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How journalists can avoid amplifying misinformation in their stories
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Articles by Joshua Benton

Joshua Benton founded Nieman Lab in 2008 and served as its director until 2020; he is now the Lab’s senior writer. Before spending a year at Harvard as a 2008 Nieman Fellow, he spent a decade in newspapers, mostly at The Dallas Morning News. His reports on cheating on standardized tests in the Texas public schools led to the permanent shutdown of a school district and won the Philip Meyer Journalism Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has reported from a dozen foreign countries, been a Pew Fellow in International Journalism, and three times been a finalist for the Livingston Award for International Reporting. Before Dallas, he was a reporter and occasional rock critic for The Toledo Blade. He wrote his first HTML in January 1994.
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The nonprofit news site focused on criminal justice reform has a vision for “an America where stability and dignity are within everyone’s reach.” Some of its employees say you wouldn’t know that from its management.
And, as usual for this glum moment in media, it’s a private equity firm that wants a crack at finding new places to cut.
Debating methodology may be boring, but a poorly structured study can warp how journalists think about their audiences.
“First and foremost, we respond to an undersupply of quantitative descriptive research in social science. Causal research that asks the question why has largely taken the place of descriptive research that asks the question what.”
“Is this post worth your time?” (Or is it at least a picture of people hugging?)
A study that seemed to claim they had was treated as “bad news for journalists: the public doesn’t share our values.” The reality is a few arbitrary research design decisions put a thumb on the scale.
There’ll now be a dead-easy way to pay for a podcast on your iPhone. Will there be a market, and is this the end of the open podcasting ecosystem?
With a former staffer in charge, the new Gawker might have a chance at sticking in a media marketplace that’s changed since its closure in 2016.