Posts Tagged: journalism

Young Journalists in a Cut-Throat World

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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”).

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Questioning Truth in Photos

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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.

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British Hacking Scandal Roundup

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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.

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Phone-Hacking Scandal’s Latest

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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.

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Sorkin and Carr Discuss the News

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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.

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Publicists vs. Reporters

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“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.

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Bowden On Juárez

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“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.

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Ceasefire Liberia And The Promise of the Internet

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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.

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Rosenberg on Y Combinator’s Call for Journalism Startups

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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.”

So it was interesting to read his thoughts about Y Combinator’s recent call for journalism startups.

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Why we need newspapers: They stand against tyranny

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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.

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Newspapers dying? Maybe it’s just the cities they mythologized

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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.”

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This Will End Badly

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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.

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