Columbia Journalism School’s Damning Report on That UVA Rape Story

The Phi Kappa Psi house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.

The Phi Kappa Psi house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.

Last night, the report by the team assigned by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism to dissect what went wrong in Rolling Stone‘s story of a rape at the University of Virginia was made public. The 12,000-word result is a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of magazine journalism, and a cautionary tale that anyone reporting on controversial subjects — or reading about them — would do well to check out.

The author of the Rolling Stone story, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, once wrote for Philadelphia magazine; I worked with and liked and admired her then, and I feel the same way now. But parts of the Columbia report are difficult to read. Read more »

How the Founders of Philly Tech Week Built a New-Media Empire

This month’s Philly Tech Week is one way Wink, left, and Kirk, right, generate revenue. Photograph by Gene Smirnov

This month’s Philly Tech Week is one way Wink, left, and Kirk, right, generate revenue. Photograph by Gene Smirnov

It’s a frigid February day, and Union Transfer — as usual — is throbbing with young people. Only it’s not rock bands and sweaty, dancing concertgoers filling out the venue this afternoon, but bright-eyed, tech-oriented millennials and the companies that want to hire them. The event? A good old-fashioned job fair. Read more »

Union: Three Sticking Points in Inquirer/Newspaper Guild Negotiations

The company that owns Philly’s biggest daily newspapers is seeking a mediator to help resolve contract negotiations with the union that represents most of its journalists.

Howard Gensler and Bill Ross, president and executive director of the Newspaper Guild, said in a Tuesday memorandum to their constituents that negotiations with Interstate General Media — the company that owns the Inquirer, Daily News, and — were foundering over several issues: Read more »

PlanPhilly Moving to WHYY


PlanPhilly, the website that covers planning and development news in Philadelphia, is moving from its longtime home under the PennPraxis umbrella to become part of WHYY’s news operations.

A move of some sort had been expected since August, when Harris Steinberg, director of PennPraxis, left the university to become executive director of the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University. PlanPhilly  was “initiated and nurtured” at PennPraxis starting 2006. The site was originally funded by the William Penn Foundation, but currently operates on funding from the Wyncote Foundation.
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Journalists “Not Willing to Budge” in Newspaper Labor Stalemate

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Labor negotiations between the journalists union and the company that owns Philly’s two largest daily newspapers have taken a “grim turn,” the union announced this week.

Talks have faltered, union officials say, over Interstate General Media’s attempt to weaken “last in, first out” seniority rules for laying off reporters during times of financial crisis at the newspapers. The result? The company has reportedly withdrawn its pay-and-benefits proposals it had hoped would govern the next contract.
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Jon Stewart Is Leaving the Daily Show at the Right Time


For his own sanity — and, perhaps, for ours — Jon Stewart couldn’t have picked a better time to announce he’ll be stepping away from The Daily Show.

To understand why, you only had to go back one night before his sudden, shocking Tuesday retirement announcement and watch Monday night’s episode of the show. The topic: NBC’s Brian Williams and his apparent record of mistruths when relating anecdotes about his experiences covering Iraq and some of the other big stories of the last decade or so.

Stewart’s take? Maybe lying is bad, but Brian Williams’ lies weren’t nearly as bad as … Dick Cheney’s lies.

You know. The ones from a decade ago.

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The Sixers and the Media: Tanks for Nothing

Illustration by Gluekit

Illustration by Gluekit

This is Bob Cooney’s sixth season on the Sixers beat for the Daily News — he’s a puppy compared to his legendary predecessor, Phil Jasner, who lasted almost 30 — but he’s a lifelong Philadelphia-area resident, and he’s amazed at what he’s seen from the franchise this season. Earnest players and coaches are no match for a front office that has deliberately turned the team — which just three years ago was one win away from the conference finals — into an NBA laughingstock. Read more »

What New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait Gets Wrong About Political Correctness

Jonathan Chait, previously a senior editor at The New Republic and currently a writer at New York magazine, spent a great amount of words last week espousing the virtues of freedom, liberty, and being able to say what you want. The New Republic is seen as something of an institution in journalism, though not without its problems, problems which have been discussed critically and ardently by prominent members of the journalism community, including The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates. In December, the magazine suffered losses as many staffers resigned in response to a change in editorial direction. Chait was among those who resigned.

Now on solid ground at New York, Chait once a voice on the front lines liberalism at his old post, is using his new footing to push back on the criticism he and his colleagues received as editors at The New Republic. Chait’s missive is a challenge to liberal culture’s need for so-called political correctness.

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Who Isn’t Partnering With to Cover Mayor’s Race?

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 1.43.52 PM

So maybe this is the future of journalism: Collaboration instead of competition.

We’d already told you that WHYY would be partnering with to cover the mayor’s race, with grant support from the Wyncote Foundation. Turns out the partnership is much larger than that: on Tuesday unveiled its new “The Next Mayor” website — which, along with the aforementioned organizations, includes support and contributions from the Center for Public Interest Journalism at Temple University, Technically Philly, The Committee of Seventy citizens’ group, 900-AM WURD, and Young Involved Philadelphia.

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Interstate General Media’s partners in covering the 2015 mayor’s race.

It might be easier to name Philly’a journalism and civic groups that are not part of the effort.

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