Attention freelance writers: NASW members can receive $10 off daily registration for ASJA2015 scheduled for April 30-May 2 in New York City. Read on to learn more about this 44th annual conference for freelance writers and get a link to the discount code.
More than 40 years after uncovering the My Lai massacre, Seymour Hersh reflects on that story and the future of investigative reporting: "The mainstream press is driving itself out of business and it’s probably going to be okay, because some of the younger stuff, once they get their feet on the ground and get a little more money, a little more success, a little more security, and a little more confidence, they’ll fill the gap. I’m talking about the BuzzFeeds. Gawker."
Journalists are stepping up their complaints about restrictions on their access to policymakers, Paul Farhi writes in a story replete with "minders" and FOIA stonewalling: "Reporters have always wanted more information than government officials have been willing or able to give. But journalists say the lid has grown tighter under the Obama administration, whose chief executive promised in 2009 to bring 'an unprecedented level of openness' to the federal government."
Dorothy Parker Society president Kevin Fitzpatrick writes about how the acerbic poet and critic broke into the business at Vogue and Vanity Fair: "Her education stopped when she was 15. Her mother died when Dorothy was 4 and her father, a successful rag trade entrepreneur, when she was 20. But the biggest fib was that she was a neophyte writer. The truth was that she had been writing poems since she could pick up a pencil, even if the only audience was her family."
Two news items about the quality and efficacy of herbal supplements and one about an FDA meeting on homeopathy prompt Tabitha M. Powledge to suggest that those questionable health products may reined in by regulators: "I wonder ever so tentatively if there’s a chance that we might possibly perhaps be creeping slowly toward improved regulation of the $33 billion supplement industry." Also, isn't it time to do away with April Fool's articles in scientific publishing?
Forget computers. The birth of data journalism, Scott Klein writes, can be traced to Horace Greeley's New York Tribune. In 1848, with Greeley temporarily sitting in Congress, his paper ran a story suggesting that many congressmen legally padded their mileage: "Among the accused stood Abraham Lincoln, in his only term as congressman. Lincoln’s travel from faraway Springfield, Illinois, made him the recipient of some $677 in excess mileage — more than $18,700 today."
He's back, trying one more time to put his plagiarist/fabulist past behind him, but Daniel Engber isn't buying the latest version of Jonah Lehrer: "His career has not been destroyed, nor has he apologized for the full extent of his mistakes. This master storyteller did not wander in the wilderness and find some inner peace. He disappeared into the bushes, licked his wounds, and re-emerged with another, even more bewitching tale — the story of his own redemption."