Washington Post, Breaking News, Is Also Breaking New Ground

The Washington Post, famous for breaking the Watergate scandal that brought down Nixon’s presidency, is churning out top-quality journalism in the age of Trump. As an organization the Post is gaining readers, hiring journalists and scooping its competition. As a private company since 2013, when the deep-pocketed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought it for $250 million, The Post doesn’t disclose much financial data. But by all visible measures, including the…

The Media Bubble is Real — And Worse Than You Think

In the early 20th century, print journalists often identified with the working class. Small newspapers were created by and read by people who live and often grew up in the same area. Online jobs tend to clump around big cities, meaning that reporters increasingly live in a media bubble that isolates them from the life experiences of Americans who live outside the big cities. This article doesn’t romanticize rural conservatives,…

Boston Herald Guild Members Boycotting Twitter After Reporter Suspended

Members of the Herald’s editorial guild are boycotting Twitter this week after reporter Chris Villani was suspended without pay for three days for violating the company’s social media policy. Villani’s misstep? An April 20 tweet stating, “The notes found in #AaronHernandez cell were letters to his daughter & fiancee, saying he loved them & would see them in heaven, per source.” It was a legitimate scoop in the highly competitive national…

The American Scholar: Celebrity Profiles

Phllip Lopate writes a good essay on the challenges of writing a celebrity profile. My take: Just as Plato argued that ideal leaders would be so well-balanced that they would not desire to lead (and thus would not have the power-lust that would enable them to rise above their competitors), it follows that ideal celebrity profile writers would be so well-balanced a journalist that they would not desire to flatter celebrities enough to be…

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Is the United Airlines man being smeared in the media even the right David Dao? It shouldn’t matter

“Doctor dragged off United flight was felon who traded prescription drugs for secret gay sex with patient half his age and took them himself – and he needed anger management, was ‘not forthright’ and had control issues, psychiatrist found,” wrote The Daily Mail this week of Dr David Dao, in probably the longest headline ever written. … Questions have inevitably started to be asked: who dug up those details about David…

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Making a case for a singular ‘they’

  I am definitely on team revise-to-avoid-using-“they”-as-a-singular-pronoun, but the 2017 edition of the AP Stylebook (the industry standard writing guide for journalists) acknowledges the limited use of “they” as a singular pronoun. As always, the goal is clarity, not rigid adherence to a rule. They/them/their is acceptable in limited cases as a singular and-or gender-neutral pronoun, when alternative wording is overly awkward or clumsy. However, rewording usually is possible and always is…