Top Reads
Published on July 19, 2013 by Sara Foss

Music: The Rock and Roll Time Machine (Part I?) by Tony Are, and J.K. Eisen on the all-girl rock band The Pandoras

Movies: Watching "Cannibal Holocaust" by Sara Foss

Parenting: The Transition from Crib to Bed by J LeBlanc

Vacation: Sara Foss on her recent trip, and how busy it was ... in a good way


Some Recent Reads
Published on June 7, 2013 by Sara Foss

Music: Barry Wenig on his favorite Beatles songs

Movies: Annalisa Parent on schmalty summer sci-fi, and Sara Foss on "The Great Gatsby"

Parenting: J LeBlanc on her second pregnancy

Television: J.K. Eisen on "Hemlock Grove"

Don't Ask People To Sing the Lord's Praises
Published on May 22, 2013 by Sara Foss

Big time journalists do all kinds of things I would never think to do.

The latest example: When interviewing a young woman who survived the Oklahoma City tornado, CNN's Wolf Blitzer said, "I guess you got to thank the Lord, right?" and then, when the woman didn't immediately answer yes, he asked, "Do you thank the Lord? For that split second decision?" And the woman replied, no, because she is an atheist.

You know, I've interviewed tornado survivors in Alabama, and they were not shy about talking about God. If people want to thank the Lord, they will. You don't have to shove the idea of God down their throat. It's perfectly reasonable to have a conversation, and try to understand the person's outlook, and how their belief system might be playing a role in how they're reacting to the disaster. That's fine. What's not fine is imposing some sort of idea of how a tornado victim is supposed to act and think upon them.

Journalists are supposed to be smart and observant. They're not supposed to bring mawkish God talk into every story that involves a natural disaster or human tragedy. If people want to talk about God, they will. But you shouldn't try to make them.

Here's Slate's Mark Joseph Stern on why Blitzer was out of line.

Why We Should Temper Our Enthusiasm About Paywalls
Published on April 25, 2013 by Sara Foss

Paywalls are a good idea, but they are not a panacea for troubled newspapers.

The Awl demonstrates why in a nifty chart, which you can find here.

Another Paper Folds
Published on March 18, 2013 by Sara Foss

Having started my career at a paper that no longer exists, the Birmingham Post-Herald, I take newspaper closings personally. Which might explain why I feel compelled to share Charles Pierce's recent piece for Grantland on the folding of the Boston Phoenix.

In related news, here's the latest state of the media report from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. Kids, do not go into journalism!

What is Up With Bob Woodward?
Published on March 12, 2013 by Sara Foss

I really enjoyed this Slate piece about all the problems with Bob Woodward's book "Wired."

Top Reads of the Week
Published on February 15, 2013 by Sara Foss

Music: Tony Are on the best of 2012, and Sara Foss on Passion Pit

Movies: Sara Foss on "Mama"

Food/Drink: Sara Foss on drinking coffee

Jonah Lehrer Should Be Banished
Published on February 14, 2013 by Sara Foss

Earlier this week the Knight Foundation paid disgraced journalist Jonah Lehrer, a plagiarist and fabricator of quotes, $20,000 to give a talk. This was, of course, a complete insult to real journalists, and perhaps a reason to never pay attention to anything the Knight Foundation has to say ever again. (The Knight Foundation has since apologized for being so stupid, but the fact that it took widespread outrage and condemnation for them to realize the error of their ways suggests that they have, at best, terrible judgment on journalistic matters.)

Anyway, Jonah Lehrer didn't murder anyone, and he should be free to continue on with his life. But I agree with Gawker's Hamilton Nolan - there's no reason Lehrer's future should entail journalism. Some people might think that Lehrer too smart and talented to be banished from the field of science writing forever, but this is absurd - there are plenty of smart, young writers out there who know better than to make up quotes and attribute them to Bob Dylan.

Also, Lehrer's speech was a bit much, what with his blathering on about how he needs a "new list of rules, a stricter set of standard operating procedures." Sorry, but this is nonsense. The rules of journalism are not the problem - Lehrer is. Because the rules of journalism boil down to two basic things: Don't make stuff up, and don't steal from people. It's not terribly complicated, and if Lehrer needs a stricter set of rules, well, he should probably do something else. The fact that he would give a speech touting the need for new rules is an insult to all the journalists who seem to understand the existing rules just fine.

Top Reads of the Week
Published on February 8, 2013 by Sara Foss

The Way We Live Now: Procrastination as a Lifestyle by Sara Foss, and Life Without a Laptop by Dan Schneider

Movies: Sara Foss on "Les Miserables"

Top Reads of the Week
Published on December 7, 2012 by Sara Foss

Music: Tony Are on why he hates local music

Generosity: Sara Foss on whether you can have too much giving

Film: Sara Foss on "Lincoln" and her favorite Christmas films

Top Reads of the Week
Published on November 30, 2012 by Sara Foss

Health: Kristina Ingvarsson on her struggle with depression

Movies: Sara Foss on "Skyfall"

Politics: Sara Foss on what the Republicans aren't learning

Tradition: Sara Foss on Thanksgiving

Top Reads of the Week
Published on November 16, 2012 by Sara Foss

Politics: Sara Foss on voting, and how Mitt Romney will never understand why he lost

Friendship: Sara Foss on reuniting with old friends

Parenting: R.B. Austen on the benefits of playgroups

Top Reads of the Week
Published on November 9, 2012 by Sara Foss

Gay Marriage: Keith Ross on why it should be allowed

Technology: Margaret Hartley on navigating her moron phone

Politics: George Costanza's Number One Fan on the presidential election, and Sara Foss on how the election was a victory for math.

Travel: Sara Foss on her trip to Colorado

Movies: Sara Foss on "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"


Top Reads of the Week
Published on November 2, 2012 by Sara Foss

Politics/Religion: Steve LeBlanc on Mitt Romney, Mormonism and Race

Parenting: J LeBlanc on the tough job of discipline

Sports: Sara Foss on who will win this week's NFL games

Message From the Publisher
Published on October 22, 2012 by Sara Foss

We are on vacation.

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