Downsizing Newspapers and Pretending to Improve Quality

Newspaper owners have already "maximized profits" by low salaries and minimal benefits, giving veteran reporters "involuntary terminations," significantly reduced employee education programs, cut the number of pages, reduced the page size, and increased the use of material provided by syndicates rather than local news staff. And now they wonder why no one wants to read their newspapers.

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A sustainable model for explanatory journalism


Jay Rosen posted a thought-provoking piece at Press Think this week, National Explainer: A Job for Journalists on the Demand Side of News.  The post takes the case of an excellent piece of explanatory journalism - Ira Glass's The Giant Pool of Money, which is a one-hour tutorial on the mortgage crisis - and bemoans the shortage of good explanatory journalism, especially given the possibility that if more people understood a story, they would be prone to seek out more news about that story.   Rosen even suggests that the primary one interesting audience for this kind of explanatory journalism would be other journalists, whose coverage would improve from better background understanding of a complex story.

More thoughts on explanatory journalism, and how it can become a more prominent feature of the news landscape, across the flip...

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Memo to Broder re: Journalism and Ethical Reporting

Dear David Broder,

You sir, are a role model.  You are widely known and well-regarded as both "the dean of political journalists" and as a Pulitzer-prize winning author.  I'm sure you agree this status compels you to follow the highest ethical standards of your profession.  

As a member of The Society of Professional Journalists, you also know you are obligated to follow their Code of Ethics.  It is with dismay I note you apparently violated many of these important ethical principles in your recent column, A Way Back to the High Road? 

After reviewing the attached list of particulars, I hope you will promptly correct these mistakes, thereby avoiding permanent damage to your reputation and credibility.

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ProPublica up and running!

I was busy yesterday--went to an R.E.M./Modest Mouse concert in Raleigh (very hot in open-air pavilion, but loved it). Anywho, got home to see that I'd received the email announcement that ProPublica has gone online!  I looked back to see if anyone mentioned it here and couldn't find it in a diary title (maybe it's mentioned in comments somewhere, but there are too many to read 'em all.

Considering the behavior of the MSM, I am very excited to have this new source of news:

http://www.propublica.org/

I'm hoping that this independent, non-profit will be a wonderful source for everyone who cares about getting down to the nitty-gritty, and will provide great fodder for discussions on sites like MyDD.

If you're not familiar with ProPublica, see below to read what they have to say in their Welcome letter (sorry, I don't quite get how to do blockquotes properly):

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Joe Klein's Journalism

Crossposted atIch Bin Ein Oberliner.

Time Magazine's Joe Klein got his undies in a bundle when a commenter on his group blog, Swampland asked him to discuss the nature of his military sources. The commenter wrote:

Of course, it is very likely that Joe Klein's sources include many of the retired generals mentioned in the NYT article - the ones who spread disinformation to United States citizens over the public airwaves. And there is no reason to expect them to be more truthful to Joe Klein than they were on the air. So what about Klein's other sources? I am not asking him to name them, rather I am requesting that he engage us in a short discussion about how he views the information being fed to him in light of the recent verification of a program that many of us have suspected for a very long time. I realize that one must trust somebody in order to form an opinion so lets talk about how that trust is established.

(More after the fold)

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