Why I live in Budapest

Why I live in Budapest

Central European University is a unique place, a gem. It is fragile. What happens here is extremely difficult to do.  CEU takes people from damaged countries and helps them work for a better world. It encourages critical thinking, and seeks an honest engagement with...

Do the facts matter?

So how far should real journalists go in saying that someone is “misstating” the facts, i.e. lying? This was raised recently by the NYTimes ombudsman. http://t.co/rn2GLZrx …Everyone came down on the poor fellow to say DUH, of course, that’s what real journalists...

Catapults and Critics

Report from Budapest It was a bit dizzying to have both Larry Lessig, who loves the Internet and social networks, and Evgeny Mrozov, who doesn’t, in town the same week. Larry held forth Monday on how money drives the legislative process in Congress, and Evgeny gave us...

What it will take…

The quote of the day comes from, of all people, a GOP President of long ago: “Now it is true that I believe this country is following a dangerous trend when it permits too great a degree of centralization of governmental functions. I oppose this–in some...
The Death of Newspapers?

The Death of Newspapers?

Why should we worry about the death of newspapers? Reading any newspaper is pretty much a two-dimensional, impersonal, top-down, one-way, and often stupefying experience. News reports are infuriatingly self-referential and incomplete. If they stir us up they don’t...

I am thinking about the future of news. Recently…

…MIT Prof. William Uricchio observed that old media make us feel like “a passenger in the back seat of the car, howling at the driver.” …Phil Balboni debated a skeptical MIT student about news “objectivity” at Balboni’s new online GlobalPost venture. …Harvard’s...
Reversing the Trend Away from Journalism

Reversing the Trend Away from Journalism

Published in the January 2005 issue of Nieman Reports Magazine. Journalism will survive, but it might appear in the form of Web sites designed for people who want to check in on the real news when they don’t get the jokes on the Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show.” It is...

Swift Boats Run Aground

It is tempting to accept news as fact if it’s coming from a neighbor, a funny blog, a likeable person, or someone else who seems to start from a grain of truth. But there are people who like to take that small truth and use it as a talisman to lend credibility...

A Time for Mischief

Boston, Summer, 2004–Political conventions are the perfect time for mischief. In the 21st century they don’t have a real job to do because the primaries have selected the presidential nominee. Yet they get the world’s media spotlight for four days, as if they...