Category Archives: journalism

August 6, 2013, 2:44 pm

Why *Not* Jeff Bezos? The Fall and Rise of Newspapers

337843ef-5a30-48aa-a8f7-ee569952eaddBy chance, I was checking Twitter only a few minutes after Donald Graham announced that his family had sold The Washington Post to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. I spent the next 45 minutes or so glued to my iPhone5, following the ensuing Tweets. Some were from nervous WaPo journalists clearly eager to show that they were on board with the new boss.  What a graphic example of how much the dissemination, and nature, of news has changed since the Post broke the Watergate story forty years ago.

Can you imagine how differently Nixon’s demise might have played out in a Twitterized environment? How low the mighty have fallen — but is it, as so many observers assume, the advent of the Internet that destroyed newspapers? I don’t think so. Nevertheless, multiple stories have popped up overnight, asking some version of the question: can Jeff Bezos save journalism? Some folks, like

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September 12, 2010, 12:59 pm

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them: The Lessons We Learn From Newspaper Delivery

I did something this morning that I rarely do: I complained about a service. At school, I almost never complain when someone in a staff or administrative position drops the ball. I am far more likely to go straight to them, if the thing was important, and say “Hey, what can I do differently next time to make sure this doesn’t happen again in this way?” Such an encounter sometimes results in useful information about what I can do differently; other times it results in the person apologizing for whatever didn’t get done and taking note of it for the future.

The least productive thing to do is to keep things to myself and fume, doing things I shouldn’t have to do to make sure they happen, harboring a grievance, feeling hard done by, and coming to believe that I am ill-served and underprivileged. My experience is that this usually ends with me having a fit about something that might…

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July 9, 2009, 9:42 pm

What’s Wrong With Journalism: Your Radical Reporter In Afghanistan

Many things are wrong with journalism, and not just reporting on Afghanistan. But what has obliged me to speak today is this report posted on line by the Associated Press and appearing as a headline story on my Yahoo email account. As if endless advertisements for Acai products (accompanied by distorted, pulsating pictures of doughy female flesh that are supposed to make me hate myself) are not enough, today I was greeted by this headline: “Afghanistan tones down contentious marriage law.”

You remember that contentious law — the one applying to Shiite women that made it legal for their husbands to rape them? The one signed by our democratic ally Hamid Karzai? “The new version,” you will be glad to hear, “no longer requires a woman submit to sex with her husband, only that she do certain housework.” The housework will be agreed to at the time of the marriage, and please be assured…

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May 3, 2009, 12:14 pm

Will Barack’s Little Dog Bo Be Next? Annals of Tearoom Journalism

I was going to write about something completely different today. Then, when pulling together my URL’s for that post, I ran into this commentary at Gawker headlined: “Bill O’Reilly Wonders Why Gay New York Times Reporter Acts So Gay.”

Needless to say, I clicked, since it is part of my DNA to click on all things that promise gayness.

Apparently Jeff Zeleny, a New York Times reporter who is, in fact, gay, asked Barack Obama what has most “enchanted” him about being President in the first 100 days (along with what has surprised and humbled him.) Media Matters was the first to report what millions of Fox News viewers saw shortly afterwards, which was an exchange between Bill O’Reilly and Bernard Goldberg that you can view for yourself here, along with Zeleny’s original remarks:

Goldberg went on at length about the lack of masculinity displayed by the reporter as O’Reilly chuckled in a…

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