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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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“We’re bombarded these days with judgment and analysis of everything. What we’re trying to do is give the audience a look into cultures or worlds that they don’t have access to, and give some empathy to that story.”
“Military censorship in Russia has quickly moved into a new phase…the threat of criminal prosecution of both journalists and citizens who spread information about military hostilities that is different from the press releases of the Ministry of Defense.”
But the numbers that suggest a huge international reach are also some of the easiest to manipulate.
From ad monetization to cable carriage, there’s a battle going on over the ways Russia gets its messaging out.
News organizations’ “attempts to keep audiences hooked through apps, newsletters, notification schemes and other things are an adaptation to an infrastructure not under their direct control.”
That “rapper” accused of billions in crypto fraud was also a Forbes contributor. Is it finally time to move past the contributor network?
A news site read only read by those on the left or the right isn’t likely to have high journalistic standards, a new study finds — so an algorithm that recommends sites with more politically diverse audiences can improve users’ information diets.
The U.K. and Canada look ready to copy Australia’s idea to force Google and Facebook to give publishers money. But it’s a warped system that rewards the wrong things and lies about where the real value in news lies.
News outlets seem to want “passion for the work” above all else in who they hire. But all that passion comes with an unhealthy price tag.