The Education of David Carr

Photo by Brian Lambert
David Carr
In the early 1980s, decades before David Carr became David Carr — the New York Times' authority on all things media, brash star of the documentary Page One, author of the drug-fueled memoir The Night of the Gun — he was an ambitious journalism student who had to talk his way into reporting classes at the University of Minnesota because he couldn't pass the 40-words-per-minute typing test. Over the next fifteen years, Carr, who died tragically of lung cancer in the Times' office February 12, became a Minneapolis institution as a reporter and editor of the Twin Cities Reader, an alternative weekly that competed fiercely with City Pages until it shut down in 1997.

As a reporter, Carr brazenly investigated the darkest corners of the city: police brutality on the North Side, murders in gangland, and downtown politics. He had the gift of sight — the ability to see clearly the stories others could not — and the power of synthesis that allowed him to churn out long, complicated stories in one sitting at a typewriter. Carr influenced and later hired many young talented journalists, some of whom would go on to be among the best known in the Twin Cities.

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Horrifying New York Post Cover Shows Journalist James Foley Just Before Beheading by ISIS

Photo by Nicole Tung via Free James Foley
Foley in Aleppo, Syria, in July 2012.
James Foley, an American freelance journalist who was kidnapped in Syria by terrorists two years ago, has been murdered by his kidnappers, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS and ISIL. The group posted a video online yesterday showing Foley reading a clearly coerced speech calling the U.S. government "my real killers" before being beheaded with a knife by a black-hooded man. Extremely disturbing images of his death began spreading with virus-like speed across social media, even as friends of Foley and many journalists pleaded with the public not to share them. Dick Costolo, the CEO of Twitter, eventually announced that the company would suspend the accounts of anyone sharing the images of Foley's death.

That sense of restraint and basic decency was not shared by the New York Post, which for its cover photo today used an image of Foley just moments before his beheading.

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Journalist Randy Gener Beaten and Left With Brain Trauma In Possible Hate Crime [UPDATED]

Photo by Kelly Stuart; image via Facebook.
Friends of Randy Gener gather at a candlelight vigil on Sunday night in Hell's Kitchen.
A local journalist has suffered brain injuries and remains in intensive care after being viciously attacked near his home earlier this month. Just before 4 a.m. on Friday, January 17, theater critic and journalist Randy Gener was on his way to his apartment from the opening night of a play, walking on Seventh Avenue between 54th and 55th streets. Just steps from his home, Gener was attacked and beaten. He was found a short while later, bloody and unconscious.

Gener has previously written about theater for the Village Voice, as well as the New York Daily News, the New York Times, NPR, New York, and a couple dozen other big-name media outlets. He's also gay and Filipino; the NYPD has announced they are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime. A friend told CBS that the attackers didn't steal his wallet. The NYPD told Pix11 that a witness may have seen a Hispanic man punch Gener in the head and flee in a silver four-door car.

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New Columbia J-School Dean Steve Coll "Elated" to Start Work, Does Not Think Journalism Is Plunging Headlong Into the Abyss

Photo by Flickr user Petezin
Columbia Journalism School's new dean is here, and he is pumped. Incoming dean Steve Coll, a former managing editor for the pre-Bezos buyout Washington Post, as well as a staff writer for the New Yorker and director of the New America Foundation, made landfall on July 15; the class of 2014 arrived for orientation late last week. Coll replaces Nicholas Lemann, who announced he was stepping down in October.

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CNN and Time Magazine Suspend Fareed Zakaria for Plagiarism

fareed zakaria.jpeg
In journalism school, plagiarism is equivalent to life without parole: it is the bane of any writer's existence and an automatic halt on one's professional reputation. We are told over and over and over again to source everything, make sure all of your facts line up and that we'll be outcasted from the journalistic community if we dare even think of the word 'plagiarism.' For more information, check out "Shattered Glass," the tale of the Rise and Fall of The New Republic's Stephen Glass, who fabricated entire articles for a quick shot at fame.

So here's a little story that has unfolded over the past few days. You might know Fareed Zakaria - the Indian-American journalist had a column in Newsweek for over a decade and soon became editor-at-large for Time. Soon enough, he was on the tellie with a CNN show called Fareed Zakaria GPS, a weekly summary of international and domestic news from the writer himself.

In this month's issue of Time Magazine, Zakaria wrote a column about gun laws in the face of the shootings in Aurora and Oak Creek. began to note way-too-coincidental similarities between his article and a work in the New Yorker's April issue by the journalist Jill Lapore. The group passed on the observation to NewsBusters, a media watchdog group. As the pressure mounted on Zakaria, he was forced to make a statement. 

And he did: he might've plagiarized a bit.

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Gregory Lee, President of National Association of Black Journalists, On the NABJ/UNITY Split, Money, and NLGJA [AUDIO]

Steven Thrasher
Gregory Lee (foreground) of NABJ in a heated exchange with LZ Granderson of ESPN and Mark Whitaker of CNN

Updated below, with a message from former UNITY board member John Yearwood.

Greetings from New York, New York (the city, not the casino) as the Voice has returned from the 2012 UNITY convention in Las Vegas.

The elephant in the room for UNITY, as CNN Worldwide Managing Editor Mark Whitaker acknowledged in UNITY's first panel, was the absence of the National Association of Black Journalists.

For many years, multiple groups of minority journalists (NABJ, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association, and the Native American Journalists Association) would meet every four years in what became the largest "Journalists of Color" convention in the world (and the largest gathering of journalists, period, in the United States). But in a highly public battle, NABJ decided it would not participate in UNITY 2012 about a year ago.

Meanwhile, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association joined UNITY a few months later. The formal name "UNITY Journalists of Color" was changed to simply "UNITY Journalists."

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Jules Feiffer, Former Voice Cartoonist, Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Jules Feiffer, the cartooning legend who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for his work at the Voice (and many other kudos over the years!), will receive another prestigious accolade in April: the 2012 John Fischetti Lifetime Achievement Award, given by Columbia College Chicago.

Feiffer is also an Obie-winning playwright, celebrated screenwriter, and the first cartoonist commissioned by the New York Times' for its op-ed page. He has taught at colleges across the U.S., and now calls Southampton home.

Runnin' Scared took a sec to catch up with Feiffer and chat about his win, changes in the cartoon world, and his current projects: Hint -- a graphic novel is in the works!

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Media Under Siege Across the Globe, New Report Says

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Yesterday, the Committee to Protect Journalists, based in New York City, released its annual "Attacks on the Press" report , which paints a grim picture of the deaths, imprisonments, and censorship of reporters across the country. The report says that, in some ways, the findings are more troubling than ever, and today, news broke supporting the need for greater attention on threats to the free press: two journalists covering Syria died pursuing a deadly bombardment of a central city.

Just last week, Anthony Shadid, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent for the New York Times, also died in Syria, due to an apparent asthma attack.

This latest news fits into a larger landscape of increasingly complex challenges for reporters internationally, which the CPJ's full report available online describes in great detail.

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The Telegraph Would Like to Apologize For Making Things Up About the First Lady

A note to the media -- if you're going to accuse a public figure of elitism, perhaps you shouldn't totally make things up in order to achieve that goal. The Telegraph of London learned this the hard way, after publishing an article which falsely reported that First Lady Michelle Obama had an entire Fifth Avenue lingerie store shut down so that she could shop with Her Highness Sheikha Moza of Qatar.

The First Lady, being the kind of person who favors small, independent designers and rewearing the same outfit more than once (the horror!), was understandably upset at this suggestion of opulence, and the Telegraph was forced to issue this rather sheepish retraction in response:

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Hunter S. Thompson's Playboy Correspondence: Kind of Tame

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The above is Hunter S. Thompson's hangover cure, according to a cache of his letters released by Playboy. It's 12 amyl nitrites and "as many beers as necessary." Amyl nitrites are poppers, FYI. What did you expect Hunter S. Thompson's hangover cure to be? Green tea and a hot yoga session? Color us unsurprised.

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