Internews empowers sailors in fight against cholera

This World Radio Day, Internews – an international non-profit that was co-founded by our author David Hoffman – is celebrating a project that’s taken the fight against cholera to the airwaves.

In the Central African Republic, where an outbreak of cholera last summer threatened communities along the Oubangui River, river boat drivers have been broadcasting a radio program that instructs locals on prevention and containment of the disease.

This article in Medium details the initiative, which saw the local sailors partnering with Internews and the Network of Journalists for Human Rights, which produced the initial radio program, entitled “Go Away Cholera.”

As a major form of transportation among river communities, the boats were in a unique position to spread information through broadcasts to their passengers.

Drivers say they were pleased to take part in the awareness campaign:

“This is the first time that an organization has included us in the fight against cholera,” said Anatole Crispin Prince Ngbokotto, president of an association of river boat drivers. “No one has included us in the well-being of our people despite the fact that it is our pirogues (a long narrow boat made from a single tree trunk) and canoes that transport the sick to Bangui.”

Internews, which was founded in 1982, works to expand access to information by providing training and support to local media and citizen journalists around the world.

Learn more about their mission, and the way technology is giving voice to often disempowered citizens around the world, with Hoffman’s book “Citizens Rising.”

The Legacy of Nat Hentoff

David Lewis, the author of our book “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step,” has been weighing in on the life and work of New York writer Nat Hentoff, who recently died after a long and influential career as a journalist, jazz critic and First Amendment activist.

Lewis, who serves as metro editor at WNYC, spent six years making the documentary of the same, and then the oral history that we published. Both the movie and book explore Hentoff’s decades of work in alternative journalism through the lens of his greatest obsession, both musical and political – freedom.

As passionate about First Amendment rights as he was jazz, Hentoff was known for his contrarian political views, a legacy that Lewis said in a recent WNYC interview remains important for journalists today:

He really enjoyed challenging the orthodoxies of both the left and the right. He was anti-abortion for instance, just shocked and outraged his friends on the left, didn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose. He hated labels of all kinds, whether it was music or politics. But he called himself a lower-case libertarian for much of the end of his career. To me, he was really a champion of what we call critical thinking, which was really just the idea of being able to think for yourself and damn the consequences.

Lewis’ documentary was cited in a number of obituaries and appreciations written about Hentoff, including in The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major publications.

Listen to the full interview here, purchase the doc here (trailer below) and, of course, check out the oral history of the same name here.

ESL Writing Coach Tackles Common Crime Reporting Errors


In her latest blog post, Diane Nottle, a writing coach for international students at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism, tackles the subtleties in reporting crime stories. Nottle highlights the imprecise language used in a student’s crime lede, below:

“On Wednesday at 1 p.m. police captured a man who allegedly stole in a shop in SoHo. The man was running on Prince Street near the subway stop when policemen started to run after him until he finally chased at corner of Prince Street and Mercer Street.”

Nottle highlights the verb “stole” because it’s a verb not a legal charge. She also removes the word “allegedly” because she writes, “it’s a meaningless word used to shift the accusation,” – a claim that the police, NOT the journalist, should be making in the first place. Nottle re-writes two variations of the student’s lede, below:

A man suspected of robbing a shop in SoHo was arrested early Wednesday afternoon after police officers chased him along Prince Street. 

Or, in active voice:

Police arrested a man suspected of robbing a shop in SoHo early Wednesday afternoon after chasing him along Prince Street.

 To see the blog entry in its entirety and learn the difference between robbery, burglary, larceny and theft – and how to write about them correctly – check out Nottle’s full blog post, here.

For a deep dive into the world of reporting, grammar and writing stateside, order Nottle’s book “American English for World Media,” available here.

Journalism Professor Proposes Media Strategy of Empathy to Rebuild After Volatile Election

With the presidential electionempathy-dogs nightmare almost at an end – CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Professor Jeff Jarvis’ latest blog entry “Empathetic Journalism For The Right,” proposes a new strategy for the mainstream media to connect with the approximately 40 million white angry alienated male voters, whose frustrations have propelled Trump onto the national scene.

Jarvis’ new strategy is a four pronged approached that instructs mainstream media outlets to re-engage with Trump’s base of poor, underemployed white men by doing the following: reporting on their relevant social issues, investing in responsible conservative media – to serve as an alternative to far right divisive machines like Fox News and Breitbart, pooling resources to serve this community by creating open job databases along with needed skills and acting as a needed conduit to connect different, previously alienated communities across class and racial lines. By following this strategy, Jarvis says the media can help the country recover from an election marred by divisiveness and anger.

Jarvis is a leader in journalism who has written several books about its changing business model, including Geeks Bearing Gifts, about the future of the news media. To order the book, click here.

Penn State Recognizes Alumna Diane Nottle For Recently Released Book

nottlePenn State recently featured their alumna Diane Nottle’s book “American English for World Media: The CUNY Journalism School Guide to Writing and Speaking for Professionals,” on its website.

Nottle, who is a 1975 Penn graduate, wrote the book mostly for non-native international journalists who will be writing in a primarily English-speaking environment. The book touches on media idioms and expressions, while also diving into pronunciation and grammar.

In addition to international journalists, Nottle said the book could also be used to help anyone who needs to use English professionally to advance in their career, including students.

After graduating in 1975, Nottle spent the next 30 years as an editor in print media; this includes over 20 years spent as an Arts editor for the New York Times. After parting ways with the Times in 2008, she has started teaching English and journalism at home and abroad.

Since 2012, she has worked as a second language coach to international students at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Journalism. This book is being published by the CUNY Journalism Press.

Nottle has a long history of journalism dating back to her time at Penn State: There she was the editor of the Daily Collegian.

To see Penn State’s coverage of Nottle, click here.
To order your copy of the book, click here.



New Media Leader Calls For Transformation of Republican Party

US Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton arrives October 9, 2016 at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri where she will take part in the second televised debate against her Republican rival Donald Trump at Washington University. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY        (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

In his latest column, “How Trump Could Delegitimize Clinton’s Presidency,” CUNY Journalism Professor Jeff Jarvis, laments that the party that put Trump into power needs to be transformed for a healthy democracy to move forward.

Jarvis said that Trump and his party have displayed continual ignorance and hatred, which, in trying to appear balanced, the media has normalized by grazing over Trump’s grave infractions while building up Clinton’s minor ones, to give the election a sense of conflict and suspense.

Jarvis argues that with Trump the party has crossed a point of no return, and needs to rebuild itself from the ground up to create a true conservative party that represents the interests of a diverse base. To read the article, click here. 

Jarvis is a leader in journalism who has written several books about its changing business model, including Geeks Bearing Gifts, about the future of the news media. To order the book, click here.

CUNY Event Explored Marketable Skills In Audience Engagement

Credit: CUNY Social Journalism Blog

Credit: CUNY Social Journalism Blog

CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Professor Jeff Jarvis led a group of media thought leaders in brainstorming the most in-demand skills for audience engagement, at the university last week.

During the brainstorming session, participants identified the skills below, many of which were analytical, as being most necessary for recent journalism graduates to succeed with audience engagement in the newsroom:

  • Resilience
  • Ability to show progress towards a goal
  • Need to know how to create a process for something to tell if an experiment worked

Jarvis is director of the Tow Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism. He’s a prominent leader in the field of journalism and author of the book, “Geeks Bearing Gifts,” a CUNY J-Press book about the future of the news media. To read the original blog entry, click here. 



ESL Coach Offers Grammar Tips To Foreign Journalists

nottleAs an ESL coach at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism, Diane Nottle has made it her focus to help international journalists master reporting and writing. Her latest ESL blog entry, tackles the importance of using possessives to shorten and clarify writing.

Nottle writes real world examples of clunky sentences from her students, to model how replacing certain words with possessives can tighten and clean up the writing. To view her blog, click here.

If you are an international journalist looking for more writing tips, check out her block, here. For more in-depth writing assistance, for non-native reporters, check out Nottle’s soon to be released book, American English For World Media, which is being being published through CUNY’s Journalism Press. Nottle is a former editor with the New York Times, who has taught English abroad in different countries including China and Poland.

First Look Media Pulls the Plug On Social First Journalism Model

Credit: Image by scyther5 on Shutterstock

Credit: Image by scyther5 on Shutterstock

It should come as no surprise that Andy Carvin, who live tweeted the Arab Spring revolution, would be the one to pioneer a social medium platform focused on real time reporting and live fact checking.

The social media news wire launched last January. It mostly published on Facebook and Twitter, although it also posted to a lesser extent on Instagram and Reddit. published international stories like the Charlie Hebdo shooting less than two days after it occurred.

But in August,’s financial backer First Look Media announced that they were pulling the plug and would no longer fund the news wire. Carvin said he is looking at a way to keep the project going.

He shared some takeaways from the experience during a ONA conference in Denver, saying it was best for them to publish on Twitter, because of its fast news sharing capabilities – whereas Facebook with its algorithm was much slower. He also said’s journalists valued empathy when covering tragedies and interacting with their sources. To read the entire story originally reported on the blog, click here

Carvin is a former NPR senior producer. He documented his work live tweeting the Arab Spring in his book Distant Witness, published by CUNY Journalism’s Publishing Press; for more info on the book and to order it, click here.

Illustrated Courtroom Artist Sketches Jury Selection For “Bridgegate”

1-bridgegate-jury-selectionCourtroom artist Aggie Kenny is covering jury selection for two former aides to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who are being accused of creating a traffic jam at the George Washington Bridge in a 2013 scandal known as “Bridegate.”

Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni,, Christie’s appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, are charged with fraud for allegedly closing traffic lanes as revenge against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, who didn’t endorse Christie’s re-election bid. To see the original article, click here.

Kenny’s sketches are also featured in the book “The Illustrated Courtroom,” which highlights high profile court cases including OJ Simpson, Charles Mason and many more. To check out the book, click here.

After Facebook Censorship Controversy, Journalism Professor Suggests Facebook Get Editor-In-Chief


Facebook briefly banned this iconic photo of the “Napalm Girl,” by Nick Ut, in 1972. The photo won the Pulitzer prize.

After initially censoring the iconic “Napalm Girl” photo from the Vietnam war, Facebook reversed itself and will allow users to post image.

The photo, by AP photographer Nick Ut, shows a naked girl fleeing a napalm attack.

Espen Egil Hansen, editor at a top Norwegian newspaper, recently posted the image and then received a demand from Facebook to remove it. The social media site said that the iconic image violated their standards of child pornography, but reversed the decision amid waves of criticism.

One of the leading critics, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Professor Jeff Jarvis, said the case illustrates the need for Facebook to instate an editor-in-chief to set editorial standards and policies. To read the article, click here.

Jarvis is a leader in journalism who has written several books about its changing business model, including Geeks Bearing Gifts, about the future of the news media. To order the book, click here.

Illustrated Courtroom Sketch Artists Receive Next Generation Indie Book Award


Congrats to Illustrated Courtroom artists, shown to the left, accepting their Next Generation Indie Book awards in Chicago this past May. The artists featured are Elizabeth Williams and Aggie Kenny.

The book was a finalist in the following categories: Gift/Specialty/Novelty, Historical Non-Fiction and e-Book Nonfiction. The book continues to rack up its share of awards. It has been recognized recently for the following awards.


  • Gold Medal Winner IPPY’s ‘s eLit 2015 awards: True Crime and Fine & Performing Arts
  • Silver Medal Winner: History and Graphic Drawn Documentary
  • A Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year
  • A Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
  • Gold Medal Winner Global eBook Awards:
  • Best Illustration in a Non-fiction Category

The Illustrated Courtroom includes 140 iconic illustrations depicting memorable moments, and tells the stories behind the headlines, with the artists’ insider insights. The result is be an artists’ eye view of courtroom history in the making, allowing readers to savor the extraordinary work of those who go where cameras cannot. The book is a must-have for everyone passionate about true crime, legendary defendants, headline-making trials, big-time lawyers and courtroom drama. To order your copy, click here.


“Geeks Bearing Gifts” Now Available on Audible

CUNY author Jeff Jarvis’ critically acclaimed book, “Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News,” is now available as an audiobook on Amazon’s Host, like author, is lower case in that usage.

The book, which examines the evolving landscape of journalism and mass media and possible ways to help save the soul of the industry, has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Throughout the book, Jarvis offers his own take on what’s wrong with the journalism standards of top media providers who prioritize page views and clicks over serving the public.

Jarvis argues that journalism should be viewed as a service, and that advocacy journalism is the future.

“Content fills things. Services accomplish things,” Jarvis told TV host Jorge Ramos earlier this year on Ramos’ web TV show, “America with Jorge Ramos.” “We have to shift this idea of seeing the world as a mass, all the same. We start seeing the individual and communities that exist in our communities.”

To purchase a copy, or for more information, click here.

Jarvis is regarded as a leading voice on the evolution of journalism and mass media. He is often quoted in the New York Times and elsewhere, is a frequent speaker at major journalism and technology conferences, and has made recent appearances on Bloomberg Markets and

CUNY Author’s Profile Subject Rips FBI Surveillance Practices in Latest Column

Celebrated writer Nate Hentoff calls out the FBI in his latest column for the conservative web site World Net Daily.

The staunch Libertarian and subject of CUNY author David L. Lewis’ book, “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step: Nat Hentoff’s Life in Journalism, Jazz and the First Amendment,” accuses the FBI of increasingly trampling on citizens’ rights under Presidents Bush and Obama.

“If James Madison and Thomas Jefferson could see this shredding of the Bill of Rights, they might be leading another American Revolution,” he writes.

Hentoff focused his criticism on the law enforcement agency’s expanded the attorney general guidelines for domestic operations, which were first implemented under President Bush’s Attorney General Michael Mukasey, but remained under President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

He likened the policy’s phone surveillance and record retention practices to the methods implemented by FBI founder J. Edgar Hoover during the Red Scare of the 1950s and ‘60s.

“The FBI is ‘authorized and encouraged’ to identify and recruit informants, even if the activities to be investigated are totally lawful,” Hentoff writes, citing a quote from Margaret Ratner Kunstler and Michael Ratner, co-authors of “Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in 21st-Century America.”

“[The FBI’s] Mukasey guidelines dispense with the Privacy Act restrictions on keeping records about United States citizens and permanent residents, flatly stating that all activities authorized by the guidelines are exempt from the Privacy Act.”

For the full story, click here.

Hentoff has never held back in his defense of his Libertarian ideals and what he perceives as the federal government’s unending assault on the Bill of Rights.

David Lewis’ book, “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step,” profiles the former Village Voice reporter like never before with extensive interviews with Hentoff himself, his allies and rivals, and his unique career in American journalism and activism.

For more on the book, click here.

CUNY Author Weighs In On ‘Zombie’ Tom Brady Sketch

“The Illustrated Courtroom,” author Elizabeth Williams’ depiction of NFL Quarterback Tom Brady in court this month drew much less attention than the controversial “Zombie Brady” image drawn by her colleague Jane Rosenberg.

Williams recently shared her thoughts on the courtroom art controversy in her column with the New York Observer.


“Jane Rosenberg’s sketch (pictured right) depicted the pretty-boy quarterback as if he had taken too many blows to the face,” Williams wrote. “She did this scene that was journalistically accurate, but I knew it was going to take me too long.”

Williams apparently took her time drawing her own image of Brady (pictured below), which is less popular for the right reasons.

BRADY1“He looked contrite; his head was bowed and his eyes downcast, which I felt was important to capture,” Williams said of Brady’s demeanor in court. “I said to myself, ‘I’ve got to … just zero in on him.’”

Rosenberg and Williams depicted the New England Patriots signal caller during an Aug. 11 appearance in Manhattan’s federal courthouse following a lawsuit Brady filed against the NFL for suspending him four games this upcoming season.

Brady’s suspension was punishment for cheating allegations against him and the Pats. An NFL investigation earlier this year concluded he conspired with Patriots personnel to deliberately deflate footballs his team used in the 2015 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts, allegedly making the balls easier to throw and catch.

Rosenberg’s illustration of “Tom Terrific” went viral on social media sites. Twitter users created the hashtag #ZombieBrady comparing the likeness to something straight out of an episode of “The Walking Dead.”

To read the full story, click here.

Brady is one of many famous faces drawn by Williams. Her book, “The Illustrated Courtroom,” a collection of courtroom art from some of the most famous trials of the last 50 years, features likenesses of John Gotti, Bernie Madoff, and “Cannibal Cop” Gilberto Valle among others.

For more information or to purchase a copy of the book, click here.

“The Illustrated Courtroom” Wins Global Ebook Award

CUNY Journalism Press authors Elizabeth Williams’ and Sue Russell’s critically acclaimed book, “The Illustrated Courtroom,” brought home the gold at this year’s Dan Poynter Global Ebook Awards.

The collection of courtroom sketches from some of the nation’s most famous trials of the last half century took first place in the competition’s Illustration in Non-Fiction category.

“We can’t thank you enough for taking part in the awards this year and for your contribution to promoting the value of ebooks,” an organization spokesperson said via email.

Award-winning author and publisher Dan Poynter founded the Global Ebook awards to highlight excellence in electronic publishing. The annual competition is open to authors, publishers, illustrators and photographers.

Earlier this year, “The Illustrated Courtroom” also won four medals – two gold and two silver – at the annual eLit Book Awards, an independent organization honoring digital books. It was the first time in the history of the competition that a single book has won four awards.

To read more about this year’s Global Ebook Award winners, click here.

“The Illustrated Courtroom,” includes behind-the-scenes text of many of the biggest headline-grabbing cases in U.S. history: Charles Manson, O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, Bernie Madoff and more.

To learn more about the book or to purchase a copy, click here.

CUNY Author Jeff Jarvis Breaks Down Google’s New “Alphabet” Venture for Bloomberg News

What WON’T Google Do?

That seems to be the real question this week after the tech giant recently announced the creation of its new umbrella corporation, Alphabet.

CUNY Professor Jeff Jarvis, author of “What Would Google Do?” and his latest title, “Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News,” participated in a Bloomberg News segment discussing the implications of Google’s latest venture, which he described as a brilliant move.

“Google was being typecast as just a search engine company,” Jarvis said, “when the truth is for a long time it’s been much more… with Gmail and Google Maps and so on.”

“Google is really a personal services company,” he added. “To maximize that value, I think it needs to be able to concentrate on that.”

Google’s iconic search engine is only one of at least 78 businesses included in the soup of enterprises under the Alphabet Holding Company umbrella, which also includes Android, AdSense, YouTube, X Labs, and Finance among others.

Bloomberg reports Google investors showed confidence in the move with company shares up as much as five percent.

Bloomberg News Editor Tom Giles says that’s because of the potential for “unlocked value,” from the tech giant’s entrepreneurial ambitions.

“Now you have a bunch of new businesses that are going to be easier to set apart and possibly down the road sell IPO,” he said. “Some of them are going to fail miserably, but others are going to do really well.”

To watch the full segment, click here.

Jarvis’ latest book, “Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News,” examines the changing journalistic landscape and assesses the need for modern reporters to act as service providers, not just content creators.

To learn more about the book, click here.

“Distant Witness” Author’s iPhone Added to Smithsonian

Former NPR social media director Andy Carvin used his iPhone to document history during the 2011 Arab Spring in Cairo.

Now Carvin’s phone has literally become a part of history.

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is featuring Carvin’s iPhone in its new exhibit on enterprise and innovation in the U.S. The 8,000-square-foot exhibit tells the stories of technology that changed the world. Other exhibit showcases items such as the Nintendo Gameboy, the original Google server, Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, and the iPhone, using Carvin’s phone to exemplify its impact.

Curator Peter Liebhold notes, that the iPhone is one of the inventions that helped Americans “really understand who we are as a country.”

For the full story, click here.

For more information on “Distant Witness,” the book that tells Carvin’s story and how he changed journalism by covering the Arab Spring using social media, click here.

Federal Judge Uses “Fighting for the Press” In Ruling Against NSA Domestic Spying

A three-judge panel on the US Court of Appeals cited James Goodale’s book, “Fighting for the Press,” in its recent decision limiting the controversial National Security Agency (NSA) domestic phone monitoring program.

In the case of A.C.L.U. v. James R. Clapper – the NSA’s director of national intelligence – Second Circuit Judge Gerard E. Lynch’s opinion declared that the program, which has been publicly criticized for its practice of collecting and storing Americans’ phone call data, “exceeds the scope of what Congress authorized,” in the U.S. Patriot Act (2001).

In his concurring opinion, Circuit Judge Robert D. Sack explained the court’s ruling in part by citing, “Fighting for the Press,” and exploring the national security vs. free speech issues weighed in the Pentagon Papers Supreme Court case U.S. v. New York Times Co. (1971). James Goodale was the Times’ General Counsel who led the newspaper’s fight against the Nixon administration’s efforts to suppress publication of the leaked documents about the Vietnam War.

“Recognition of the dangers to the fundamental rights of citizens that inevitably arise when the nation attempts effectively to treat grave external threats to lives and property was not dependent on the creation of telephone metadata or the preparation of secret reports on the origin of the Vietnam War,” wrote Sack.

He concluded his argument with a quote from Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist No. 8 essay.

“’The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights.’”

For more details on the story, click here.

“Fighting for the Press,” was named best non-fiction book of the 2013 by Alan Rusbridger, Editor of The Guardian, and by Alan Clanton of

To purchase a copy of “Fighting for the Press,” click here.

“Distant Witness” Author Cited in Irish Social Conflict Study

“Distant Witness,” Author Andy Carvin continues to make waves overseas.

Carvin, the author of our 2013 book on social media’s role in the 2010 Arab Spring, was recently cited in an England university’s study of sectarian conflict in Ireland. The study found that social media is not only a means to start a revolution, but can also prevent violence by mediating peaceful discourse.

Paul Reilly, a media and communication lecturer at the UK’s University of Leicester, mentions Carvin in his recent ‘Social Media, Parades and Protest’ study on community relations in Northern Ireland, which was summarized in a recent blog post by the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Reilly analyzed Twitter activity during a July 2014 conflict between unionist and loyalist protesters with the Police Service of Northern Ireland, groups that have a history of violent conflict.

“Although there was no equivalent of the ‘crowdsourced newswire’ that emerged via NPR editor Andy Carvin’s Twitter account during the ‘Arab Spring,’” writes Reilly. “Twitter did provide users with an array of information sources courtesy of the citizen and professional journalists who were tweeting their perspectives on events as they unfolded.”

“While acknowledging that social media has often been used to reinforce divisions between rival communities in Northern Ireland,” he continues, “this study suggested that Twitter may have untapped potential in facilitating modes of communication that help defuse sectarian tensions around the marching season.”

For the full story, click here.

For more information or to purchase a copy of “Distant Witness,” click here.