Launched in 1961 and now edited by former managing editor at The Washington Post, Elizabeth Spayd, Columbia Journalism Review analyses and discusses mistakes made within media, and suggests better ways for members of the media to conduct themselves, with a focus on U.S. media.
As an objective source, CJR is undeniably useful. It doesn’t shy away from the positive and negative actions of the media and offers solutions to ensure similar mistakes don’t happen again. It highlights mistakes made, offers solutions and is a valuable source of media self-regulation, almost like Australia’s Media Watch (except that it doesn’t often call individuals out for mistakes).
CJR also provides hints and tips for journalists, offering guides about protocol in the field and the best ways for journalists to conduct themselves. This article, for example, provides important information regarding copyright, fair use and republishing others’ work online.
The blog looks at statistics, trends, how changes in society have an effect on the media and how the media and journalists have responded to certain topics, discussions, incidents and events.
The website has sections for discussing community news, developments in online media, business news surrounding media companies and a lengthy list of features. All articles are written to a high standard and include appropriate imagery and links to related articles.
Articles are released daily, so the message CJR promotes – regular, good, analytical journalism – is pushed each day.
Having CJR as guide would be of great use to any online journalist as it tracks the failures and successes of the media and guides journalists down a more ethically-aware path. The website condones clarity over speed and truthfulness over sensationalism, and provides tips for journalists to use in order to maintain a high standard of work. CJR brings forward news of developments in online media and at media organisations and is an important source for objective discussion of modern media.
The desire to sit back and write celebrity articles for OK Magazine is tempting, but CJR bestows the importance of high-quality journalism upon you and so you won’t be tempted to sell your soul to those unmentionable publications.
High-quality journalism is the cornerstone of the fourth estate. Unfortunately journalism is all too easily corrupted by demands of time, paper sales and/or website clicks. When you, as a journalist, feel overwhelmed by these influences just consider what self-regulatory bodies such as CJR exist to propound: a commitment to high-quality journalism around the world.