1.5.2012newspolitics

The Best Watchdog Journalism on Campaign Finance →

ProPublica has rounded up some of the best stories on campaign finance:

This week, we’re exposing the world of campaign finance post-Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that opened the door to super PACs. The stories fall into three categories: donor profiles, super PACs and scandals, though as Michael Kinsley said: “The scandal in Washington isn’t what’s illegal; it’s what’s legal.”

Among the best is the New Yorker’s profile of the Koch brothers and The New Republic’s recent story on Harold Simmons, the 2012 campaign’s biggest donor, but you should browse the full list.

If you’re into this sort of thing (who isn’t, right?), your next stop will be ProPublica’s MuckReads page, their curation of watchdog reporting, which also has a Twitter hashtag.

26.3.2012news

Prose and Cons

Revisiting the misdeeds of journalists in the wake of Mike Daisey.

Mike Daisey recently found himself the latest in a long line of journalists facing scorn for plagiarising or fabricating parts of their reporting, leading This American Life to air a retraction of an episode where Daisey told his story.

7.3.2012art and entertainmentnewspeoplelong reads

Julian Assange and Wikileaks

Wikileaks has been making news since 2006, but in 2010 they made big news with a series of leaks starting with the “Collateral Murder” videos. Following that were the Afghan war logs and the Iraq war logs. Wikileaks’ final leak that year was the diplomatic cables, the largest leak of classified documents in history. As the leaks and the events surrounding them unfolded, Wikileaks became one of the biggest, most thrilling stories in years.

27.2.2012art and entertainmentnewsoscars

Reading The Oscars

The 84th Academy Awards happened last night. If you’re anything like me, you’ve seen a fairly shameful percentage of the nominated films, so here’s a guide to some good reads about the Oscars and the stars of this year’s awards to help you get acquainted.

22.2.2012news

Time zones are fluid. What are the implications for time itself? →

Samoa switched timezones last year to better align with Eastern trading partners. In doing so, they skipped an entire calendar day to go from one side of the dateline to the other, becoming the last place on Earth to see the day out instead of the first. Stefany Anne Golberg took a closer look recently and found it to be an interesting reminder that time, though it seems inexorable and constant, is actually very flexible. China, for instance, spans 5 timezones but only observes one, and Russia has 9 timezones due to its internal politics and geography. See also: exploring Samoa’s timezone shift through the lens of the sociology of time.

14.2.2012sciencetechnologynews

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Online dating is in the spotlight again with a study to be published later this month arguing that the methods of online pairing are unlikely to be as effective as the dating sites would like you to think. The authors’ column in the New York Times’ Sunday Review says that the past 80 years of research into compatibility suggests the most useful factors determining success in a relationship emerge only after two people meet; factors like communication patterns, sexual compatibility, and problem-solving. Arbitrary similarity, therefore, is a relatively poor indicator of future success in a relationship.

This is well-trodden ground: as of 2009 the internet was the third most common way to meet new people and the pros and cons of online dating and algorithms like Match.com’s have been debated endlessly since at least then. Even the New Yorker saw fit to go long on the subject last year.