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Profile of a Profile

Storyboard is an almost-real-time, behind-the-scenes look at the assigning, writing, editing, and designing of a Wired feature. The Birth of Storyboard is a (minimally edited) video of the conversation that spawned the project. The feature—that will be published in November—is about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. In the past he has woven the process of creating his work into the work itself, so Wired writer Jason Tanz thought it would make sense to do the same. Looking to promote his directorial debut, Kaufman has agreed to take part in the project.
posted by defenestration on Sep 3, 2008 - 6 comments

 

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad's Killing Fields

An Iraqi national with a fascinating background, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad has been documenting the situation in Iraq. His video report is in three parts on YouTube (1, 2, 3). Of particular note is the cemetery on the outskirts of Sadr City (at 2:13 of segment 2), which is disturbing beyond words.
posted by dbiedny on Aug 18, 2008 - 14 comments

After that day, your life is never the same. "That day" is the day the doctor tells you, "You have cancer."

Journalist Leroy Sievers has lost his fight with cancer. He passed away Friday night. He was 53. His blog, My Cancer, and his commentaries on NPR, documented the progression of his disease while creating a community of those touched by cancer themselves.
posted by Toekneesan on Aug 18, 2008 - 19 comments

Reporting on crises the world over

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting supports journalists covering dangerous areas and underreported issues on all continents except Antartica, as is shown by this handy Google map showing all 45 projects. Among the projects are Caucasus, focusing on the easternmost part of Europe where just today conflict broke out, Scars and Stripes: Liberian Youth After the War, The Soybean Wars, about the booming demand for soybeans in South America, Alaska, global warming and its effects on Alaskan glaciers, Understanding Iran looks at ordinary Iranians, and Iraq: Death of a Nation? (Revisited). Links to stories are generally in sidebars on the left and right. The Pulitzer Center also has a blog called Untold Stroies which is frequently updated and keeps tabs on all 45 projects as well as related events, such as the recent TED Talk by PRI CEO Alisa Miller on the paltry reporting of international issues in American media with arresting graphs and visuals, which serves to place the mission of the Pulitzer Center in context.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 8, 2008 - 5 comments

"Fit" to report?

In a recent Wall Street Journal story asking if Obama is "too fit" to be president, the reporter uses a Yahoo! message board to find sources (Google cache of the post). (via DF)
posted by starman on Aug 2, 2008 - 153 comments

Anger can make a man verbose

Giles Coren is restaurant critic at the Times (of London). Last week he wrote a very angry letter to the subeditors complaining that they were "tinkering with his copy". The subs were guilty of deleting a single indefinite article. [more inside]
posted by MrMerlot on Jul 24, 2008 - 132 comments

Exiled

The Exile is back. Iconoclastic Moscow-based web-rag The Exile, having recently been shut down by the Russian authorities for its often less-than-complimentary views on all things to do with the motherland, is back, having relocated to Panama. A victory for the spirit of Gonzo.
posted by muggsy1079 on Jul 15, 2008 - 18 comments

Gaza: The Killing Zone

A Dispatches documentary Gaza: The Killing Zone shows the shocking reality of seemingly ordinary Palestinians caught in the crossfire between Hamas and Israeli forces. Feels almost like a sci-fi movie about some fictional totalitarian regime. Hard to believe it's their everyday life. WARNING: contains scenes of graphic violence, which you may find disturbing.
posted by Surfin' Bird on Jun 23, 2008 - 65 comments

Times Archive,

Every issue of The Times published between 1785-1985, digitally scanned and fully searchable. (Via Wordorigins.org.)
posted by languagehat on Jun 23, 2008 - 45 comments

Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

Guantanamo: Beyond the Law From the table of contents: "An eight-month McClatchy investigation of the detention system created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has found that the U.S. imprisoned innocent men, subjected them to abuse, stripped them of their legal rights and allowed Islamic militants to turn the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a school for jihad." A few pieces are already up -- "We got the wrong guys", and "'I guess you can call it torture'" -- and more will be released as the week goes on. The project also includes a database of detainees and their stories of detention, documents acquired during the investigation, video and a whole lot more.
posted by cog_nate on Jun 16, 2008 - 45 comments

Let's see that clip.

Tim Russert dead at 58.
posted by swift on Jun 13, 2008 - 245 comments

Meet Adam Chodikoff, that guy who makes The Daily Show shine.

Meet Adam Chodikoff. He's the guy that finds those before and after videos, where politicians contradict themselves, for The Daily Show.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jun 7, 2008 - 33 comments

Apparently he missed 5% of it.

War is Boring.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jun 4, 2008 - 22 comments

“Can I give you a tour? It’s non-binding.”

"This might be a weird request, but I just want to cuddle," Nevada Sagebrush columnist Jordan Butler decided to do something for his last column (before graduating college) that he hadn't done before. He decided to solicit a brothel. Here's the catch: he wasn't interested in paying for sex. He just wanted something to write about for his last column. The result is half after school special and half Twilight Zone episode, but it's all funny.
posted by ZachsMind on May 23, 2008 - 55 comments

Showing the horror of war

People can handle the truth about war. Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas reflects on how the media's willingness to show the horrors of war has changed since Vietnam.
posted by homunculus on May 15, 2008 - 52 comments

"You know, there's something stirring about the peaceful transfer of no power"

"The Daily Show is no doubt entertainment, but it is entertainment, measurably, with a substantive point. It is, in its own way, another kind of No Spin Zone." The Project for Excellence in Journalism discusses what is and is not journalistic (PDF) about The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 8, 2008 - 122 comments

Mugabe Attempts to Beat Zimbabwe into Submission

"'If voters fail to return Mr. Mugabe to office...Prepare to be a war correspondent.' Mugabe's party in Zimbabwe spasms into mass repression and political violence to prevent Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change from winning power. The African Union dithers, as does the UN (as it gives Zimbabwe leadership positions). Many Chinese rationalize their government's weapon shipment. According to the government-published Herald, everything's just fine. What are the options?
posted by shivohum on May 8, 2008 - 29 comments

Stranger with a Camera

What happens when a US President declares war on a concept? In 1964, Canadian photojournalist Hugh O'Connor traveled to eastern Kentucky to document the battlefields of Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty and was shot for trespassing. The incident is the subject of a wonderful documentary, Stranger with a Camera by filmmaker Elizabeth Barrett, produced by Appalshop, a non-profit organization in Whitesburg, Kentucky, that works with local artists to promote self-representation in media and the expediency of culture to counteract a stagnating local economy. Makes you think twice about nostalgic representations of poor Appalachian coal miners plucking their banjo strings in the hollers, doesn't it?
posted by billtron on Apr 15, 2008 - 14 comments

"I'll blow yer f**king head off!"

The dangers of being a TV news reporter. A guaranteed context-free three-minute montage of television field reports gone awry.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 8, 2008 - 63 comments

Smoking Gun scoops the L.A. Times

Then again, maybe Puff Daddy wasn't involved in the shooting of Tupac.
It looks like the L.A. Times' March 17th story drew upon forged FBI reports created with a prison typewriter by James Sabatino. The Times is now conducting an internal review. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Mar 26, 2008 - 33 comments

Three screw-ups

"Now when I screw up, people from all over Charlotte mindlessly come to Belk looking for Magic Johnson." Thee entertaining screw-ups from author and sports columnist Joe Posnanski. [more inside]
posted by whir on Mar 20, 2008 - 14 comments

It's always funny until you're the one being made fun of

"We need to make a comic so I can eat lunch." You're in your office sitting at your desk. There's a hot mic in the room. It's 45 minutes 'till lunch, your tummy's grumbling and you still have to write a comic. Fortunately your best friend -- who is also the co-founder of your decade-old business empire -- is sitting at his desk a few feet away. You are "Gabe" or "Tycho" of Penny Arcade, and the next 45 minutes will be captured on tape and published for all the world to hear as a podcast. But only if it's good. "Downloadable Content, The Penny Arcade Podcast" is practically a documentary on collaboratively authoring webcomics. The most recent episode is a particularly good example of that. [more inside]
posted by sdodd on Mar 11, 2008 - 23 comments

Everyone's angry, it seems

"AngryJournalist.com, an increasingly popular site that consists of nothing but rants from pissed-off reporters, is now the most accurate summation extant of journalism as an industry," (via Gawker). It's spawned a marvelously less popular HappyJournalist.com, and what appears to be an unrelated copycat called AngryResident.com, for "for every doctor-in-training tired of suffering in silence."
posted by nospecialfx on Mar 9, 2008 - 34 comments

Gonzo Game Journalism

Gaming journalism at its silliest. What do you get when you have the designer of Grim Fandango and Psychonauts Tim Schaefer play a game that you make up on the spot? Text based adventure hilarity. More of the same feature here.
posted by Del Far on Mar 8, 2008 - 11 comments

Ideas in the Air

To The Best Of Our Knowledge is one of the most wide-ranging and literate public radio shows in the US, a two-hour "radio salon" featuring leisurely exploration of weekly themes like No Smoking, Identity Crisis, Weekend, and The Mind, Music, and Math. Host Jim Fleming approaches these big ideas through the works of authors - journalists of all stripes, memoirists, poets, fiction writers, essayists. Five years' worth of shows are available on audio archives; you can also search the impressive list of authors by name, or subscribe to the podcast. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Feb 27, 2008 - 17 comments

The Frontline Club

The Frontline club is a media club in west London supporting international independent journalism. Started by Vaughan Smith (prev) after the Frontline TV agency closed, it has a restaurant, cinema and hosts talks by leading journalists. The website has blogs, articles and photography, and you can watch full length videos of talks, with people like Jeremy Paxman, David Horovitz and Robert Thomson
posted by criticalbill on Feb 15, 2008 - 6 comments

Sauvé du lychage

Saved from a lynching: Enrico Dangino, friend of Vigilante Journalist photographs a man seized by a mob and about to be set ablaze, then, with the help of his compatriot, frees him. More photographs and blogging from the ground in Kenya's current political crisis from Vigilante Journalist. via.
posted by klangklangston on Feb 13, 2008 - 15 comments

The Washington Indpendent

The Washington Independent went beta a few weeks ago. The site employs several reporters to do investigative journalism on topics of national importance. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot on Feb 8, 2008 - 14 comments

Back in the Saddle

Bob Greene Returns
posted by timsteil on Feb 2, 2008 - 14 comments

Travels in a Militarised Society.

groundviews is Sri Lankan citizen journalism initiative. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Jan 29, 2008 - 5 comments

The Saddam Sessions

Saddam's Confessions - Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator George Piro pretty fascinating.
posted by kliuless on Jan 27, 2008 - 24 comments

Everyblock: local news for everywhere

Everyblock has launched. It's local news culled from (any and all available) services, including photos, news, restaurant inspections, classified ads, and civic announcements. Sounds pretty dry, but looking at my old neighborhood in San Francisco, there's a wealth of hyperlocal information that you can't get in one place. They're currently in three major metro areas of the US with many more to come -- their launch announcement has more. This site was spearheaded by Adrian Holovaty, a pioneer of the intersection between journalism and computer science, and winner of a $1million grant last year to build such sites.
posted by mathowie on Jan 23, 2008 - 34 comments

Inside Iraq

As Iraqis See It. "About a year ago, McClatchy Newspapers set up a blog exclusively for contributions from its Iraqi staff. 'Inside Iraq,' it's called, and several times a week the Iraqi staff members post on it about their experiences and impressions. 'It's an opportunity for Iraqis to talk directly to an American audience,' says Leila Fadel, the current bureau chief. As such, the blog fills a major gap in the coverage." Previously discussed here. [Via disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on Jan 15, 2008 - 10 comments

Is Toronto being taken over by hucksters, fauxhemians, and the "knowledge economy"?

Toronto: Justice Denied. Mark Kingwell writes about Toronto. The article is a great read even if you've never stepped foot in the city.
posted by chunking express on Jan 10, 2008 - 34 comments

Are we recording all this, Nick? I hope we are. Right here we go...

Are we recording all this, Nick? I hope we are. Right here we go... In 2005, the BBC's royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell was preparing a "two-way" regarding that year's VJ Day 60th anniversary commemorations. He and the interviewer Richard Evans just couldn't see eye to eye as to how the story should be covered. Luckily for us, their tetchy conversation and the fall out with the producers was recorded (transcript/mp3). Despite the vintage, it's a rather revealing behind the scenes record demonstrating the process that's often gone through to decide how news is best communicated to we listeners.
posted by feelinglistless on Jan 6, 2008 - 19 comments

...GE had long done business with the bin Ladens. In a misguided attempt at corporate synergy, I called GE headquarters...

"You Don't Understand Our Audience" --what John Hockenberry (formerly of NBC, now at MIT Media Lab) learned about network news--good guys and bad guys, the "emotional center", synergy, facts, and why fewer and fewer watch nowadays.
posted by amberglow on Dec 31, 2007 - 65 comments

Image of the Year.

Image of the Year. From the article: "If you want to go shallow for an Image of the Year, you can't do better than Paris Hilton, seen through the window of a Los Angeles sheriff's car, weeping as she's being hauled back to prison to complete a probation-violation sentence. But when you first notice the credit on that now infamous picture, there's a double take. The image came from the camera of Nick Ut, whose picture of a little girl burned by napalm, naked and running directly toward the camera and into the conscience of the American people, became perhaps the most powerful and influential vision of the Vietnam War. Not only was the Paris Hilton image taken by one of this country's most celebrated war photographers, it was taken June 8, 35 years to the day after the devastating image of 9-year-old Kim Phuc fleeing her bombed-out village. Let's put these two pictures up on the wall together for one last, end-of-the-year look, and see if something emerges."
posted by kittens for breakfast on Dec 30, 2007 - 52 comments

We regret the following:

Once again, The Year in Media Errors and Corrections. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Dec 28, 2007 - 15 comments

"Flynt is arguably the greatest student of the American underbelly since J. Edgar Hoover."

Vanity Fair sits down with Larry Flynt --his history and hits and misses, how much he pays for scandals involving hypocritical public figures, and a new (and limp) Nixon anecdote -- and tons of other juicy tidbits, of course).
posted by amberglow on Dec 20, 2007 - 26 comments

Merry Christmas, Mayor Daley

Last week, the Chicago Reader laid off four of its best journalists: John Conroy (previously), Harold Henderson, Tori Marlan, and Steve Bogira. The cuts almost certainly mark the beginning of the end of the paper's role in Chicago as an investigative force and a corruption watchdog. The New York Times responds with a salute to Conroy and a defense of muckraking's relevance. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Dec 11, 2007 - 25 comments

¡ASK A MEXICAN! Not Playing in Peoria

The joke falls flat in Eugene, Oregon. [more inside]
posted by Danf on Dec 7, 2007 - 41 comments

Indexed on US Politics

Jessica Hagy, author of indexed (previously) covers the 2008 Presidential Election for McClatchy's "alt.campaign" site.
posted by whir on Dec 7, 2007 - 7 comments

No More Phoning It In at the Times

[archaic tech filter] Foreign correspondents and reporters in the field at the New York Times say goodbye to the paper of record's recording room.
posted by digaman on Dec 6, 2007 - 9 comments

Access Denied

In the same spirit as the Open Net Initiative and Committee to Protect Bloggers that both track global internet filtering, Sami ben Gharbia's Access Denied Map tries to track the blocking of sites like Blogger, Flickr, YouTube and others by governments, as well as efforts by activists to keep them accessible or to challenge their blockage.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 19, 2007 - 5 comments

The death of the reporter

The internet is killing the reporter, or at least the investigative journalist. So says David Leigh, the Guardian's esteemed dirty digger. But how right is he? Doesn't "the powerful global conversation", to quote the Cluetrain Manifesto, give investigative journalism new hope. Rather than be centred around the reporter, can communities of interest unite to share and uncover the sort of information that was once the sole property of reporters like Mr Leigh?
posted by MrMerlot on Nov 14, 2007 - 49 comments

An update on the 'Marlboro Marine'

Photo-Essay on the Marlboro Marine and PTSD. An update on this story: 1, 2.
posted by salvia on Nov 12, 2007 - 35 comments

journalist as writer

"Together they panhandled with Nam Vet Needs Help signs at the highway entrance, converted their proceeds into Icehouse beer and Rich & Rare whiskey, and shared their nights in the perpetual dusk beneath the elevated highway, taking turns seeking the full sleep that never came, so loud was the traffic above, so naked were they below, in addled vulnerability.

Every Sunday Dan Barry writes about America in his This Land column for the New York Times.
posted by four panels on Nov 10, 2007 - 13 comments

Enzo Biagi, R.I.P.

Enzo Biagi (August 9, 1920 - November 6, 2007) was one of the few left on italian public tv. If there's an afterlife they may be writing a two hands article with Indro on how eulogies and their writers kind of suck.
posted by elpapacito on Nov 6, 2007 - 5 comments

The 2007 Frédéric Bastiat Prize

The 2007 Frédéric Bastiat Prize for Journalism has been awarded to Amit Varma (economics journalist for Mint and writer of the interesting India Uncut blog). Clive Crook (Atlantic & FT) was second. The Prize was developed to encourage, recognise and reward writers whose published works elucidate the institutions of the free society, including free trade, property rights, the rule of law, freedom of contract, free speech and limited government. [more inside]
posted by patricio on Oct 31, 2007 - 1 comment

The Unqualified Reservations of Mencius Moldbug

Unqualified Reservations is a fascinating ongoing commentary on society and governance in postmodernity. He's currently on about the pwning of Richard Dawkins, after writing about Mediocracy and Official Journalism. It might be best to first read his earlier posts in which he defines the self-invented terminology he's fond of using, like: Formalism, The Iron Polygon, Universalism, Neocameralism, and The Rotary System. [more inside]
posted by blasdelf on Oct 29, 2007 - 44 comments

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