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Digital journalism

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Beyond News: The Future of Journalism

by Mitchell Stephens

Columbia University Press, 232 pp., $30.00

Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy

by Robert W. McChesney

New Press, 299 pp., $18.95 (paper)

Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Journalism from Around the World

edited by Anya Schiffrin

New Press, 309 pp., $19.95 (paper)

Out of Print: Newspapers, Journalism and the Business of News in the Digital Age

by George Brock

KoganPage, 242 pp., $24.95 (paper)

Post-Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present

by Chris Anderson, Emily Bell, and Clay Shirky

A Report by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, December 3, 2014, available at

Rethinking Journalism: Trust and Participation in a Transformed News Landscape

edited by Chris Peters and Marcel Broersma

Routledge, 252 pp., $44.95 (paper)

Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability

by Penelope Muse Abernathy

University of North Carolina Press, 254 pp., $27.50

The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism

by Dean Starkman

Columbia University Press, 362 pp., $18.95 (paper)


By Michael Massing

On the evening of Saturday, February 28, about one hundred people gathered in a conference room at CUNY’s Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies in midtown Manhattan to salute Steven Greenhouse on the occasion of his retirement from The New York Times. For thirty-one years, Greenhouse had worked at the paper, the last nineteen of them covering labor. In December, he had taken a buyout—part of a cost-cutting campaign aimed at eliminating one hundred positions from the newsroom—and the tribute to him was one of a series of doleful farewells held to mark the exodus of so many veteran reporters.

Not all was gloom, however. After the announcement of Greenhouse’s departure, the Times had come under intense pressure to fill the labor beat, and in mid-February it announced that it would, with Noam Scheiber, a longtime editor and writer at The New Republic, who had left in the upheaval at that publication. More generally, the labor advocates present at the gathering expressed satisfaction at how the coverage of labor has rebounded as the interest in inequality has surged.

Among the journalists present, however, there was no such cheer. “No one can feel secure,” said one Times reporter who had survived the cut. Her comment captured the climate of fear and insecurity that has gripped traditional news organizations in the digital era. “Disruption” is the catch-all phrase. Ken Doctor, a news industry analyst interviewed by NPR at the time of the shake-up at The New Republic, said that “what you’ve got is an old brand, a venerable brand…that is roiled by digital disruption the same way The New York Times is, Time Inc. is, NBC, ABC, NPR, BBC, you name it.” And, he said, “We’re really just at the beginning of that process. It’s creative disruption, as we would call it in Silicon Valley, but it can be pretty ugly in the short term.”



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