Women journalists confront harassment, sexism when using social media You come to expect it, as a woman writer, particularly if you’re political. You come to expect the vitriol, the insults, the death threats. After a while, the emails and tweets and comments containing graphic fantasies of how and where and with what kitchen implements certain pseudonymous people would like to rape you cease to be shocking, and become merely a daily or weekly annoyance, something to phone your girlfriends about, seeking safety in hollow laughter.
The sad truth is that we have a govt that seems intent on turning corruption into a national sport...
Today the South African parliament, dominated by the ANC, passed by a large majority a media law which will restrict and constrain independent journalism in that country. Indeed, the law seems designed to squeeze, chill or eliminate independent reporting. The state is going to be accountable to the state. [George Brock][more inside]
A short guide to lazy EU journalism: not sure how the EU works or what institutions are involved? –> Just write “Brussels”. [more inside]
The IAEA report on Iran has been leaked to the public. But are the new allegations "a game changer"... or, even new, for that matter?
The Future of journalsim.
Many listeners have written to us since our episode about Georgia Judge Amanda Williams, asking what ever happened to her. Did she face any consequences for the things we documented on our program? Yesterday, Georgia’s Judicial Qualifications Commission filed formal charges [PDF] against her. The twelve counts include a number of things reported in our episode: sending away inmates for indefinite detention, jailing Charlie McCullough for 14 days for exercising his right to contest a drug screen, and using “rude, abusive, or insulting language” with individuals appearing before her. Local reporting from the Altanta Journal-Constitution. Previously.
[A.J.] Liebling didn’t invent The New Yorker’s fascination with work, with letting its interview subjects explain what they did for a living. But he did it very well, and his pudgy hand sits comfortably on the shoulders of the next generation, writers like Roger Angell or John McPhee. They are all of them purveyors of non-essential information, and the enormous pleasure we take in them is in inverse proportion to any actual need we have to know.
Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037, a documentary by Ben Niles. "Invention for 900 Hands", a nine-part series in The New York Times. "K 2571: The Making of a Steinway Grand", an article in The Atlantic Monthly. [more inside]
Yesterday, Politico reporter Kendra Marr was forced to resign her position after New York Times writer Susan Stellin alerted Marr's editors to similarities between her transportation policy story published Sept. 26 and Marr’s story published Oct. 10. An investigation by Politico into Marr's work found 7 instances of likely plagiarism. Marr, who was formerly a reporter for the OC Register, San Jose Mercury News and the Washington Post, had logged 409 stories (scroll down for list) with Politico during her time there. The outlet has issued a statement. Poynter has a thorough rundown, indicating that more of her articles may come under scrutiny. [more inside]
Getting Away with Murder - The Impunity Index. The Committee to Protect Journalists' 2011 Impunity Index spotlights the 13 worst countries where journalists are slain and killers go free. The CPJ is also behind the International Press Freedom Awards. This year's awards are taking place in New York, Nov 22nd. The recipients are: Mansoor al-Jamri - Bahrain. Natalya Radina, Belarus. Javier Arturo Valdez Cárdenas, Mexico and Umar Cheema, Pakistan.
The American Journalism Review asks, is automotive journalism fundamentally corrupt? Car manufacturers pay for lavish trips and grant extensive seat time in their most desirable cars – in exchange for good reviews. Journalists who write critical reviews are blacklisted. Among the worst offenders is Porsche, who blacklisted journalist Jack Baruth after lukewarm (or simply balanced) print and video reviews of the Porsche Panamera in 2009. Since then, Baruth, who owns three Porsches, has taken to compiling lists of Porsche’s deadly sins (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, but not 7), fabricating Porsche test drives, bashing fellow automotive journalists who he sees as being too soft on Porsche, and borrowing privately-owned cars in order to write reviews. Baruth writes mostly for The Truth About Cars, which guards the independence of its writers so fiercely that its reviews of the Prius, for instance, ranged from the unremittingly hostile to defensively positive to relatively balanced. But what about journalistic independence in mainstream outlets, which often rely on freelancers who simply don't have the funds to be functionally independent of car manufacturers, and which don't want to displease advertisers?
Photographer Mario Tama positioned himself over Netanyahu's shoulder at the UN General Assembly, and photographed hand-written edits he made to his speech. Here's what he saw. (via The Browser)
"...we still can’t tell whether we are all about to die or whether we are being sold a bill of goods."
'The stories about epidemics that are told in the American press—their plots and tropes—date to the 1920's, when modern research science, science journalism, and science fiction were born.' This is the story of how the media back then (January, 1930) helped fuel fears about a parrot-fever pandemic, and the subsequent public backlash. (Via) [more inside]
Bill Kunkel, one of the co-founders of Electronic Games magazine and a pioneer in video game journalism, has died at the age of 61. His list of accomplishments is impressive and diverse, working on everything from strategy guides to graphic novels to feature films, but his enduring legacy will likely be the magazine (Flickr set), in which he and his team coined such enduring terms as "easter egg" and "screenshot." [more inside]
A year ago this August, 72 migrant workers -- 58 men and 14 women -- 'were on their way to the US border when they were murdered by a drug gang at a ranch in northern Mexico, in circumstances that remain unexplained. Since then, a group of Mexican journalists and writers have created' a "Day of the Dead-style Virtual Altar" Spanish-language website, 72migrantes.com, to commemorate each of the victims, some of whom have never been identified. The New York Review of Books has English translations of five of their profiles. [more inside]
Annia Ciezadlo, author of Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love and War [reviews, excerpt] discusses Iraqi intellectualism, war and food, ancient Iraqi cooking, the Middle East's dependence on imported wheat, and the link between bread and civilian uprisings. [more inside]
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism have been carrying out research into the extent of drone missile strikes carried out by the CIA. Today they published findings. See also: facts and figures, a timeline, and their Twitter feed where updates are ongoing.
I do not enjoy Facebook - I find it cloying and impossible - but I am there every day. Paul Ford writes about social media, the ceaseless flow of time, and narratives - or, "Facebook and the Epiphanator".
Should a Wash Post writer take one toke over the line to build trust to get the story? The Washington Post has a strict policy that its reporters not engage in anything illegal to get a story. Does that include taking a hit on a joint or pipe if it will get the subject of the story to open up? Not surprisingly, the reader poll had over 70% say, I'd hit that.
"I can’t imagine a nonfiction writer who wasn’t influenced by the fiction he or she had read. But the “thriller-like pacing” you find in my writing may come more from my own beat than from thrillers. I walk fast and am impatient. I get bored easily—no less with my own ideas than with those of others. Writing for me is a process of constantly throwing out stuff that doesn’t seem interesting enough. I grew up in a family of big interrupters." Janet Malcolm interviewed by Katie Roiphe in The Paris Review.
Could Rupert Murdoch really not have known about phone-hacking? Veteran Canadian journalist and TV producer Howard Bernstein thinks it’s possible, because something almost as bad happened at CTV News, which “produced a story on Chinese students keeping Canadians out of Canadian universities. It was a crock, fabricated by a senior producer on the show.... I am certain [the] then-president of CTV had absolutely no idea.... So why is it so hard to believe that Rupert and son didn’t know about the telephone hacking?”
ALEC Exposed is a wiki site set up by The Center for Media and Democracy which posts and chronicles leaked documents including more than 800 model bills drafted and approved by corporations during ALEC meetings. The documents have been analyzed and marked-up for clarity. Journalists along with the general public are invited to download the documents and sift through the bills in order to help map the connections back to their own state legislation and legislators. [more inside]
PR Industry Fills Vacuum Left by Shrinking Newsrooms - "You would go into these hearings and there would be more PR people representing these big players than there were reporters, sometimes by a factor of two or three" ..it's getting tougher to know when a storyline originates with a self-interested party producing its own story.
Threats, blackmail, bribery and illegal bugging all in the name of journalism? Jack Anderson, the bombastic muckraker who broke some of the biggest political stories of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, would have felt right at home at the News of the World. A devout Mormon, Anderson was "part circus huckster, part guerrilla fighter, part righteous rogue," a crusading journalist who believed that God was behind his work, no matter how he went about it. [more inside]
Beloved gaming website Insert Credit is back, and has kicked off its relaunch with an eight page manifesto about game journalism. During its hiatus fans hungry for intelligent videogame commentary migrated to the forums at Select Button and Tim Rogers' site Action Button (Tim uses the IC manifesto to discuss leaving game journalism). Over at Kotaku, Mike Serrels asks whether something is wrong with video game reviews. Via Gamefilter
"It seems that the majority of health claims made, in a large representative sample of UK national newspapers, are supported only by the weakest possible forms of evidence." So states the Guardian's Bad Science columnist and blogger Ben Goldacre in an article describing a study he performed with several colleagues investigating the quality of health advice given in British newspapers. The study can be found here (only the abstract is free for those who don't subscribe, unfortunately). The Guardian's science editor, James Randerson's critique of the article. Goldacre replies in the comments.
Thirteen-year-old Milly Dowler was kidnapped and murdered on her way home from school in 2002. During the six-month hunt before her body was found, her parents gave exclusive interviews to the News of the World, saying they believed she would be found alive. That hope was based partly on the fact that her voicemails were still being listened to and deleted. Today, it was revealed that the deleting was being done by the News of the World. [more inside]
Gawker's John Cook yesterday published an exclusive report on a trove of documents from the Nixon Presidential Library tracing the development of Fox News to a 1970 internal memo annotated by then-consultant Roger Ailes. Part of a 318-page cache of similar documents, the memo -- "A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News" -- called for the creation of a strongly pro-Nixon news outlet operated from the White House which would disseminate partisan news packages free of charge to local affiliates across the country. By coordinating release of these targeted reports with allied politicians and duping opponents into hostile interviews, Ailes hoped to bypass the "prejudices of network news" -- a desire which led him to advocate for some unexpected political policies at the time, from campaign finance reform to anti-poverty efforts. The report comes as Fox is waging an aggressive two-front PR war with perceived ideological enemies -- calling on viewers to file IRS complaints against Media Matters' tax-exempt status for their dogged fact-checking of the network, while on-air hosts launched a campaign to label Jon Stewart "racist" after he called out their record of falsehoods following a critical interview with Chris Wallace (previously).
Johann Hari, British columnist for The Independent and The Huffington Post (recently on mefi), has this week been caught in a storm of controversy concerning his apparent plagiarism of interview quotes. [more inside]
Satirical newspaper and website The Onion is celebrating its 1000th issue by pushing for a Pulitzer Prize. Its spin-off Americans for Fairness in Awarding Journalism Prizes has garnered support from celebrities as far apart as Tom Hanks and Glenn Beck, as well as a host of geek icons and ordinary people.
"For journalists, it's a little hard for them to be the story." A discussion on Radio Times of sexual violence against journalists (previously) and breaking the silence. With Lauren Wolfe, author of a special report on sexual violence against journalists by the Committee to Protect Journalists; Kim Barker, who corresponded from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India; and Elana Newman, research director at the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma. [more inside]
Launching today is Byliner, both a portal to the best narrative nonfiction from around the web, and a publishing platform for original works. Some additional background here.
One night, I awoke out of a dead sleep, and jumped to my computer, and instantly began typing up an article about David Letterman. I kept going for ten minutes, until I realized I had dreamed it all. There was no article to write; I was simply typing up the same meaningless phrases that we all always used: “LADY GAGA PANTLESS ON LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN,” or some such.
AOL Hell: An AOL Content Slave Speaks Out.
AOL Hell: An AOL Content Slave Speaks Out.
Only 13% of articles in the New Republic, 22% of articles in The Atlantic and 30% of articles in the New Yorker are by women. ThinkProgress' Alyssa Rosenberg wonders why men's magazines underserve women and women's magazines underserve journalism. Anne Hays is boycotting the New Yorker for publishing too few women. Ta-Nehisi Coates thinks it's about old-fashioned class norms. Are the "female stars of long-form journalism" the solution to the problem or a red herring?
Religion Dispatches: progressive, LGBT-and-atheist friendly, interfaith, non-academic journalism on faith and religious culture. Also of note: Good magazine has limited print distribution but a rich website.
"It's a bit like having a problem in your street, and your mum lives in the next street, so you go and visit your mum for a bit." - - Reem Haddad, Spokesperson for Syrian Information Ministry explaining that refugees are 'not fleeing to Turkey' [more inside]
"The Duke in His Domain" - a profile of Marlon Brando by Truman Capote, published in The New Yorker, November 9, 1957
Photojournalism in Libya from "a towering perspective": Bryan’s height — somewhere north of 6 feet 6 inches, closer to 7 feet with helmet and boots — is both a perennial joke and a source of wonder among those who cover war and know him. Why would anyone so damn tall take on a line of work where, on many days, you want to be small? Let’s be clear. Bryan is a big target. Correction: he is a very big target. He looks like a walking sheet of plywood out there. [via]
The public pillorying of Janet Malcolm is one of the scandals of American letters. ... why is it Malcolm, a virtuoso stylist and a subtle, exciting thinker, who drives critics into a rage? What journalist of her caliber is as widely disliked or as often accused of bad faith? And why did so few of her colleagues stand up for her during the circus of a libel trial that scarred her career? In the animus toward her there is something almost personal. [more inside]
Ben Hecht, arguably one of the greatest screenwriters in Hollywood history, started his career in the (sometimes literally) cutthroat world of Jazz Age journalism at the Chicago Daily News. Throughout 1921 he wrote a series of remarkable vignettes collectively titled the Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago: stories of drifters, fops, and artists from Michigan Avenue to Chinatown, but most of all a fond portrait of the city itself. Collected in book form and gorgeously illustrated, the Thousand and One Afternoons are in the public domain and readily available online. Each story is four or five short pages in length, and goes great with coffee.
Newstweek: fixing the facts. Newstweek is a device that injects fake news into unsecured wireless connections. More info at hackaday.
Start with the over-sized armor and bodybuilder physiques of the marines. When you aim a gun in Space Marine, the target reticle is huge, just like the target reticle in Gears of War. The guns are huge and they feature a chainsaw blade that can be used to slice enemies in half, execution style, similar to the “chainsaw bayonet” of the Gears soldiers... The blood spatters are also quite similar. The guns shoot in a similar fashion and the Space Marines wield a big giant hammer that resembles the blasting hammers not from Gears of War but from Microsoft’s other sci-fi franchise, Halo... The bad guys are the green Ork enemies from the Warhammer world, and they bear no resemblance to the enemies in Gears of War, except that they make loud grunts. Of course, their very name does bear resemblance to the “orcs” in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, but we’ll ignore that for now. Dean Takahashi, lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat, on how Warhammer 40K: Space Marine is a big rip off of Gears of War. That would be Warhammer 40k, the first rulebook for which was released in 1987, and Gears of War, the relentlessly brown X-Box game released in 2006 to an emo-tastic advertising campaign. Oops. Dean has since backed down and said that he was only talking about gameplay aspects (he wasn't) that are similar (not particularly). Previously he was forced to retract a bad review of Mass Effect when it emerged that he had no idea how to play it. Should videogame journalists be expected to vaguely know what they are talking about, or are we just petty and vindictive for expecting that? (via)
"For five cents Coney Island will feed you, frighten you, cool you, toast you, flatter you, or destroy your inhibitions. And in this nickel empire boy meets girl." [more inside]