Today The New Yorker unveiled Strongbox, a service that allows sources to share information with TNY journalists securely and anonymously. As explained in this infographic, Strongbox relies on the Tor network, a dedicated server, PGP encryption, VPNs, and multiple laptops and thumb drives to prevent files from being intercepted or traced. The codebase, which is open source, was designed by the late Aaron Swartz (Previously). Kevin Poulsen, one of the organizers of the project, chronicles how Swartz developed the code and how the project managed to carry on after his death. TNY hopes that Strongbox will help the magazine continue its long tradition of investigative journalism.
The Talkhouse gets musicians to review albums, so you get articles like Hunter Hurt-Hendrix on Death Grips, Laura Jane Grace on Savages and Matthew Friedberger (Fiery Furnaces) on Vampire Weekend.
Five reasons why news outlets are even worse than you think. Brett Arends describes five corrupting influences that keep the public from getting the facts. [more inside]
Claire Messud: “A woman’s rant” [National Post] "Over the last week, discussion surrounding Claire Messud’s new novel, The Woman Upstairs, has shifted from the book to an interview its author recently gave to Publishers Weekly, in which Messud took issue with the following question: “I wouldn’t want to be friends with Nora, would you? Her outlook is almost unbearably grim.” [more inside]
Last month, HBO Documentaires released "Which Way Is The Front Line From Here? The Life And Times Of Tim Hetherington." It is a "posthumous recounting of one of the most impressive photojournalism careers to date." "'Restrepo' director has sorrowful Sundance return. [more inside]
DC Blacklists the Outhouse. DC has been upset at the comics news site for running satirical articles about them (as well as other publishers), and has informed them that they are revoking access to their creators for interviews, according to Christian "Bluestreak" Hoffer. [more inside]
Director's cut: "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved": An annotated look back at one of Hunter S. Thompson's greatest hits. [more inside]
Lauren DiCioccio uses a simple needle and thread on cotton muslin to mummify and honor an endangered artifact– the printed newspaper.
This past September, Jessica Ann Lum won a "Best Feature" award in the student-journalist category from the Online News Association, for her Master's project: "Slab City Stories." Less than four months later, on January 13, 2013, she passed away. She was 25. "Jessica loved to tell people’s stories. This is hers." [more inside]
In an ongoing effort to call out the PR tactic of silence which started with a focus on SimCity, Rock Paper Shotgun points out that after the public outcry, controversy, and an apology from Deep Silver which concluded "we want to reiterate ... how deeply sorry we are, and that we are committed to making sure this will never happen again", the special edition of Dead Island: Riptide which includes a statue of a woman's severed torso silently went on sale anyway. [more inside]
So now it turns out I need around 1,500 readers to get that $5 for my hypothetical site. Say I want to pay myself $500 for the month. It’s not a ton of money. I need 150,000 page views. That jumped right up there, didn’t it? Now look at sites that employ a number of highly skilled, professional writers that are full time and making a livable wage. You’re suddenly looking at millions and millions of page views required to keep everything afloat, much less expand.Ad-blockers, the games press, and why sexy cosplay galleries lead to better reporting.
Does BuzzFeed Know The Secret? The National Republican Congressional Committee seems to think so, since they redesigned their website. But they're just following BuzzFeed's advice. [more inside]
The New York Times has faced criticism after an obituary of Yvonne Brill, rocket scientist, opened with "She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job and took eight years off from work to raise three children. “The world’s best mom,” her son Matthew said." [more inside]
Stop Making Fun of Leaked Washington Post Blogger Job and Start Applying for It, Says Slate's Dan Kois
Women enjoy video games, to the astonishment of local TV newsreaders. Women enjoy science, to the astonishment of Facebook users.
The Art Of Making Magazines "By making what they call "not a how-to book, but… a how-to-think-about-it-book," they help us look at something we've probably been taking for granted: What is a magazine?"
All The Pretty Doritos:How Video Game Journalism Went Off The Rails Article from forbes.com detailing the pressures video game reviewers and publications come under from gaming companies. These range from the relatively subtle (gifts, gratuities, entertainments put on for visiting journos), to overtly pressuring/punishing publications for not playing ball (cancelling interviews and exclusives in response to less-than-flattering editorial, threatening to pull advertising in response to bad reviews). At the extreme end, the article mentions one journalist who was fired two weeks after publishing a 'bad' (6/10) review for Kane & Lynch.
The Boston Phoenix will be closing immediately, only six months after reinventing itself as a glossy weekly. The Portland and Providence versions will remain open. [Previously]
In which a Slate writer decides to fact-check Bob Woodward and discovers how he manages to be wrong without being wrong: The troubling things I learned when I re-reported Bob Woodward’s book on John Belushi.
Stop Using Small Font Sizes "I'm calling you out. All of you. The hackers, the designers, the code monkeys, the word-smiths, the editors, the CSS gurus, and everyone else who works on content management systems and style sheets for news sites. Stop using small font sizes." [more inside]
When we return, our eyes will have shrunken into tiny slots and we will forage on the ground for centipedes and other high-protein foods we can feel with our hands. A first-hand account of Rihanna's 777 tour. Day One: There may be 777 tour babies nine months from now. Stockholm (Syndrome). Cray In Paris.
NBC abruptly closed the popular hyperlocal news site EveryBlock today, surprising founder Adrian Holovaty (who left last year). [more inside]
TruthTeller is an ambitious new automated application built by the Washington Post, which fact checks political speeches, ads and interviews "in as close to real time as possible." The prototype is intended to be a complement to the paper's Fact Checker Blog. More on the project from TechCrunch and Poynter.
Stanley Karnow, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and historian, has died at age 87. He won the prize in 1990 for his book In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines (discussed on Booknotes). He is best known, however for his work on Vietnam. His book Vietnam: A History was widely acclaimed and its companion series on PBS, Vietnam: A Television History won six Emmys and a Peabody award and was one of the most widely watched documentaries on PBS. He discussed the war in 2000 in this Salon interview. Needless to say, his reporting was not appreciated by everyone.
Hungover British non-tech journalist attends German tech press conference. Hilarity ensues. [Possibly slightly NSFW. Via.]
Reportero (alternate link) - follows a veteran reporter and his colleagues at Zeta, a Tijuana-based independent newsweekly, as they stubbornly ply their trade in one of the deadliest places in the world for members of the media. In Mexico, more than 50 journalists have been slain or have vanished since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderón came to power and launched a government offensive against the country's powerful drug cartels and organized crime. As the drug war intensifies and the risks to journalists become greater, will the free press be silenced? [more inside]
Andrew Sullivan to have subscribers, causing speculation as to what this could portend for the Internet, new media, and journalism.
The First Rough Draft of History: A Behind-the-Scenes History of Newsweek Magazine
The New York Times is previewing their latest technology in the longform journalism piece Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek (username: avalanche/password: preview). Scroll down slowly to enjoy all the photos, slideshows, and movies that go along with the piece, which looks to be adding new chapters to the story over time.
Decades after he wrote an investigative series on Scientology, the writer examines just what happened. From the piece: "In the mid-1980s, journalist Joel Sappell and a colleague began a five-year examination of the Church of Scientology that would ultimately produce a 24-article series. It would also change Sappell’s life in ways both mystifying and unnerving." Links to the 24 stories he and his partner wrote for the LA Times.
I asked whether the behavior of Brooks and others at News Corp. wasn’t a reflection of the corrupted journalistic values that Elisabeth had taken issue with in her lecture. She collected her thoughts, folded her arms, and said, “Yes is the quick answer. But, at the same time, I’m a champion of the plurality of voices and diversity of audience, and I think that doesn’t mean that in certain cases behaviors cannot match one’s values.” The New Yorker on Elisabeth Murdoch, in the wake of her lecture at MacTaggart, which was openly critical of both her brother James and her father's infamous News Corporation.
On November 30, the Tampa Bay Times published a sympathetic profile of Spring Hill, FL resident Gretchen Molannen: "Persistent genital arousal disorder brings woman agony, not ecstasy." Her condition, also known as PGAD, is a rare sexual disorder (not recognized by the DSM,) 'characterized by spontaneous, persistent, unwanted sexual arousal unrelated to feelings of sexual desire.' The Times reported that Ms. Molannen's condition had virtually destroyed her personal and professional life and led to several suicide attempts. One day after the article was published, she successfully committed suicide. [more inside]
The times of The Times of India - world's largest broadsheet English daily
The Daily, much-lauded iPad-only news operation is "ceasing standalone publication" on December 15. The News Corp publication launched Feb. 2, 2011 with cooperation from Apple and its nascent Newsstand app. Previously.
In 1962, fifty years ago this month, striking union printers shut down four New York City newspapers in resistance to computerized, automated technologies that were being introduced in newsrooms across the country. Five other area papers shut down voluntarily. The strike lasted 114 days and sounded the death knell for four newspapers. For a brief period, New York was a laboratory that demonstrated what can happen when newspapers vanish. Today, new technology is again shaking American newspapers as the Internet drains away more and more advertising revenue. Is this The Long Good Bye? [more inside]
Politico reports that the AP's online stylebook has recently banned the term "homophobia." AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn explained "it's just off the mark. It's ascribing a mental disability to someone, and suggests a knowledge that we don't have. It seems inaccurate. Instead, we would use something more neutral: anti-gay, or some such, if we had reason to believe that was the case." Slate's Nathaniel Frank disagrees with the decision stating that in an effort be appear neutral, the AP risks being part of the problem. James Rainey at the LA Times surveys the arguments for and against the decision and notes that homophobia may be the right term in some situations.
In October, 18-year old high school senior Ryan Romo was arrested for the sexual assault of a child (someone 16 or under, by TX state law). On October 31, CultureMap Dallas's managing editor, Claire St. Amant published an article asking, "Is this Highland Park baseball star a rapist?" St. Amant ended her article, stating: If it's a case of impulsive teenage decisions, remorse and guilt, then no one suffers more than 18-year-old Ryan Romo. [more inside]
Conceived as sort of a companion to Longreads, Longform, Pocket, Byliner, etc., Nieman Storyboard's Why's This So Good? series looks at why some great long-form journalism and narrative nonfiction pieces are so great. There are over 60 installments of writers talking shop about writing. [more inside]
With the NHL locked out for the foreseeable future, the Montreal Gazette has decided to cover Canadiens games simulated on EA Sports NHL '13 as if they were real games.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named the 2012 winners of their science journalism award. The winning text, radio and TV segments -- which cover subjects ranging from bat ecology to nuclear power post-Fukushima -- are all free access. [more inside]
But I couldn't do it. I spent three months and I just couldn't do it. And the reason was because I kept on meeting people who worked in the credit industry and they were really boring. I couldn't make them light up the page. And, as I said in The Psychopath Test, if you want to get away with wielding true malevolent power, be boring. Journalists hate writing about boring people, because we want to look good, you know?A Chat With Writer Jon Ronson [more inside]
The new "no comment": F-Off. Has electronic media created an F-bomb journalistic culture? "The close 2012 presidential campaign has been an especially ideal environment for this new mind-set of nonstop combat — marked by blazing email trails, streaked with profanity and accusations of incompetence and bad faith."