Long-distance learning in our #PaceBlog class discussion of online platforms tonight (photo by Elise Vaux).

Long-distance learning in our #PaceBlog class discussion of online platforms tonight (photo by Elise Vaux).

In @davidfolkenflik piece on @voxdotcom @upshotnyt I note limits of data-visualization, etc: ”I’ve had this sobering experience since about, well, almost 10 years. I’ve been writing about the social science of how people accept or reject information. You can have clear data, but people who are dug in on an issue just go out and select the data set that reinforce their predisposition…”

(I also said new efforts to convey the meaning behind numbers are vital, mind you, just not nearly sufficient on their own; didn’t make the cut.)

Great to see @coralmdavenport as new DC @nytimes energy/environment reporter. Here’s @dleonhardt memo: 

Coral Davenport Joins The Times

Coral Davenport will be our climate-and-energy reporter in Washington. Read more in this note from David Leonhardt.

Paul Volpe and Bill Hamilton used to work with her. John Broder competed with her. Carl Hulse knew her as a Hill reporter. I was simply one of her readers, and Elisabeth met her only recently. But we all had the same reaction: Coral Davenport is the perfect person to replace John as our climate-and-energy reporter in Washington. After a lunch interview with her, Elisabeth came back to the bureau and pronounced: “We should hire her immediately.”

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Dawn of the International New York Times brings big expansion of @NYTopinion. A note from the editors:

International Opinion Expansion

We’re very happy to announce an important expansion of the Editorial Department’s opinion offerings, to coincide with the IHT’s reincarnation as the International New York Times next week. Read more in this note from Andy Rosenthal, Terry Tang, Trish Hall and Sewell Chan.

Two writers have joined The Times editorial board as part-time members: Mira Kamdar, based in Paris, and Masaru Tamamoto, based in Yokohama, Japan. Ms. Kamdar is a faculty member of the École de Journalisme at Sciences Po and the author of “Planet India: The Turbulent Rise of the Largest Democracy.” Mr. Tamamoto has been a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute, a research associate at Cambridge University and a MacArthur Foundation fellow in international peace and security at Princeton University.

On the Op-Ed side, a roster of more than two dozen opinion contributors will write monthly columns from around the world. They include:

• Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish columnist and the author of “Islam Without Extremes.”

• Matthew d’Ancona, a political columnist for The Sunday Telegraph, The Evening Standard and the British edition of GQ, and a former editor of The Spectator, the conservative political magazine.

• Alaa Al Aswany, an Egyptian writer and the author of the best-selling novel “The Yacoubian Building” and “On the State of Egypt: What Made the Revolution Inevitable.”

• Tahmima Anam, a Bangladeshi writer, columnist and anthropologist and the author of the novel “A Golden Age.”

• Julia Baird, an Australian journalist and broadcaster.

• Vanessa Barbara, a Brazilian novelist, editor of the literary Web site A Hortaliça, and columnist for the newspaper Folha de São Paulo.

• Jochen Bittner, a German journalist and the political editor of the weekly newspaper Die Zeit.

• Pamela Druckerman, an American journalist in Paris and the author of the best seller “Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting.”

• Ali Jarbawi, a political scientist at Birzeit University and a former minister of planning, and minister of higher education, for the Palestinian National Authority.

• Sylvie Kauffmann, a French journalist and the editorial director and former editor in chief of Le Monde.

• Norihiro Kato, a Japanese literary scholar and a professor at Waseda University.

• Young-ha Kim, a Korean novelist and the author of “I Have the Right to Destroy Myself,” “Your Republic Is Calling You,” and “Black Flower.”

• Nikos Konstandaras, the managing editor and a columnist at the Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini.

• Enrique Krauze, a Mexican historian, the director of the literary magazine Letras Libres and the author of “Redeemers: Ideas and Power in Latin America.”

• Adewale Maja-Pearce, a Nigerian writer and the author of “Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa, and Other Essays.”

• Kenan Malik, a British author, broadcaster and science journalist.

• Pratap Bhanu Mehta, an Indian political theorist and the president of the Center for Policy Research, a think tank.

• T. O. Molefe, a South African essayist who is writing a book on post-apartheid race relations.

• Murong Xuecun, a Chinese novelist and blogger and the author of “Leave Me Alone: A Novel of Chengdu.”

• Murithi Mutiga, a Kenyan journalist and editor at the Nation Media Group, in Nairobi.

• Vali R. Nasr, an Iranian-American political scientist and the dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

• Shmuel Rosner, an Israeli columnist and former Haaretz correspondent.

• Nilanjana S. Roy, an Indian journalist and critic and the author of the novel “The Wildings.”

• Beppe Severgnini, an Italian columnist at the daily newspaper Corriere della Serra.

• Bina Shah, a Pakistani columnist and the author of several novels and story collections.

• Slawomir Sierakowski, a Polish sociologist and political activist.

• Maxim Trudolyubov, a Russian journalist and the opinion page editor of the business newspaper Vedomosti.

• Clemens Wergin, a German journalist and the foreign editor of the newspaper group Die Welt.

• Yu Hua, a Chinese writer and the author of “To Live” and “China in Ten Words.”

The new editorials and Op-Ed contributions will join the distinctive opinion features to which our international readers are accustomed, including Roger Cohen’s columns and Patrick Chappatte’s twice-weekly cartoons. Finally, Serge Schmemann, whose distinguished run as the IHT editorial page editor since 2003 comes to an end next week, will bring his many years of experience as a correspondent and editor to writing for the opinion pages.

Stay tuned for more news about the opinion expansion in the weeks ahead.

Bravo, , for grilling Sen. @JohnCornyn this way: “Senator, isn’t there something wrong when you say “I won’t fund the government unless I can attach my personal wish list to the legislation every time we vote? I’d love to see the government find a cure for cancer, but I don’t think you can say I’m not going to pass and pass any funds for the rest of the government until the NIH finds a cure for cancer. I mean, isn’t that just kind of the same thing here?

@PewResearch: Newsroom workforce decline continues (broader piece on trends).

@PewResearch: Newsroom workforce decline continues (broader piece on trends).

Great development for @nytimes: Steve  & Aron  get big visualization/strategy promotions:

Steve Duenes becomes Associate Managing Editor for Visualization. As many of you know, Steve has been an editor of our most dazzling multimedia journalism, from showing readers how Alan Gilbert does his conducting, to creating visual representations of Olympic events that are more thrilling than the real competition, to the beauty and grace of Snow Fall. Steve has managed our superlative graphics team that has pioneered techniques in data analysis and visualization, animation, interactive design and other areas of multimedia and made graphics one of the most admired parts of our news report. He will continue to head the graphics department as he leads our intensified multimedia efforts and to report to Tom Bodkin.

Aron Pilhofer becomes Associate Managing Editor for Digital Strategy. As head of interactive news technology, Aron has been one of the architects of newsroom innovation, especially projects that straddle the newsroom, technology and the business side. Like Steve, Aron is widely admired for building one of journalism’s best and most innovative teams. He will serve as the newsroom’s main ambassador to technology and product, helping to shape the newsroom’s interests in our new suite of paid products. He will help develop our fledgling newsroom analytics team and be involved in our digital recruiting and training.

Spectacular: @InsideClimate News Pulitzer Prize for coverage of pipeline problems. Shows how dogged reporting can persist outside mainstream journalism. Here’s the citation and links to the work:

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Steve Coll is super forward-looking choice for new Dean of .alism School. From President Lee C. Bollinger: 

I am pleased to announce my appointment of Steve Coll, one of the most experienced and respected journalists of his generation, as the new Dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Our Journalism School, now completing an extended celebration of its centennial, is in the midst of a period of institutional innovation as significant as any since the school’s founding a century ago. Under the exemplary decade-long leadership of outgoing Dean Nicholas Lemann and his team, the School has launched centers focused on digital journalism, media innovation and investigative reporting, and created a comprehensive new curriculum, including a dual degree program in Computer Science and Journalism with our School of Engineering and Applied Science. It also has added an exceptional master of arts program that provides journalists with the kind of substantive grounding in academic knowledge that is needed for intelligent coverage and commentary on the critical issues facing our society. As a result Columbia has solidified our standing as having the premier school of journalism in the nation and, indeed, the world. 

Nonetheless, Nick Lemann would be the first to acknowledge that these developments cannot be seen as a legacy to be preserved, but as work that must be ongoing. We all recognize that sweeping changes in digital technology and the global marketplace have created unprecedented challenges and opportunities for the news media that demand constant reflection on the mission and substance of a modern journalism education. 

That Steve Coll is ideally suited for taking on this leadership challenge is made clear by more than the experience he and Nick happen to share as admired long-time writers for The New Yorker. In 1985, Steve joined the Washington Post as a general assignment feature writer for the Style section and over the next twenty years served as a foreign correspondent and senior editor, culminating in his successful tenure as managing editor from 1998 to 2004. A Pulitzer Prize winner in explanatory journalism for a series of Post articles on the Securities and Exchange Commission, which he reported with David Vise, Steve is the author of seven books including “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001,” for which he received a second Pulitzer in 2005 for general non-fiction. His latest book, “Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power,” was published this past November, and won the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs prize for best business book of the year. Most recently Steve served for five years as president of The New America Foundation, a leading public policy institute in Washington that has supported a remarkable range of thinking on the issues facing our society, including the changes in journalism. It is experience that will serve him well here at Columbia, not only at the Journalism School but across a University community whose breadth of scholarship makes this a unique place to help shape the future of journalism.

I want to express my gratitude to the members of the search committee for their dedication of time and energy. While we are glad to have completed our work together, I will personally miss collaborating with such a collegial, insightful and diverse team dedicated to the School, the University and the profession.

For the present, please join me in thanking Nick Lemann for his enduring contributions over the past decade and in welcoming Steve Coll as the new Dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Tags: journalism


“The Crisis in Climate Reporting.”  - An event by climate, environment, and media experts on how journalists are a critical conduit to discussing climate change.

The speakers explored several practical solutions and then launch into a decent Q&A. Some were simple, such as directing readers to share their reading materials or collaborate with authors from various news outlets (e.g., Mother Jones partnering with, say, Washington Post to work on and cross-post the same stories, which would reach different audiences.). It was good to hear some practical solutions rather than esoteric brainstorming.

The public is poorly served by reports about climate change that follow familiar lines and surface only when there’s a severe weather event or UN conference; meanwhile, media outlets like the New York Times are scaling back on environmental reporting.

Orion and media watchdog Free Press convened a panel of authors and activists (including Kate Sheppard, M. Sanjayan, Bill McKibben, and others) to propose concrete actions for improving the state of climate reporting in the mainstream media.

Climate Science Communications Week is winding down at Climate Adaptation!  For the entire week of Feb. 18 - 23, I covered how climate change is discussed by the media, scientists, researchers, academics, and politicians. If you have sources or ideas on communicating climate change, send to: http://climateadaptation.tumblr.com/submit