ZINIO logo
Columbia Journalism Review

Columbia Journalism Review May - June 2015

Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) encourages and stimulates excellence in journalism in the service of a free society. Published by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, CJR examines press performance as well as the forces that affect it. The bimonthly magazine offers a deliberative mix of reporting, analysis, criticism, and commentary.

Read More
United States
Columbia University in City of New York
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min
field notes

As graduate students studying journalism at Columbia University, we feel a palpable sense of apprehension about the industry we’re about to enter. Scanning the news doesn’t exactly provide comfort, nor does the incessant questioning from friends and family about the wisdom of our career path. The essential question boils down to this: What are we getting ourselves into? Understanding the future of this field means not only dissecting classic works of journalism. We need to do journalism, in all its forms. Fourteen master’s of journalism students took a class entitled “The Remaking of a Magazine” to examine the ways in which the Columbia Journalism Review can and should change in the digital age. The class allowed us not only to discuss what the best future for the magazine might be, but…

3 min
passing the torch

So when I was invited to teach a class at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, I approached with both respect for my prospective students and curiosity about their life choices. The class was a seminar of 14 students and this was their assignment: Put out the May/June issue of CJR’S print magazine along with a companion website designed by your fellow classmates and filled with everyone’s content. This was no test run. No academic exercise. It was game on. What you’re looking at now is their final exam. It’s also the first student edition of CJR, at least to anyone’s recollection around here. There weren’t many rules about what the students could do, except that it had to be about journalism. So after much discussion, some debate, and a vote,…

6 min

Send lettersletters@cjr.org You went to J-school to learn how to tell a story in words and images. . . . But there is an entirely new world out there. Copy and Paste Marc Fisher’s piece (“Steal this idea” March/April) angered me. If journalists want to be taken seriously as professionals, shouldn’t they act professionally? Stealing each other’s work, even a little bit of copying, doesn’t seem professional to me. If you write a story and include basic facts already published by somebody else, you should really credit the publication. I have failed to do that a couple of times myself. In articles that featured my own reporting, I failed to credit the Connecticut Post in one instance, the Hartford Courant in another, with having first reported some of the facts and names that, by…

5 min
notes from our online readers

Your piece on the Rolling Stone debacle (“Should there have been firings at Rolling Stone?” April 2015 ) was spot on. As a 17-year publisher and 12 years as president of Hearst Newspapers, I am surprised that not once did I read about the role of the pre-publication lawyer(s). Not a mention, but admittedly I didn’t read everything printed on this subject. Over the years, I took a personal interest in tough stories and challenged reporters, editors, and lawyers to have stories properly sourced and seriously vetted . . . if you couldn’t nail it tight, spike it Thanks for your contribution to this issue. George Irish I just read your excellent report about Rolling Stone’s handling of its “A rape on campus” story. [The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has] done…

2 min
cybersecurity 101

Digital security post-Snowden has become a staple of the reporter’s toolkit. If you want extra layers of protection for your work but aren’t sure where to begin, your first move as a Gmail user should probably be with the service’s two-step verification. cjr also spoke with several cybersecurity experts to put together an essential set of tools for journalists, starting with the simplest and ending with the safest. All of them are open source or included with most operating systems. 1 SECURE YOUR HARD DRIVE Mac: Filevault Windows: Bitlocker Both of these tools encrypt your entire hard drive, making data impossible to access if your computer is stolen. And both are included free with many versions of your operating system. 2 SEND SAFER EMAIL Enigmail with email client Thunderbird Using PGP (“Pretty Good Privacy”) encryption, these tools…

2 min
language corner 1-800-goodbye

Commercial jingles do it. Journalists do it. Even websites do it. They tell you to dial “1” before the area code in a phone number. But that practice is quickly going the way of calling the operator and asking for someone by name. First assigned in the late 19th century, early telephone numbers were often four or five digits, depending on whether the phone was in a rural area or a city. (If you wanted to call long distance, you had to arrange that with an operator.) After World War II, with the explosion of the middle class and increased telephone use, we gradually moved toward seven-digit numbers. They began with two- or three-letter codes for the central exchange to which the phone was connected. Remember Pennsylvania 6-5000? It still belongs to the…