off the record
Rhonda R. Shearer, the widow of Stephen Jay Gould and proprietor of media watchdog site iMediaEthics, just published an extensive article on her site investigating a Newsweek article from 1967–and a follow up article that was published last month by The Columbia Journalism Review.
The long and winding tale starts way back in 1967, when Newsweek ran a cover story called “Trouble in Hippieland” by a then 28-year-old writer named Bruce Porter. The scare piece told the sad tale of a drugged out and washed up teen-runaway named Marcy.
Mr. Porter went on to write the book-turned-Johnny Depp movie Blow and teach at Columbia Journalism School, where he often used the story as a cautionary ethical tale. He had promised Marcy anonymity, but then revealed not only her name, but her hometown, drug use, back alley abortion and other identifying details.
Call it the Tri-Be-Can’t effect: As New Yorkers, we loathe letting go of our venerable institutions. It’s hard to even admit that they’ve changed enough to warrant a new name. The Lincoln Center is referred to as “the tents” during Fashion Week, as if anyone is still fooled into thinking the shows take place in Bryant Park. The most recent egregious case of celebratory misnomers has to be the Tribeca Film Festival, which was founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff. The purpose of hosting the event in Tribeca was to show the world that the neighborhood devastated by the attacks of Sept. 11 still had enough spirit to be snooty about its cinema. With its Cannes-do attitude, the festival premiered international indies in an attempt to show that New Yorkers were still as culturally polyamorous as their European brethren.
But for its 10th-year anniversary, something feels a little … different.
With Dean Baquet coming to New York to serve as Jill Abramson’s Jill Abramson, Economix columnist David Leonhardt is taking over the New York Times‘ D.C. bureau September 6.
Yesterday an interview with Mr. Leonhardt was published in the Columbia Journalism Review, though it felt a little more like the Paris Review for its hundred-word questions, Read More
“An explosion of online news sources in recent years has not produced a corresponding increase in reporting, particularly quality local reporting, a federal study of the media has found,” wrote New York Times reporters, Jeremy W. Peters and Brian Stelter. They then high-fived David Carr, hate re-tweeted a Patch story about the Stony Read More
“Meanwhile, in Washington, Times reporter Eric Schmitt had just returned from a reporting trip to Iraq. Dean Baquet, his bureau chief, advised him of a quick turnaround to undertake a ‘special project’ in London. Schmitt says he was briefed by Keller, and touched down in London late Saturday, June 26. After a Sunday lunch with Read More
The Daily Beast‘s Tunku Varadarajan recently posted lists of the right and left‘s “top journalists.”
The Columbia Journalism Review‘s Brent Cunningham does not approve. He finds these lists “silly”:
For starters, there are very few actual journalists on either list. Rather, the lists are full of pundits and activists Read More
On Monday, according to The Wall Street Journal, Barry Sternlicht told investors in his Starwood Capital Group who’d dialed into a teleconference: “We’re bidding on a bank.”
The report cited “people familiar with the matter” as identifying the unnamed bank as Corus Bankshares Inc., but Journal reporters Lingling Wei and Nick Timiraos also quoted from Read More
It’s been a month since Radar went out of business and its Web site became an asset of AMI. While some of the staff have spent time posing for photos in bars or talking to reporters, Charles Kaiser, who wrote the ‘Full Court Press’ column for the site, has moved on. Read More
It’s like 1919 for baseball, or 1929 for the economy. This year is an all-timer for newspapers, so it requires context, revision, and debate. Justin Peters at Columbia Journalism Review is asking a question: is 2008 really the worst year ever for newspapers? (As we argued earlier this week.)
He’s got some other Read More
One of the usual laments about public education in this city is its hidebound bureaucracy, impervious to change and innovation. Layers of administrators and union bosses act as obstacles between the classroom and reform. Or so it seems. An experiment underway on the Lower East Side is demonstrating that the terms “public school” and “innovation” Read More