Top stories from “Columbia Journalism Review”

English: New York, New York. Newsroom of the N...

English: New York, New York. Newsroom of the New York Times newspaper. Reporters and rewrite men writing stories, and waiting to be sent out. Rewrite man in background gets the story on the phone from reporter outside. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Thursday, October 19

Our most popular stories this week, along with editors’ picks:

  1. Behind the story BuzzFeed, Daily Beast, NYT and more didn’t want to publish 
    A cautionary tale for journalists.
  2. Trump might be in serious trouble for his NBC tweets 
    This time, he went too far.
  3. Reporter uncovers years of shocking allegations involving teacher
    “Oh my god,” reporter Bethany Barnes remembers thinking.
  4. Making media literacy great again
    “There is so much bullshit. We are drowning in it.”
  5. The story behind “one of the best reported pieces of the year” 
    The blockbuster investigation you do not want to miss.
  6. “She identified herself as a reporter. He then walked behind her and punched her in the side of the head”
    Alarming physical attacks on journalists.

 

 

Politics and Religion

Two interesting articles offered here for your edification!

 

 

 

 

Remember Alan Sokal?

sokal

Over twenty years ago postmodern academia was rocked by a hoax perpetrated by Alan Sokal. On this Blog we have written about the hoax on several occasions. First, let me give you a flavour of the article that comprises the hoax:

Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity

There are many natural scientists, and especially physicists, who continue to reject the notion that the disciplines concerned with social and cultural criticism can have anything to contribute, except perhaps peripherally, to their research. Still less are they receptive to the idea that the very foundations of their worldview must be revised or rebuilt in the light of such criticism. Rather, they cling to the dogma imposed by the long post-Enlightenment hegemony over the Western intellectual outlook, which can be summarized briefly as follows: that there exists an external world, whose properties are independent of any individual human being and indeed of humanity as a whole; that these properties are encoded in “eternal” physical laws; and that human beings can obtain reliable, albeit imperfect and tentative, knowledge of these laws by hewing to the “objective” procedures and epistemological strictures prescribed by the (so-called) scientific method.

In 1996, Alan Sokal, Professor of Physics at New York University, published, after being reviewed and accepted, a paper in the cultural-studies journal Social Text entitled Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity. Sokal immediately confessed that the whole article was a hoax designed to expose and parody the style of extreme postmodernist criticism of science, and became front page news around the world, triggering a fierce and wide-ranging controversy.

It has been some years now since the amazing case of Alan Sokal and the pomo journal Social Text that published his “attack” on science and realism. Here is his description of the event: A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies … Continue reading →

In a three part essay Sokal asks “What is science and why should we care?”

Part I

Part II

Part III

More.

And more.

And even more.

Steven Weinberg on Sokal’s Hoax.

A report from the New York Times in 1996.


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Sunday’s Sermon

NY_1946

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

As Japan marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings by the United States, it’s well worth returning to the seminal article that laid the horrors of nuclear warfare before the world. John Hersey’s meticulous recreation of the moment the bomb hit Hiroshima, and his intertwined tales of victims,survivors and a shaken country, holds up 69 years after it was published.

Read it here.