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The Increasing Problem With the Misinformed

“The rise of the misinformed is now the largest obstacle for success for journalists today (outside the concerns that relate to publishing). If people don't trust the news, you don't have a news business.” Thomas Baekdal writes a strategic analysis for media companies to earn their readers’ trust, looking at data from PolitiFact to understand how misinformation spreads and what journalists can do to stop it.
posted by Rangi on May 1, 2016 - 54 comments

"The inside of her head felt slow with panic"

"The Choking Victim" by MeFi's own Alexandra Kleeman is a short story that portrays one new mother's anxiety. The dream-like fiction linked at the author's web site offers a wider perspective on her work. [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet on Apr 30, 2016 - 1 comment

I have to read all of them, right?

Sarah Spain is just a scrub muffin. Watch men sit down with ESPN anchor Sarah Spain and Chicago sports radio host Julie DiCaro and read off harrasing twitter comments about journalists to their face. As part of a campaign #MoreThanMean, to learn more about the project check out the discussion on how the video came about on More Than Sports podcast.
posted by MiltonRandKalman on Apr 26, 2016 - 28 comments

Living is complicated

Last Men Standing. The stories of eight men who aren't supposed to be here. Diagnosed with HIV in the 1980's, when that was a death sentence, they are now living lives they never expected to have. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 20, 2016 - 8 comments

לעולם לא לשכוח

What did Americans know as the Holocaust unfolded? How did they respond? A new initiative of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, "History Unfolded" is using crowdsourcing to scour newspapers across the country for articles that ran between 1933 and 1945 on the plight of Europe’s Jews. The project focuses on 20 historical events from the time period. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 16, 2016 - 12 comments

There’s no such thing as free information

Content providers are in a double bind: readers don’t want to pay to read, but they also resist and resent the use of advertising and tracking software to generate income. While the introduction of subscription-only models has had mixed success, the UK newspaper The Independent recently shut down its print run, while the Guardian is cutting 250 jobs. Who'll pay to publish if we won't pay to read? [more inside]
posted by AFII on Apr 8, 2016 - 203 comments

How to Hack an Election

"For eight years, Sepúlveda, now 31, says he traveled the continent rigging major political campaigns... Many of Sepúlveda’s efforts were unsuccessful, but he has enough wins that he might be able to claim as much influence over the political direction of modern Latin America as anyone in the 21st century."
posted by cudzoo on Mar 31, 2016 - 16 comments

They banged themselves out

The Independent Newspaper goes out of print on a scoop.
As its final print run goes to press, the paper’s longest-serving editor recalls the highs and lows of its 30-year life – including his ‘proudest moment’ when it was attacked by Tony Blair – and ponders the future of a beleaguered industry.
From the inside
posted by adamvasco on Mar 26, 2016 - 19 comments

I wouldn't care if it was designed by a fascist if it looked this good

Inside Jacobin: how a socialist magazine is winning the left's war of ideas
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Mar 21, 2016 - 131 comments

Everything That You’ve Come to Expect

Up close and a little too personal with The Last Shadow Puppets. As I walk away, I try to suppress my ballooning sense that something wasn’t right back there. Is it normal to be asked up to a male musician’s room — even as a joke? Or cheek-kissed, repeatedly high-fived, and stared down? Even if he’s entirely harmless (and I’m sure that he is), is this the sort of thing that I should let go for the sake of my job? After music journalist Rachel Brodsky interviewed the U.K. orch-rock duo, she came away with a very different article than she'd set out to write.
posted by showbiz_liz on Mar 8, 2016 - 28 comments

"Politicians. Businessmen. Nobody’s watching them anymore."

As newsrooms disappear, veteran reporters are being forced from the profession. They dedicated their lives to telling other people’s stories. What happens when no one wants to print their words anymore?
posted by zarq on Mar 5, 2016 - 100 comments

fabrication is the ultimate sin of journalism

The bombshell accusations left anyone who'd ever worked with Thompson wondering if he'd scammed them too. It's a tricky question to untangle, noted Josh Marshall, the editor and publisher of the liberal online publication Talking Points Memo, which had published one of his essays. "One of the dirty little secrets of fact-checking," Marshall wrote in an editor's note, "is that it is quite difficult to uncover a determined effort to deceive." Juan Thompson Wrote About St. Louis for the National Media. But Were Any of His Stories True? [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Feb 26, 2016 - 12 comments

"There is no qualification: it was a complete failure."

Longform sports news and commentary website SB Nation, one of the websites under the Vox Media banner, has developed a reputation as being a location for well written and thoughtful commentary on not just sports, but society as well. Which is why it was surprising when they wound up publishing a disastrous longform article about former cop and convicted rapist Daniel Holtzclaw that wound up being little more than a racially charged hagiography. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum on Feb 18, 2016 - 94 comments

"Men are the new carpetbaggers..."

The Testosterone Takeover of Southern Food Writing In which Kathleen Purvis asks why male voices have come to dominate big-market Southern food writing and pokes at the genre's resulting obsessions with "bourbon, barbecue and pork belly." From The Bitter Southerner.
posted by Miko on Feb 16, 2016 - 41 comments

Brazil's Dysfunctional Prison System and more

Two articles by Carla Ruas a Freelance writer and photographer based in Brazil.
Running the joint: - This is the story of Presídio Central, a correctional facility in Brazil that has become a headquarters for the organized crime. And it all began when a cab crashed into the lobby of the fanciest hotel in town. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Feb 14, 2016 - 1 comment

Unpublished Black History

"Every day during Black History Month, we will publish at least one of these photographs online, illuminating stories that were never told in our pages and others that have been mostly forgotten.... other holes in coverage probably reflect the biases of some earlier editors at our news organization, long known as the newspaper of record. They and they alone determined who was newsworthy and who was not, at a time when black people were marginalized in society and in the media."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 1, 2016 - 13 comments

Horse Dope Sensation

Tits, boobs & Kelvin Mackenzie. A partial history of The Sun newspaper, starting from its launch in 1964 as a left-leaning broadsheet. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago on Jan 27, 2016 - 8 comments

"'Say it with me people. Pulitzer. Motherf***ing. Prize'"

Kevin Dawes: searching for a missing American in Syria. A young American man and sometime SomethingAwful goon, self-taught as a medic and aspiring to journalism, maxes out his credit cards and heads for Syria, on his own. His contacts and friends increasingly fear he is mentally ill. The last report of him is from 2013. (GQ, 1/15/2016) [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena on Jan 19, 2016 - 18 comments

'...follow the law or you’re no better than the crook.'

Inside the Snitch Tank. After his arrest for the worst mass shooting in Orange County, CA history, Scott Dekraai poured out his feelings to a jailhouse informant. But instead of nailing down a death-penalty conviction against a confessed killer who was arrested with murder weapons in his car, the bugging of Dekraai’s cell touched off a legal storm over prosecutorial misconduct and the misuse of jailhouse informants which has delayed justice and drawn national attention. The Orange County Register has set up an extensive website to accompany their ongoing investigation and report.
posted by zarq on Jan 13, 2016 - 17 comments

Define 'interesting.'

When an NBC producer fell for celebrated surgeon Paolo Macchiarini while filming a Dateline documentary special about him, she thought her biggest problem was a breach of journalistic ethics. Then things got really interesting.
posted by zarq on Jan 6, 2016 - 131 comments

215 Of The Best Longreads Of 2015

215 Of The Best Longreads Of 2015 [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Jan 1, 2016 - 19 comments

Nieman Lab's Crowdsourced

Predictions for Journalism 2016
posted by infini on Dec 29, 2015 - 50 comments

Because Silence is Not an Option: Naji Jerf, RIP.

"Syrian journalists who have fled to Turkey for their safety are not safe at all.": Naji Jerf was the editor-in-chief of the Syrian independent monthly Hentah and a documentary maker who worked with the collective Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS). Jerf also trained citizen journalists as part of his work with RBSS. [more inside]
posted by frumiousb on Dec 28, 2015 - 16 comments

“I told them I would not change a word,”

French journalist accuses China of intimidating foreign press. by Tom Phillips [The Guardian]
China is facing accusations of attempting to muzzle and intimidate foreign press after it said it would expel a French journalist who refused to apologise for an article criticising government policy. Lu Kang, a spokesperson for China’s ministry of foreign affairs, claimed Ursula Gauthier, the Beijing correspondent for French magazine L’Obs, had offended the Chinese people with a recent column about terrorism and the violence-hit region of Xinjiang. “Gauthier failed to apologise to the Chinese people for her wrong words and it is no longer suitable for her to work in China,” Lu said in a statement, according to Xinhua, Beijing’s official news agency.
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Dec 27, 2015 - 21 comments

I’m not sure which of these individuals has a Radio for a Head

RIP Nigel Buxton, journalist, who found fame in later years as 'BaaadDad' on The Adam and Joe Show. As ever, the Telegraphy has an interesting obituary [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 19, 2015 - 11 comments

Where "schools aren’t a place to learn, they’re a place to fear."

In 2007, the Pinellas County, Florida School Board abandoned integration, joining hundreds of US school districts in former Confederacy states that have resegregated since 2000. The Board justified the vote with bold promises: Schools in poor, black neighborhoods would get more money, more staff, more resources -- none of which happened. This past August, the Tampa Bay Times published an exposé, revealing how district leaders turned five once-average schools into Failure Factories. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 18, 2015 - 62 comments

Ark and flood in one package

The US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was established in 1961 and has grown into one of the US government’s largest intelligence organizations. It employs 17,000 people, including thousands stationed overseas, and its 2013 fiscal year budget request was for $3.15 billion. Yet, the DIA is also one of the more secretive agencies in the U.S. intelligence community, regularly denying access to basic information about its structure, functions and activities. On November 20, the National Security Archive posted a new sourcebook of over 50 declassified documents that help to illuminate the DIA’s five-decades-long history. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 4, 2015 - 20 comments

And the Walkley goes to...

The Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism — roughly Australia's version of the Pulitzer Prizes — announced its 2015 winners at a ceremony on Thursday. Some of the winners won't be that interesting to an international audience, but here are some that might be: [more inside]
posted by retrograde on Dec 3, 2015 - 9 comments

"I'm Heading Out to the Black. Farewell, io9 and Gizmodo!"

Annalee Newitz (prev) is jumping ship for Ars Technica.
posted by valkane on Dec 1, 2015 - 38 comments

Dying Words Project

The AIDS Reporting of Jeff Schmalz, and How It Transformed the New York Times. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 30, 2015 - 4 comments

With no hunger for the real

Photojournalists put their lives on the line every day, after all, and a photograph is less likely to contain bias, right? "With his new photobook War Is Beautiful: The New York Times Pictorial Guide to the Glamour of Armed Conflict, David Shields is taking aim at what he characterizes as the “war porn” routinely seen on the front page of America’s most respected paper of record." [more inside]
posted by the_querulous_night on Nov 19, 2015 - 18 comments

Their boss would sooner name a dead man than any living woman.

On Gawker's Problem with Women. A former staff writer describes how a media company founded on whistleblowing and radical transparency failed its female employees.
posted by emjaybee on Nov 16, 2015 - 42 comments

Race and the Free-Speech Diversion

Of the many concerns unearthed by the protests at two major universities this week, the velocity at which we now move from racial recrimination to self-righteous backlash is possibly the most revealing. The unrest that occurred at the University of Missouri and at Yale University, two outwardly dissimilar institutions, shared themes of racial obtuseness, arthritic institutional responses to it, and the feeling, among students of color, that they are tenants rather than stakeholders in their universities. That these issues have now been subsumed in a debate over political correctness and free speech on campus—important but largely separate subjects—is proof of the self-serving deflection to which we should be accustomed at this point.
posted by Artw on Nov 12, 2015 - 144 comments

"I couldn’t have followed that lead even if I had wanted to."

Confessions of a Paywall Journalist :
Policy journalism in Washington is thriving. It’s just not being written for you, and you’re probably never going to read it.
[more inside] posted by retrograde on Nov 7, 2015 - 13 comments

Terror in Little Saigon

The journalists were assassinated on American soil, one after another. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Nov 4, 2015 - 5 comments

"Ma'am, this is a jail."

"GetYourCare.org was created to show that women have real choices when it comes to health care," the site says. "All across America, thousands of low-cost health centers offer women and their families high-quality health care." A press release from the Alliance Defending Freedom claimed that the facilities listed on the map "typically offer the full range of women's health services without all the scandal of Planned Parenthood." But in an investigation into the facilities, RH Reality Check has found that these "real choices" include hundreds of elementary, middle, and high schools; clinics that provide care for homeless people; nursing homes; pediatrics centers; and even the D.C. jail. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 26, 2015 - 48 comments

"Nobody likes to get played."

What do we really know about Osama bin Laden's death?
I saw this as more of a media story, a case study in how constructed narratives become accepted truth. This felt like a cop-out to [Seymour Hersh], as he explained in a long email the next day. He said that I was sidestepping the real issue, that I was ‘‘turning this into a ‘he-said, she-said’ dilemma,’’ instead of coming to my own conclusion about whose version was right. It was then that he introduced an even more disturbing notion: What if no one’s version could be trusted?
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Oct 21, 2015 - 102 comments

Truth as quantified externality

Amazon has posted (on Medium, natch) an aggressive response to the “everyone at Amazon is miserable but also paid well but also crying all the time” story in the New York Times [Previously]. This story and its aftermath represent a bit of a trap, particularly in discussions on Twitter: If you think the original story contained both valuable information and flaws, your default position is to go to bat for the Times; if you read this story as a portrait of a tough workplace written to cast it in the worst possible light, but acknowledge that it contained some worrying anecdotes, then your tendency will be to defend Amazon.

But these too reveal themselves as proxy positions. It’s not story versus story, or publication versus tech company. It’s media versus tech. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 20, 2015 - 103 comments

You can't count on the web, okay?

The web, as it appears at any one moment, is a phantasmagoria. It’s not a place in any reliable sense of the word. It is not a repository. [more inside]
posted by pjern on Oct 15, 2015 - 32 comments

A gene for gay?

A controversial talk by Tuck Ngun at the ongoing American Society of Human Genetics 2015 meeting in Baltimore presented evidence of epigenetic mechanisms associated with homosexuality in discordant male twins (i.e., one gay, the other straight). The conference organizers and news outlets quickly trumpeted that scientists had discovered epigenetic markers capable of predicting the sexual orientation of a male; however, the reaction of scientists at the meeting was less enthusiastic. Ed Yong at the Atlantic wrote a particularly thorough takedown. Criticisms centered around the small sample size (37 pairs of twins), the fact that the samples were taken from saliva (whereas you'd expect epigenetic variants influencing sexuality to occur in the brain), and the fact that the predictive model they developed was not terribly predictive (67% accuracy). [more inside]
posted by infinitemonkey on Oct 10, 2015 - 79 comments

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 - 105 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

8/10?

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

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