Jon Ronson’s bestselling nonfiction works include The Psychopath Test, Them: Adventures with Extremists, and The Men Who Stare at Goats, which is the only one of his books to become a film starring George Clooney (so far)....more
Posts Tagged: journalism
This is how I think of it: there’s a contract between you and the mystery. And the mystery is the thing that brings life to the work. But your part of the contract is that you have to be the plow mule, or the mystery won’t show up. It might not even show up if you do your work. There’s no guarantee....more
Alexandra Kimball discusses a disheartening current reality: the economic ability to take one or more unpaid internships early in a journalism or writing career may be far more important than talent, insight, or work ethic....more
New to GIFs? Unsure of what GIFs are? There’s no need to fret!
Ann Friedman has written an introduction to the art of the animated GIF at Poyntr.
The article covers what exactly constitutes a GIF, where you can access them, how to make your own, the debate around how they should be cited, and how journalists can use them to enhance their work....more
Tom Barbash talks with author and reporter Hart Seely about winning ballgames from your couch, Donald Rumsfeld, faking sanity, and the fate of quality journalism in the online era of click chasing....more
Jon Carroll has written more than 8,000 columns for the San Francisco Chronicle, having become the newspaper’s star, leading voice and, essentially, its conscience....more
Talking Points Media reports on the deficit of female op-ed writers, citing an assessment conducted by The OpEd Project.
The article quotes Katherine Lanpher, a member of the organization, who tells the website: “We are seeing that women aren’t narrating the world, even though they’re half of the world.” TPM cites the Byline Survey, writing “women authored thirty-three percent of op-eds in new media publications and twenty percent of the op-eds in traditional media during a twelve-week period last year.” Op-eds are stratified by content too – only eleven percent of the opinions written on the economy during this time were produced by women....more
The Awl assembles a list of the 26 reporters arrested (so far) covering Occupy Wall Street stories and reveals what they do and who they are.
“Only seven of the 25 arrested are full-time employed traditional news-gathering employees. A number were student reporters; a few were interns; a larger number were freelancers....more
There’s yet another example of underpaid and undervalued journalists, this time from the campaign bus.
Budget cutbacks have filled these buses with fledging reporters, in contrast to the seasoned political journalists that once occupied those very seats. Mid twenty years old are jumping from their student newspapers to National Journals, hearing the cautionary tales of the cut-throat world of campaign reportage (stuff like: “Everything can and will be used against you”)....more
Errol Morris, the truth-seeker/director of the documentary The Thin Blue Line and The Fog of War is once again having us question the facts. His collection of essays, Believing is Seeing (Observations on the Mysteries of Photography) considers our undiscerning trust in photos, though their reliability is as questionable as any story-telling medium....more
Tom Lutz’s recent essay for the LA Review of Books discusses the missing generation of journalists, the layoffs that have forced out some of the greatest book reviewers from their staff positions on newspaper mastheads and the diminishing of the book review from newspapers at large....more
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the British phone hacking scandal is the lack of coverage in the US press.
Among the US newspapers, the NY Times is the only one I can find which has done significant reporting on the story, though the best work on the story comes from (no surprise) the Guardian....more
Here is a GOOD Books’ list of past journalistic scandals, which given the state of the current phone-hacking mess, is some necessary zoomed-out context on the history of journalism.
For example, remember William Randolph Hearst’s megalomanic media domination? Or the thin line between journalistic slant and perspective?...more
With more unraveling of the Murdoch/phone-hacking scandal, the consequences and reverberations of the case have grown extensive and increasingly grave.
The latest development came to light this morning when Sean Hoare, a former employee of the News of the World, who initially outed Andy Coulson for his involvement and awareness of the phone-hacking activity at the newspaper, was found dead in his home in Watford....more
Director Aaron Sorkin’s conversation with NY Times columnist (and intrepid memoirist) David Carr for Interview Magazine delves into the territory of addiction, journalistic journeys and the state of news media. He uncovers much about the state of journalism in these aggregation-based and blog-heavy times, and sheds light on his own unconventional path to the NY Times....more
Sports columnist, Rick Reilly is doling out writing advice to Colorado’s J-school graduating class, and not everybody is taking it so well.
It’s a constant dilemma for writers new and old, having to negotiate exposure vs. payment or deciding whether an unpaid internship will eventually lead to some sort of monetary promise....more
In 2003 I was fresh out of college and interning at Ms. Magazine. I first saw Arianna Huffington at the magazine’s editorial offices, where she was holding a press conference to discuss the numerous sexual harassment charges against her gubernatorial opponent, Arnold Schwarzenegger....more
“The dangers are clear. As PR becomes ascendant, private and government interests become more able to generate, filter, distort, and dominate the public debate, and to do so without the public knowing it.”
Newsrooms are experiencing a PR takeover—as the numbers of journalists further descend, publicists are picking up the slack and filling in the empty spaces that reporters once occupied....more
The six years Megan Stack spent in the Middle East reporting for the LA Times began as a sort of emergency assignment and ended with Every Man In This Village Is A Liar, her indelible memoir of an education in war and war reporting....more
“The way I was trained, reporters went toward the story, just as firemen rush toward the fire. It is a duty. As it happens, I am a coward and would rather write about a bird or a tree. But, I don’t know how to be aware of such a slaughter and not report it.”
Charles Bowden is back with another book about the contradictions and struggles of the U.S.-Mexico Border, Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields and he talks to The Book Bench about it....more
Going through the book blogs every week, I read a lot about how the Internet is ruining everything — from publishing to our attention spans to investigative journalism to our social lives. But every once in a while, I hear about an online project that’s so necessary and does so much good that I flash back to what it was like when all this technology was brand new and we thought it would turn the world into some sort of tech-happy utopia....more
About a week ago Vice published an amusing article by Thomas Morton about what happens when journalists from outside Detroit come into the city to do a story: they cover their preconceptions, shoot “ruin porn,” and miss actual stories right under their noses — and in the case of the Michigan Central Depot, right behind their backs....more
Yesterday I interviewed Scott Rosenberg at length for the Rumpus, and we spent a lot of time talking about the news industry and how it relates to online publishing, with special reference to blogging.
At one point he said (to paraphrase) “the news business has been in decline since the early 80s, and though it has accelerated in recent years, the decline itself is not a new thing.”...more
“[The] image of the Internet as parasite has some foundation. Without the vital news-gathering performed by established institutions, many Web sites would sputter and die.
“In their sweep and scorn, however, [statements like 'the parasite is killing the host'] seem as outdated as they are defensive....more
In the 1960s and 70s, Central and South America were rife with dictatorships which used secret police, the military, right-wing death squads and tight control of the media to quash dissent and keep power. One of the most egregious of these police states was Argentina, still recovering from its anti-democratic Peronist era....more
An interview on New American Media with writer Richard Rodriguez has a fascinating take on what’s happening to American newspapers. Using the famously provincial San Francisco Chronicle as an example, Rodriguez says, ”I don’t think the Chronicle is dying so much as I think that San Francisco is dying.”...more
I’m a union member and a union supporter, but this is not good at all. The Los Angeles Police Union has a $30 million investment in the group that just bought the San Diego Union-Tribune. (We can discuss the wisdom of that investment strategy later.) The Union-Tribune has been calling for cutbacks on salaries and benefits for public employees in order to help close gaping budget deficits....more