Elephant Diaries Revisited: the end of McClatchy

My memory is vivid of the moment I realized newspapers – my vocation, my dream, my way of life –  were fucked. I think it was the spring of 2008. Prices for oil and related commodities were spiking. To help write about it for the Albuquerque Journal, I’d signed up for UNM economics professor Jennifer …

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Some thoughts on disaster journalism, fire, Southern California, and resilience

This conversation triggered by Faith Kearns’ comments about memories of Santa Anas got me thinking about an old piece I wrote a while back and never published. I didn’t publish it because the editor I was pitching didn’t want it, but in retrospect I’m glad it never ran. It seemed ill-timed then, and on a …

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& the West – new offering from Stanford’s Lane Center

Worth bookmarking: We want to be a place where research findings about geology or sociology blend with our journalism about the world of the West, to give a multi-dimensional picture of the region’s life and issues. We will also introduce, and constantly update, a library of links you can use to explore the subjects we …

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Steven Pinker on the how news misleads

News is a misleading way to understand the world. It’s always about events that happened and not about things that didn’t happen. So when there’s a police officer that has not been shot up or city that has not had a violent demonstration, they don’t make the news. As long as violent events don’t fall …

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My escape from the newsroom

Laura Paskus did a lovely job chronicling my post-newspaper-journalism (post-journalism?) life and thinking about water and the news, no longer the old nickname – “the harbinger of doom”: “I began to realize there was this other story about people not running out of water,” he says. Locally, for example, he points to a drop in Albuquerque’s …

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the future of journalism has different names

A couple of my friends, journalists, have started a neat new side project: The guys said they were from Puebla, a picturesque state in central Mexico whose colonial capital is a tourist gem — although much of the countryside is impoverished. Puebla has a long tradition of sending men and women north: There are so …

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Optimism, problems journalism, and solutions journalism. And groundwater.

It is not hard to find and highlight problems. Solutions are more difficult stories to tell, because they often manifest themselves as things that just work, unnoticed by the very fact of their practical efficiency – “Problems scream, solutions whisper,” as a new friend working on “solutions journalism” recently told me. Thus it is, for …

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