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Blog Posts by Subject: News Media, Journalism and Publishing

"Private Empire" by Steve Coll

Crude. Oil that is. Black gold. Texas tea. Politics. Lobbying. Old boys. Influence.

Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power, by Steve Coll.

It may shock the gentle reader to learn that petroleum is power. Well, maybe not. Look around — at the street, at houses and businesses. Without oil we'd stop, and maybe freeze (but we'd have light, since oil is rarely used for electricity 

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Children's Literary Salon in Retrospect: Independent Publishing on December 8, 2012

I have been curious about independent publishing since I have heard other panelists in the Children's Literary Salons talking about it, so I was thrilled to be able to experience a Kid Lit Salon solely on that topic on December 8, 2012 in the South Court Auditorium of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

Betsy Bird, Youth Materials Specialist at NYPL, mentioned that NYPL has recently posted Children's Books 2012: 100 Titles for 

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"Behind the Beautiful Forevers" by Katherine Boo

July dawn. A passerby finds a scavenger lying in the mud by the Mumbai airport road. Crying for help — leg mashed and bloody — probably hit by a car. "Thousands of people passed this way every morning." ... "At 2:30 p.m., a Shiv Sena man made a call to a friend in the Sahar Police Station about a corpse that was disturbing small children."

Behind the 

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"Run to Failure: BP and the Making of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster" by Abrahm Lustgarten

Run to failure: meaning operate your equipment (business) all out, don't bother to care for and maintain it (much less inspect it) properly — until everything has been pushed beyond its limits. To add insult to injury, ignore, and even penalize, your front-line people when they alert you to, or object to, the deliberate neglect.

Run to Failure: BP and the Making of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster, by Abrahm Lustgarten

It's been well over two years since the BP oil exploration 

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Factcheck Your Friends: Misinformation on Social Media

New Yorkers experienced two major life events in the past few weeks: a superstorm and a hotly contested presidential election. Those two events have more in common than you might think. They both stressed us out. They both left us blurry with some of the details... what happened and what didn't, what was said and what was only hearsay. What was underreported and what was blown way out of proportion.

With social media 

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Extra! Extra! Read All About the Newsboys Strike of 1899

This year the musical Newsies got nominated for eight Tony Awards. The popularity of the Disney Broadway show based on the Disney film has led many of our younger patrons to ask about the newsboys and the strike they led in 1899 on which the film and play  are based.

If you are interested in learning more about the strike 

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Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism Celebrates 25 Years

For 25 years the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism has highlighted in-depth, investigative reporting. It was established in 1987, through a gift from Joseph Bernstein to the NYPL, in honor of journalist Helen Bernstein (now Helen Bernstein Fealy). The award plays an important role in safeguarding the first amendment and raising public awareness about significant world events and important issues. The 2012 finalists have all garnered acclaim this past year for stories that criss cross 

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I Love Reading: Long Form Essays and Journalism

In this week's installment of I Love Reading I want to talk about the kind of reading that is not books, not news, not blogs, but something in between. It demands a little bit more of your attention span than Twitter, but maybe not as much as your book group's latest pick. It can be from last week or fifteen years ago, and still be relevant to today. It can be a true tale of crime and punishment, an

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Sunshine Week at NYPL: March 11-17, 2012

As previously posted, on March 15, SIBL will celebrate Freedom of Information Day (FOI Day) with speaker Robert Weissman from the organization Public Citizen. FOI Day has been the main focus of our annual efforts to highlight the public's right to know. But it need not be NYPL's only activity, and so I offer a suggestion: let's use this as an opportunity to move from one day to an entire week — Sunshine Week at NYPL!

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Freedom of Information Day 2012 at SIBL — March 15!

I am pleased to announce our upcoming Freedom of Information Day celebration at the Science, Industry and Business Library. It will be held on Thursday, March 15, 2012 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Healy Hall (on the lower level), and will feature as guest presenter Robert Weissman, president of the public advocacy organization Public Citizen. This event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

A regular annual event here at SIBL, Freedom of Information Day was recognized by a

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Occupy Periodicals

The Periodicals Division has been collecting alternative press publications pretty much since the Library opened its doors in 1911. The alternative press, a general term that includes small, independent and underground presses, documents social, political and literary movements, popular and not so popular causes, and issues that are often neglected by mainstream media. Collecting and  preserving this material is at the core of the Library's mission to build diverse collections and provide free and open access to them.

NYPL's collection covers an amazingly broad 

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A Journalist to Watch: Shane Harris Talks Scandal, Surveillance, and the State of Reporting

Reporter Shane Harris (second from the right) receives the 2011 Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism. Pictured (left to right) are NYPL President Paul LeClerc, Helen Bernstein, Harris, and Committee Chairman Jim Hoge. Photo: Jonathan BlancIt’s not every day that a former national security advisor recognizes you, taps you on the shoulder, and apologizes for not returning your calls.

But that’s exactly what happened to journalist Shane Harris in March 2004 at a small, invitation-only discussion on homeland security at 

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Spencer Collection Book of the Month: The Rain of Crosses

The New York Public Library business card logoDid you know that The New York Public Library has an official color? I didn't either, and I've worked here since the Dark Ages (before the Internet). But we do, as I found out when I ordered new business cards recently. The color is red.

That's fine with me—I've always liked red (political considerations aside), and besides it gives me an excuse to select as the Spencer Collection Book of the Month for April a small volume containing two illustrations in vivid red. It is appropriate also because Easter falls in April this 

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Charles Kuralt and Walt Whitman on the Road

Walt Whitman filled the pages of Leaves of Grass with poetry exalting the lives of Americans. While out in the streets, he observed and recorded the beauty of daily life. Whitman's poem "I Hear America Singing" is a delightful example how common activities make up the fabric of America.  Within its lines, a boatman owns a part of America, and a mother's daily activities are considered 

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Wrap-Up - Freedom of Information Day at SIBL 2011

Many thanks to David Barstow for his presentation here at SIBL on March 16th for our celebration of Freedom of Information Day. As a kind of wrap-up for this year's event I wanted to offer, especially for those who were not able to attend, highlights of his lecture.

The premise of his presentation was to provide a working journalist's perspective on using Freedom of 

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My Library: Debbie

Debbie is a literary agent and all-around superpatron at Jefferson Market.

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Freedom of Information Day: Five Questions with David Barstow, Investigative Reporter for The New York Times

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Barstow, of The New York Times, will present Freedom of Information: The Act, the Press and the Future at the Science, Industry and Business Library this morning in honor of the 13th annual Freedom of Information Day.

Established by a Congressional Joint Resolution in 1989, Freedom of Information Day is held on or near March 16, the birthday of James Madison, fourth President 

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Freedom of Information Day at NYPL: A Booklist

The recent activities of Wikileaks and Julian Assange have once again reignited the controversy of the degree to which the public has a right to unfettered access to government information.  This year, Freedom of Information Day is being observed nationally on March 16.  At The New York Public Library, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the New York Times, David Barstow, has been invited to 

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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Investigative Reporter David Barstow at SIBL - FOI Day, March 16, 2011

As Freedom of Information Day at SIBL—March 16th—approaches, I want to pass along the details of the event and give some background on our presenter, David Barstow of The New York Times. The session is free and open to the public—no reservations are required; we hope you will join us for what promises to be an extremely interesting presentation.

Our event will take place in room 14/15 on the lower level (turn and walk underneath the staircase) here at the Science, Industry and Business Library, 188 

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Freedom of Information Day at SIBL - Presentations from Past Years

"Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants." This banner quotation so often used in connection with the issue of transparency in goverment was written by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (pictured below) in Harper's Weekly, December 20, 1913 (before he was nominated to the court). [This quote can be viewed in the NYPL database

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