Archives: reporting

Millions of Cats, Passing notes, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, and more on Opening Day: newsletter, April 2, 2021

April 4, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, journalism, newsletter, reporters, reporting, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,369) on Friday, April 2, 2021.     The 2019 college admissions scandal that resulted in the indictments of more than 50 people — most of them the well-off and well-intentioned parents of college-aged children — was based on an idea that many people carry • Read More »

Maxine Cheshire, Martha Gellhorn, and the poet who died too soon: newsletter, March 5, 2021

March 7, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, newsletter, reporters, reporting, Women writers and journalists, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,386) on Friday, March 5, 2021.   When I got into the rhythm of writing this newsletter several years ago, one of the things that I knew early on was that I wanted to learn more about – and write about — women who had • Read More »

Maxine Cheshire: a reporter’s instinct and a little luck

March 6, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists, reporters, reporting, Women writers and journalists, writers.

Maxine Cheshire was a reporter who knew how to get under people’s skin. She irritated Frank Sinatra into a drunken, expletive-ridden rant that was witnessed by dozens of people. She made Jacqueline Kennedy cry and provoked a presidential call to her publisher. She exposed the Nixon family’s greed in keeping gifts from foreign leaders. More • Read More »

Susan Glaspell, a forgotten feminist writer, and Lawrence Block, successful and prolific: newsletter, January 15, 2021

January 17, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, newsletter, reporting, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

  A common saying among woodworkers – one you have probably heard – is “measure twice, cut once.” That saying counsels us to be careful. But there is another saying that is less well-known and maybe just as important: “Let the tools do the work.” What that saying tells us is that sometimes we can • Read More »

Richard Tregaskis, the tall guy on Guadalcanal

November 28, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, reporters, reporting, writers, writing.

The Marines that he wrote about on Guadalcanal would tell Richard Tregaskis that if the Japanese captured him, they would probably use him as an “observation post.” They weren’t far from wrong. Tregaskis, a reporter during World War II for the International News Service, was six-feet, seven-inches tall — tall enough to be an observation • Read More »

The unknown Jacques Futrelle, Drew Pearson (part 2), and a podcast recommendation: newsletter, October 30, 2020

November 1, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, newsletter, podcasting, reporters, reporting, writers.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, October 30, 2020. Back to the (Zoom) Future. In the last few days, I attended a poetry reading of a friend’s new book on Facebook; I helped another friend launch a book on Zoom; and I attended a memorial service on YouTube​ for a friend • Read More »

More on Mary Mapes Dodge, Josephine Tey and paranoia, and a couple of podcast recommendations: newsletter, September 18, 2020

September 21, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, newsletter, podcasting, reporters, reporting, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,529) on Friday, September 18, 2020.   Getting a book that you have anticipated for a while and then having it live up to your expectations is a particular delight. That happened to me with the arrival of Ian Toll‘s Twilight of the Gods: War in the Western • Read More »

Richard Ben Cramer on ‘what it took’ for Joe Biden

August 31, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, reporters, reporting, writers, writing.

Richard Ben Cramer, an extraordinary reporter, could pack enough energy into a paragraph to charge a lightning bolt. To read Cramer is to get caught up in his rhythm, to follow is thinking, and to come to his understanding of the subject he was reporting on. Cramer brought all of his writing and reporting talent • Read More »

Being tall at Guadalcanal, a notorious pirate, rural noir, and the serial killer: newsletter, August 14, 2020

August 17, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, podcasting, reporters, reporting, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, August 14, 2020.   One of the things on my mind this week is the concept of respect. The thinking on that was kicked off by an NYT column by Bret Stephens on the 18th-century politician and philosopher Edmund Burke (Why Edmund Burke • Read More »

Changing American attitudes toward slavery, police reporting reconsidered, and reader reactions: newsletter, July 17, 2020

July 18, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, Civil War, history, newsletter, reporting, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,5xx) on Friday, July 17, 2020.   The world gets crazier and the pandemic, in America, gets worse. My heart is with those who have to make difficult decisions, from sending their kids to school to ordering businesses to shut down. I pray for their • Read More »

The sharp words of Ida Tarbell, the dilemma of Woody Allen, more on cultural appropriation, and reader reaction: newsletter, March 20, 2020

March 22, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, newsletter, reporting, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,597) on Friday, March 20, 2020. The magnitude and rapidity with which the world has changed in the last week lies beyond our complete understanding. Those things that we could confidently predict — high school graduations, opening day of the baseball season, the church service • Read More »

The college admissions scandal: a modest proposal

March 21, 2019 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalism education, journalists, reporting, writing.

What has practically every story you’ve read or heard during the last couple of weeks about the college admissions scandal had in common? The journalists and commentators have consistently used the terms elite colleges or elite universities. They have done without any critical assessment of the terms themselves, and therein lies a problem — possibly The Problem. We • Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Pablo Casals on staying young, an interesting blast from the past, and post-prison rehab: newsletter, Feb. 8, 2019

February 11, 2019 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, newsletter, photojournalism, reporting.

This newsletter was sent to all of the subscribers on Jim’s list (2,912) on Friday, February 8, 2019.   This week’s newsletter takes a short break from writers and writing (mostly) and explores a couple of other topics, such as post-prison rehabilitation and the interesting story of a 1960s folk music classic. But you can • Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Facebook’s public image deteriorates as more of its private actions come to light

December 5, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists, reporting.

After a scathing two-part documentary by Public Broadcasting Service’s Frontline in October (The Facebook Dilemma, discussed in a JPROF.com post a couple of weeks ago), Facebook’s reputation as an idealist company that wants to change the world and do go continues to deteriorate. Here’s the lead paragraph from a New York Times story (Facebook Used • Read More »

Tags: ,

James Gillray: puncturing the pompous with caricature

December 3, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: history, journalism, journalists, reporting.

Caricature is fairly common today (even amateurs like me try their hand at it), but in the late 18th century, it was a newly developing form of art, as well as social and political communication. And no one was better at it — a set a higher standard for others of his and those who • Read More »

Tags: , ,

PBS Frontline confronts the Facebook Dilemma

November 19, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: freedom of speech, journalism, news, reporting.

Some people spend hours a day on Facebook; others have never seen it and actively avoid it. Some people have strongly partisan views, one way or another, which may color their view of Facebook. In my view, it doesn’t matter whether or not you “like” Facebook, or whether you are red or blue or any • Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

‘The Woman Who Smashed Codes’ taught her biographer cryptology after her death

September 13, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, reporting, writers, writing.

Journalist Jason Fagon, when he set out to write a biography of the extraordinary Elizebeth Friedman, America’s chief codebreaker during World War II, had an obstacle to overcome that most biographers don’t face: He had to learn cryptology, the art and science of secret writing. Fortunately, Fagon had a good teacher: Elizebeth Friedman herself. Friedman • Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,