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The disaster that liberated me

When the Kashmir earthquake struck in October 2005, Tabinda Kokab was a teacher in a remote village close to the epicentre. She recalls the day that changed her life, and how it forced her to throw off the expectations that Pakistani society had placed on her as a woman. [more inside]
posted by daisyk on Oct 7, 2015 - 5 comments

Of course I'd like to sit around and chat... but someone's listening in

Fresh from The Intercept (that fearless vanguard of journalism helmed by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras): disturbing documents exposing the unfathomable reach of the United Kingdom's GCHQ in its quest for total awareness of global internet traffic. A hundred billion user actions logged per day. A "Black Hole" database of 1.1 trillion logs. Frightening programs like KARMA POLICE, MEMORY HOLE, and MUTANT BROTH that correlate the kilo-crore corpus -- IP addresses, cookies, forum posts, search histories, emails, and passwords all compiled and cross-referenced into a real-time "diary" that gives penetrating insight into the relationships, beliefs, and desires of every web user on the planet. Internal documents suggest only widespread encryption can threaten the regime -- a movement the UK is determined to subdue (previously). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 26, 2015 - 104 comments

“I will continue fighting for press freedom...”

Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed have been released from prison following Eid al-Adha pardon. [New York Times] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 23, 2015 - 8 comments


The New Games Criticism - a response to Kieron Gillen's The New Games Journalism 10 years after the fact.
posted by Artw on Sep 20, 2015 - 25 comments

Deception for Journalism's Sake: A Database

The NYU Libraries have compiled a database of undercover investigative journalism dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. "The site, designed as a resource for scholars, student researchers and journalists, collects some of the best investigative work going back almost two centuries." [more inside]
posted by listen, lady on Sep 18, 2015 - 5 comments

The Whole Run of Crime

The Best American Crime Writing Series (renamed The Best American Crime Reporting in 2006) ran from 2002 to 2010 and presented the finest in true crime journalism. Many of the stories are available from the online magazines in which they were first printed or from other legitimate sources. Links to all 105 available stories appear below the fold. I have previously presented links to the stories from the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 editions. Some of those links have gone bad, so they have been reworked. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches on Sep 17, 2015 - 25 comments

Reinvestigating Rape: Old Evidence, New Answers

In 2010, Plain Dealer reporter Rachel Dissell wrote about thousands of neglected rape kits at the Cleveland Police Department. Working with fellow reporter Leila Atassi, their continued, tenacious coverage led to the creation of a 'rape kit task force' to cover a massive backlog, and eventually, a law mandating timely testing. Since 2011, when the city began sending rape kits to the state’s crime lab, almost all of its 4,000 kits have been tested; of these, over 1,600 contained usable DNA. 350 cases have led to grand jury indictments, and as of this month, over 100 rapists have been convicted, some of multiple rapes. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 17, 2015 - 54 comments

Annotated Syllabus of Literary Journalism in America

From NiemanStoryboard's Annotation Tuesdays, Josh Roiland annotates his ‘Literary Journalism in America’ Syllabus. NiemanStoryboard previously.
posted by OmieWise on Sep 11, 2015 - 2 comments

Music industry sexism

"Gals/other marginalized folks: what was your 1st brush (in music industry, journalism, scene) w/ idea that you didn't 'count'?" This tweet from Jessica Hopper kicked off a thread that lasted 2 days, with over 400 stories being shared. Storify of the full thread. Trigger warning for sexism, harrassment, rape.
posted by naju on Aug 26, 2015 - 40 comments

GCHQ and Me

My Life Unmasking British Eavesdroppers. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Aug 20, 2015 - 14 comments

Here’s how we figured out that it's AT&T.

Investigative journalism lives. How some journalists proved empirically that AT&T has been in a decades-long spying relationship with the NSA, using the Snowden documents as a starting point.
posted by pjern on Aug 18, 2015 - 25 comments

Brain Food

Roughly 100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism (2014). Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He founded "The Best of Journalism", a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction. This is his list of the best stories from 2014. There are personal essays, business stories, stories of government misbehavior, science stories and more.
posted by storybored on Aug 4, 2015 - 9 comments

Closed Binders

Yesterday, journalist Melody Kramer used her column on the website of the Poynter Institute to publish "a list of every hidden journalism-related social media group I could find”. Reaction to her column has been decidedly mixed. [more inside]
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious on Aug 4, 2015 - 62 comments

Ronald Reagan and Reading Proust

"Maybe the story is the difference between the writers on the panels and the writers in the audience. That story is the creation of a celebrity class. That story is the fine line between jealousy and envy: I want everything you have versus I want everything I can have. Or is the story simply vanity?" Choire Sicha of the Awl reports on (and attempts to schmooze through) the two-day New Yorker literary festival
posted by The Whelk on Jul 28, 2015 - 4 comments

All we want from you is just your best

Jennifer Pan’s Revenge: the inside story of a golden child, the killers she hired, and the parents she wanted dead. - Karen K. Ho writing for Toronto Life magazine [via tabs]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jul 23, 2015 - 32 comments

British Movietone Archive and Associated Press Archive

The British Movietone archive of nearly fifty thousand newsreel films is now on YouTube. Movietone started making newsreels in 1929 and stopped fifty years later. You can find clips about nearly any subject, women's rights, space exploration, and sports. The archive has a number of playlists, including one where archivist Jenny Hammerton presents clips she finds interesting. But, I hear you say, do they have cute cat videos? Yes. Also, a parachuting dog and jokes about Hitler. Also now availabe, the Associated Press Archive of more than 170 thousand video clips. The Guardian has a list of interesting clips from both archives.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 22, 2015 - 5 comments

"I knew that the traditional role was not going to be enough for me.”

Marlene Sanders’ Feminist Legacy [Slate obit] - "She wrote of her accomplishments: 'As I look back on my career, the women's movement provided an exceptional point when time, place and position all came together to give me the power and focus to contribute to the country’s awareness of the status of women.'" [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 16, 2015 - 4 comments

From Theory to Practice-Chatting in Secret while we're all being watched

Micah Lee at The Intercept provides a deep and wide introduction to encryption (with a clever but helpful Romeo & Juliet framing device) then brings us all the way through the doorframe, past thinking or talking about it—Chatting in Secret while we're all being watched. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Jul 15, 2015 - 19 comments

If Male Actors Were Described the Way Female Actors Are

Tucking his shapely legs underneath his curvaceous body in the dimly lit booth, Chris Hemsworth looks longingly at the bread basket the waiter places on the table in front of us. “Screw it — I could die tomorrow, right?” He smiles charmingly at me as he grabs a crisp roll and wraps his mouth around it, not even caring who’s watching. He closes his eyes and moans, savoring the carb-loaded moment like it could be his last. “If I die, bury me in a bread casket,” he says, displaying the kind of outrageous humor that doesn’t quite match his angelic looks.
posted by Kitteh on Jul 8, 2015 - 131 comments

Farewell to America

Foreign correspondents posted to America talk about the future, and the past.
posted by grubby on Jul 1, 2015 - 20 comments

Trans 101

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Transgender Rights is your new go-to on transgender 101. (SLYouTube)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 29, 2015 - 103 comments

"We have a tornado on the ground in town! Tornado on the ground!"

One year later, Wessington Springs High School senior Owen Witte chronicles the story of the tornadoes that descended on his home town and destroyed more than 50 homes and left 77 people homeless. Witte's story artfully conveys the heroism and resilience of his 950-person community.
posted by MrJM on Jun 13, 2015 - 5 comments

After Water

Susie Cagle writes about California's drought impact on the people of Porterville
posted by boo_radley on Jun 3, 2015 - 18 comments

International Brotherhood of Memesters, Local One-oh-Snark

Today, Gawker editorial staff vote on whether to unionize with Writers Guild of America, East, saying that transparency in compensation and fair health benefits are among the issues that have led them to organize. [more inside]
posted by univac on Jun 3, 2015 - 18 comments

Lahore Landing: 'an interactive documentary on another side of Pakistan'

Lahore Landing, an interactive documentary. "It all started when Taahira went to Karachi for a journalism internship ... Over Skype calls, she shared with us her experience – from underground indie rock concerts to alfresco BBQ nights. It surprised us. It seemed that all the media shared about life in Pakistan was a world of violence and terrorism when it was a lot more than that." [more inside]
posted by undue influence on Jun 3, 2015 - 2 comments

Bureaucracy lays atop the organization like a frozen snow.

HuffPost would rather not fire people, since that often comes with severance, so it torments them into leaving whenever possible. One editor was barred from all but slideshow management because she accidentally crossed a friend of Arianna’s. Others have been stripped of all responsibility, with reporters or staffers they oversee reassigned. Another favored tactic is for people to be suddenly told that they are miserable failures and given stringent story quotas and harsh warnings. The ending is almost always the same. Driven mad, people flee.
Hell Is Working at the Huffington Post
posted by griphus on Jun 3, 2015 - 27 comments

Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide

The Washington Post is compiling a database of every fatal shooting by police in 2015, as well as of every officer killed by gunfire in the line of duty.
Overall, blacks were killed at three times the rate of whites or other minorities when adjusting by the population of the census tracts where the shootings occurred.
posted by Little Dawn on May 31, 2015 - 74 comments

Internet journalism and invasive surveillance

Quinn Norton is selling you out
posted by The Devil Tesla on May 29, 2015 - 37 comments

New Wave Goodbye

'New Wave Games Journalist' and frequent Guardian and Rock Paper Shotgun columnist Cara Ellison is leaving games journalism, and she lays out her reasons in an essay on her site. Some of her best-known writing includes her S.EXE series about sex in a games for Rock Paper Shotgun, a verse review of an Anna Anthropy game for The Guardian, the Embed With Games series and a heartfelt tribute to indie game maker Increpare.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on May 29, 2015 - 26 comments

Please try to keep your eyes above my waist.

Men Who Rock II: Not Only Are These Six Up-and-Coming Male Seattle Musicians Hot, They Also Know How to Play Their Instruments! [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on May 28, 2015 - 30 comments


In this script, a 189,000-square-foot big-box store plays the role of “progress” and an old-fashioned, last-of-its-breed drive-in in plays the part of “nostalgia.” Their conflict, like many in the movies, is perfectly framed to represent something greater: the struggle for the identity of a small town. What, in fact, does Maryville, TN want to be? How does "the peaceful side of the Smokies" grow while maintaining that identity — and connecting thousands of tourists to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
posted by SkylitDrawl on May 28, 2015 - 32 comments

Fake Science Journalism

“Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. I got a call in December last year from a German television reporter named Peter Onneken. He and his collaborator Diana Löbl were working on a documentary film about the junk-science diet industry. They wanted me to help demonstrate just how easy it is to turn bad science into the big headlines behind diet fads. And Onneken wanted to do it gonzo style: Reveal the corruption of the diet research-media complex by taking part.
posted by contrarian on May 27, 2015 - 44 comments

The Greatest

It instantly hits your eyes haloed in a corona of potency—structured so soundly as to seem staged, this forceful frieze of physical dominance. The Victor yells, the Loser displays himself vanquished, and the Watchers are all caught in that moment. The kinetic poetry of moving bodies, momentarily frozen, such is the stuff of the best sports photos—this has that.

It's widely recognized today as one of the greatest photographs in sports history, but Neil Leifer's masterpiece, capturing the climax of the fight 50 years ago today between Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) and Sony Liston hardly made a stir at the time it was snapped.
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 25, 2015 - 34 comments

"Simplify your language and thereby find your humanity."

"The life-changing message of 'On Writing Well' is: simplify your language and thereby find your humanity." William Zinsser, journalist and nonfiction writer, passed away earlier this month. His book, "On Writing Well," is one of the definitive works on the craft of writing. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on May 23, 2015 - 21 comments

The Yellow Kid

Based on such continuous disappointment you'd think that trust in these grandiose, empty promises would wane - yet articles like this are more popular then ever. How click bait articles work (this will amaze you!)
posted by chavenet on May 7, 2015 - 21 comments

I Was An Undercover Uber Driver.

After months of trying to investigate what it's like to be an UberX driver, Emily Guendelsberger of the Philadelphia City Paper decided to become one herself. She also picked up some tricks on how to do it along the way.
posted by workingdankoch on May 6, 2015 - 37 comments

"May the ox of journalism always be yoked to the cart of commerce."

The Onion Is Not a Joke [The Atlantic] How a fake newspaper is turning into a real media empire.
posted by Fizz on May 3, 2015 - 16 comments

Nerd Prom Is a Mess

"For the sake of argument, here are the best and most reasonable ways to improve [the White House Correspondent's Dinner]." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 24, 2015 - 25 comments

Flooding the Zone

In an interview with Lucky Peach, Lockhart Steele (previously) talks about "flooding the zone" in the blog era:
One of the things that I try to say to the team at all of our sites is, Hey, let’s not be afraid to still be weird. Because as you get bigger, you can get forced to just be so mainstream. You have more people coming to your site, so you have more readers who are going to be confused by your obsessions, who are going to be like, What’s the joke, I don’t get it. And you have to be okay with people not getting it.
via Super Punch
posted by Little Dawn on Apr 22, 2015 - 7 comments

tradition, pride, religion, and patriarchy: a dangerous mix for women

Located in the heart of the Bible Belt, South Carolina is a deeply conservative state where men have ruled for centuries. The state elected its first female governor four years ago, but men continue to dominate elected offices, judicial appointments and other seats of government and corporate power. In many respects, the state's power structure is a fraternity reluctant to challenge the belief that a man's home is his castle and what goes on there, stays there.
The 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service has been awarded to Charleston, South Carolina's Post and Courier newspaper for their seven-part special investigation on domestic violence and femicide in a state that consistently places in the top ten nationally in the rate of women killled by men: Till Death Do Us Part. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Apr 21, 2015 - 26 comments

The Intercept's new blog gets its stories from unofficial sources

We believe the awful truth is out there, it’s just not at background briefings by the National Security Council.
posted by Bella Donna on Apr 17, 2015 - 16 comments

how many people in rock & roll can sing? Ringo can deliver a song.

"I don't want to bring in the violins, but we all came from hardship," says McCartney. "All of us except for George lost someone. I lost my mum when I was 14. John lost his mum. But Ringo had it worst. His father was gone; he was so sick they told his mum he wasn't going to live. Imagine making up your life from that, in that environment. No family, no school. He had to invent himself. We all had to come up with a shield, but Ringo came up with the strongest shield."

Part of that shield was playing the fool; part of that shield was booze. It led to a lost decade of L.A./London/Monte Carlo partying where Ringo woke up many mornings wondering, "Why are the birds coughing so loudly?" But he's been sober for 26 years, and there's one essential thing that keeps Ringo young: the sticks and the drum kit.
In anticipation of the inimitable Mr. Starkey's imminent (and long-awaited) induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rolling Stone presents Being Ringo: A Beatle's All-Starr Life.
posted by divined by radio on Apr 17, 2015 - 52 comments

Gawker media staff push for unionisation

If the effort is successful, Gawker Media would be the first major online media company to unionise.
posted by modernnomad on Apr 16, 2015 - 29 comments

"It's pretty black and white. They didn't do their job."

"If his name was John Brown, he would have been in jail," one criminal justice official with knowledge of the case said. "If a woman says, 'He's the guy that raped me,' and you have corroborating evidence to show they were together and she went to the hospital and she can identify him, that guy goes to jail."
Last week, ProPublica and the New Orleans Advocate published the results of their months-long joint investigation outlining how law enforcement officers in five states repeatedly (and sometimes deliberately) failed to apprehend former NFL star Darren Sharper as he traveled cross-country drugging and raping women: Upon Further Review.

[cw: rape, sexual assault, violent misogyny, law enforcement collusion to cover up same] [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Apr 14, 2015 - 23 comments

journalists are rarely in a position to prove guilt or innocence in rape

Rolling Stone has published an exhaustive Columbia School of Journalism study on their flawed reporting of an accusation of gang-rape at a University of Virginia fraternity (previously), with recommendations both for Rolling Stone and for media outlets globally about how to report on rape more responsibly in the future.
posted by gerryblog on Apr 5, 2015 - 166 comments

"There is no cure for our addiction to medical hype"

Every day, news sources report on medical studies that describe promising new treatments. Most of them don't pan out in the end. Julia Belluz reports on "why you shouldn’t believe that exciting new medical study." Her article includes a figure showing which foods are reported to cause cancer and which ones are reported to prevent it. (Spoiler: they're the same foods.)
posted by grouse on Mar 23, 2015 - 25 comments

Bisland v. Bly: A Race Around the World

In 1889, Elizabeth Bisland’s boss sent her on a trip around the world. Her goal: to beat Phileas Fogg’s record of going Around the World in 80 Days. She was not thrilled at the prospect, and even less happy to learn she would be chasing Nellie Bly, who had left that morning on the same journey. But sure enough, she was on a train that evening. [more inside]
posted by julen on Mar 19, 2015 - 6 comments

"In the end all writing is about adding to life, not diminishing it."

The Final Rhapsody of Charles Bowden by Scott Carrier [Mother Jones] [warning, descriptions of graphic violence] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Mar 15, 2015 - 4 comments

Elia W. Peattie: Collecting the work of a 19th Century Author

The Nonpareil of Council Bluffs has a new editor who says uncomplimentary and fairly humorous things about the 'new woman' — which show him to be an 'old man.’
Elia Wilkinson Peattie (1862-1935) was an incredibly prolific journalist, novelist, playwright, poet, and short story writer during a time of great American change. Dr. Susanne George Bloomfield of the University of Nebraska (supported by the The Plains Humanities Alliance) has gathered a wide sampling of her work in this digital archive, adding context and historical reference to the original works. [more inside]
posted by julen on Mar 15, 2015 - 2 comments

Media consumption habits of liberals and conservatives in US

When it comes to getting news about politics and government, liberals and conservatives inhabit different worlds. The project – part of a year-long effort to shed light on political polarization in America – looks at the ways people get information about government and politics in three different settings: the news media, social media and the way people talk about politics with friends and family. In all three areas, the study finds that those with the most consistent ideological views on the left and right have information streams that are distinct from those of individuals with more mixed political views – and very distinct from each other. [more inside]
posted by TheLittlePrince on Mar 10, 2015 - 59 comments

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