3 to read: NYT & WaPo do battle | Why journos make it up | The fake news pandemic of ‘42

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

March 21, 2017: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

The NYT and WaPo are at war — and everyone wins (except Trump): Who doesn’t like an old-fashioned newspaper war? The Times and Post are breaking scoop after competitive scoop, as they dig deep into the Trump administration. In some ways Trump’s election has focused attention on a fight between two of the country’s premier newsrooms, a battle that began three years ago when Marty Baron took the reins of the Post. Good read by Benjamin Mullin of Poynter. Related bonus story: (and also by Ben): The competition for good investigative reporters heats up.
2. Why writers lie (& plagiarize & fabricate & …): A fascinating look at why writers and journalists make stuff up — and what happens to them afterwards. There’s a certain fascination with reading about reporters who go off the rails, maybe akin to rubbernecking at traffic accidents. Anyways, the best stuff is about Clifford Irving, in the second half of the article by Paul Elie for Vanity Fair.
3. Lessons from the fake news pandemic of 1942: Fake news ain’t new news. Consider the inflammatory stories during WWII, when rumors spread through the former Confederate states that First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was secretly organizing black women into “Eleanor Clubs,” spreading fear among whites that a race rebellion was coming. The rumors eventually died, but their spread has lessons for today. An interesting look back by Joshua Zeitz for Politico.
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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.

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