The goldfish network

MSNBC public editor: The goldfish network

The voice of journalismJuly 16, 2020One of journalism’s biggest jobs, maybe the biggest, is just plain remembering. Too much is going on all the time for people to even begin to take it in coherently. If journalists don’t contextualize events, if they don’t trace out the relevant trajectories, the picture of the world they paint remains chaotic, patternless.And this is how MSNBC operates, continually failing to remember. The network has the memory of a goldfish. If an anchor talks about what happened four years ago, she’ll be congratulated for the depth of her coverage.A few days ago,...

July 19, 2020
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Unmasking Certainty

Unmasking Certainty

n early March I was wondering, as many people were, if I should get a face mask. I remember standing in my kitchen watching cable news when a medical expert declared that there was little evidence a mask could prevent our catching , the disease caused by the new coronavirus. People should not wear one, the expert said, unless they were medical workers, were displaying -like symptoms, or were caring for someone who was sick. I relayed that advice to friends and family and repeated some variant of it in The Media Today, the daily newsletter I write for the Columbia Journalism Review.News...

July 8, 2020
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Calling out your colleagues on Twitter can get results. But it also has risks.

Calling out your colleagues on Twitter can get results. But it also has risks.

The voice of journalismAugust 18, 2020President Trump told reporters he had “heard” rumors that Sen. Harris, a Black woman and U.S.-born citizen, does not meet the requirement to serve in the White House. The president said he considered the rumors “very serious.”Screenshot via Bill Grueskin/TwitterHow often, and under what circumstances, should journalists openly criticize their organizations or support colleagues who’ve been disciplined?THE MEDIA TODAY:Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by .Bill Grueskin is on the faculty of Columbia Journalism School. He has...

August 19, 2020
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