Contra Janet Malcolm, not all journalists are betrayers

The great New Yorker/New York Review of Books writer/author Janet Malcolm threw down like a rapper on journalism in one of her most famous works, The Journalist and the Murderer. This post will grapples a bit with this contention, but simply as a writer, one has to respect the ferocity of her lede. “Morally indefensible?”Continue reading “Contra Janet Malcolm, not all journalists are betrayers”

Earning a first person voice reporting for the NY Times

The New York Times has been the world's greatest newspaper for some time now, but also has a long tradition of formality — speaking of all public figures as Mr. This and Mrs That. Even if the rest of the world is on a first name basis with LeBron and Hillary.  Another aspect of this formality isContinue reading “Earning a first person voice reporting for the NY Times”

Bumbling environmentalists, according to Carl Hiassen

The great newspaperman and comic/detective novelist discusses journalism, esp. environmental journalism, with Curtis Brainard:  Newspaper cutbacks are a recurring theme in your novels. How do you see them affecting environmental journalism? They’re a grave threat, because the first things that tend to go are investigative and explanatory journalists. Everything becomes shorter and more bite-sized. EnvironmentalContinue reading “Bumbling environmentalists, according to Carl Hiassen”

Journalism today: Don’t wait your turn (Robert Krulwich)

In which Robert Krulwich, of the excellent Radiolab, gives a speech to the newly-minted graduates of UC Berkeley's journalism school, and inspires even old guys like me. Here's the conclusion: So for this age, for your time, I want you to just think about this: Think about NOT waiting your turn. Instead, think about gettingContinue reading “Journalism today: Don’t wait your turn (Robert Krulwich)”

Data-driven journalism: Factory Farm Map

Though newspapers are, blessedly, finding a way to hang on through hard, hard times, the real cutting-edge in journalism is arguably found at the intersection of data and the web, with relatively little writing involved.  Here's a prime example, via the hard-working activists at food&waterwatch.  The future: It's much more statistical than the past. (Here'sContinue reading “Data-driven journalism: Factory Farm Map”

What if journalism today included the real news?

Noticing the incredible lack of hard news in today's journalism, the great artist Steve Brodner proposes a solution. In his words: The problem with main stream media is that sometimes the news is hard to find.  What if "journalism" were sponsored by journalism? We could then expect some kind of product placement in the show! Continue reading “What if journalism today included the real news?”