Reporter gets rude emailer in trouble with boss, saves world

There are two ways to respond to crude insults. One way is to remain above them, either ignoring the jerk or responding politely. The other way is to embrace the insult as an excuse to behave like a jerk yourself. Guess which way a reporter for the Wall Street Journal took recently? The screenshot accompanying

It can’t be said enough: Leave ‘said’ alone

Dear English teachers of North America: Stop it. Stop teaching the repetitive, boring five-paragraph essay. Stop telling yourself that you teach a writing class, not a grammar class. And to this list of sins a new one can be added, according to the Wall Street Journal: Stop telling your students to stop using “said.” ‚ÄúThere

Amazon, the amorous legislator and loose threads

Sports fans may get excited over spotting something like back-to-back sacrifice bunts. I geek out over spotting two instances of the loose threads defense in the same week. First, mighty Amazon responds to a New York Times article. The original article came out in August. It said Amazon’s success was built in part on pushing

Why The Plain Dealer will miss having Thom Fladung around

The set of all great managers and the set of all newsroom managers have a fairly small area of intersection, in my experience. One of the great ones is leaving, so that intersection is getting even smaller. Thom Fladung returned home to Northeast Ohio as managing editor of The Plain Dealer in 2011. I worked deserves a Pulitzer: True

Last week was a great time for news — fake news, that is. Misinformation is spreading faster than measles in a colony of anti-vaccine nudists, so the time has come for something long overdue: a Pulitzer for This weekend Jim Romenesko pointed to, which had several of my Facebook friends fooled with claims

This is how easily visual data can mislead

After the Supreme Court decision declaring bans on gay marriage unconstitutional, Bloomberg Business dusted off a pretty example of visual data journalism. Which sucks. Data journalism done well is powerful. Intelligent visual display of that data often can tell a story better than plain words. As with any form of journalism, though, decisions about what

Personal Outrage journalism and the cost of cognitive dissonance

Stories of Personal Outrage (PO) are quite the rage on social media. Old media dip their ladles into the same deep pool. Reporters who try to balance the clickworthiness of a PO’d person’s claim with old-school values such as, you know, reporting, must suffer horribly from cognitive dissonance. Take this story from The Telegraph: “United

Rolling Stone’s problems are journalism’s problems, too

Like many other journalist, I read the Columbia Journalism School’s report on the Rolling Stone rape story and was appalled. But even as thorough an analysis of it as Jay Rosen’s on his PressThink blog leaves me thinking the reaction is missing the point. Yes, Rolling Stone screwed up. Yes, the errors its reporter and

‘Why bother’ reporting sets journalism gold standard

Brayden Olson is a real person who has many similarities with one of the main characters in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Or not. Business Insider, an operation I know mostly from the frequency with which its posts show up in the news feed on Yahoo’s homepage, says that Brayden Olson says he’s just like Christian

Let’s say goodbye to the man on the street

The voice of the people is the voice of God, says the proverb — in Latin, vox populi vox Dei. Hence the term “vox pop” used by some in broadcasting for a reporting method also known as man-on-the-street (MOS) or man-in-the-street. Balderdash, says I. Vox populi vox ignorantiae: The voice of the people is the