Thursday, April 21, 2011

Propublica Has Jazz Hands to Hold That Pulitzer

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 3:24 PM

As Citydesk reported Monday, investigative news organization ProPublica won the Pulitzer Prize for “The Wall Street Money Machine,” its investigation into into the financial crisis, which was featured on This American Life’s “Inside Job.”

To go with the radio version of the story, ProPublica summed the story up in a showtune.


[ Video is no longer available. ]

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Behind the Scenes in Egypt

Posted By on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Boise Weekly's recent coverage of the Egyptian revolution came via GlobalPost, our international news provider.

This week, Fresh Air's Terry Gross chatted with GlobalPost's executive editor and co-founder Charles Sennott just as he returned from Egypt, where he covered the revolution for GlobalPost, as well as for PBS in a co-production between GlobalPost and Frontline called "Revolution in Cairo," which airs Tuesday, Feb. 22.

Sennott, a 25-year news veteran who has spent 15 years reporting in the Middle East, spoke to Gross about the Muslim Brotherhood and what Sennott described as the most exciting story he has ever covered.

Listen to the story here or download it at

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Getting (Close to) a Pulitzer

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Steve Fainaru
  • Steve Fainaru
Not sure if anything in the Weekly has ever been up for a Pulitzer Prize, though rumor is 2010 is going to be our year. (What? You haven't heard that rumor?)

But citydesk is planning on hitting up 2008 Pulitzer winner Steve Fainaru next week when he comes to Boise State to ponder the idea: "What would happen if there was a war and nobody covered it."

Fainaru won the top journo prize for his Washington Post series on private contractors in Iraq.

Of course, that is not such a far-fetched idea. There are plenty of wars, including our unmanned drone-fought war in Pakistan and wars across Africa that barely get covered. And then there are the secret wars in which private companies do our nation's bidding and we provide them with tax-payer supported prostitutes and strippers.

Fainaru, who has been writing about violence along the Mexican border, will speak at 7 p.m. on Feb. 16 in the Morrison Center. His lecture is free and open to the public.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Former Statesman writers blog

Posted By on Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 11:19 AM

This week in news we wrote about the consequenses of downsizing in the local media on government agencies. After we went to bed (with the paper, that is) we got an email press release from Chad Dryden, former Statesman writer.

"Chad Dryden was laid off from the Idaho Statesman on Friday, April 3, after more than three years as an arts and entertainment, features and city reporter. Three days later, he launched"
In our story, strangely headlined Twitter-ganda, we mention Randy Stapilus' list of ex-Idaho journalists, many of them now  flaks or PR reps. But now the trend for ex-Statesmanites is apparently to blog.

Dryden is the second that we know of. Jeanne Huff started her cheery Web log, First, the Good News after losing her Statesman writing gig. Everything there is all good and golly all the time.

Dryden's style is more raw and real, with R-rated video clips and everything (J.R. Simplot and Wayne Hammon interrogating the Dude).
"I've got information man. New shit has come to light."
"I know how to work the media," Dryden told citydesk this morning. "I wrote up a press release and sent it out."

Ex-journos blogging-as-resume sites are the new thing. Our former Contra Costa Times colleague Aaron Crowe started one and he seems to be picking up a some work from it, including some press releases, but that's ok...

Maybe we should write about journo blogs in the BW... wonder where we can find a freelancer these days...

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Advice to Craig

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Just ran into Craig Newmark, of, outside of the Big Tent, the indy blogger conclave for Convention '08. He was interviewing Joe Trippi, Howard Dean's former campaign manager, on a new-fangled little video "device". At the end of the "interview" Newmark remarked that he's just pretending to be a journalist but that he's keeping his day job.

Newmark, whom we chatted up for a minute, was on his way to Arianna Huffington's suite for a little foot massage. He posted the massage video on his blog before the Trippi video, showing that Newmark has his craigslist priorities in order, at least. We won't scoop him on the interview... perhaps it will show up later, or maybe he decided it was not really news.

We like Newmark and think he is sincerely trying to utilize technology in novel and helpful ways, but we agree he should keep his day job. Here's a few tips for Newmark and all the indy bloggers out there:

1) An interview does not mean recording a guy saying whatever the hell he wants. Ask some damn questions.
2) Everything is not news. You are drowning us with mere documentation. Know when something is really happening, man.
3) Don't assume people know what you are talking about. Either give us some context or at least a wikipedia link or something. What is networked governance, Craig... we need a little more information!
4) Don't diss the old media if you use it. Huffington has a very valid critique of traditional journalism and its elevation of equity over truth. But half the stuff on her site is AP wire copy. If you can do it better, then do it. If not, then don't whine about it.
5) Figure out a way to organize yourselves better. Perhaps this is a good project for Craig, because I am totally overwhelmed trying to separate the blog wheat from the blog chaff. Help a brother out.

The is a real debate going on in terms of credentialing at this DNCC. The Democratic Party has given bloggers nearly free reign, but the gatekeepers, the U.S. Senate Press Galleries, have been overwhelmed with newbie issues, according to one inside source, who spoke to BW over rum and cokes and thus will not be named. "Journalists" credentialed by the DNC have been spotted working the floor with Obama stickers and buttons on, wearing shorts and hats, and acting like amateurs. Some of them have been kicked out.

While we are completely in favor of throwing open the doors and changing the rules of journalism, every avocation needs some rules and some standard operating procedures. Who is going to figure that out?

I nominate Newmark.

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