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Sited –

This week Lawrie Zion launches a new column called 'Sited' that suggests places on the web that anyone with an interest in journalism should follow. To kick it off, he profiles - a web spinoff of the 50 year-old magazine, Columbia Journalism Review.

Sited – Columbia Journalism Review (also known as

Of course you know how to follow breaking news. But where should you go if you want to enrich your understanding of what’s happening in the 21st century mediascape? As part of an attempt to address this question around 18 months ago – and this was way back in the early days of upstart – I posted the article ‘Interested in journalism? Then follow these ten sites’.

In what in media terms might seem like a millennium later, I’m happy to say that all of the sites on that list are not only still alive but also kicking. So if you’re new to journalism, get acquainted with Crikey, Dart Centre Australasia, Editor’s Weblog, European Journalism Centre, BuzzMachine, MediaShift, mUmbrella, Online Journalism Review , Poynter Online, and The Punch.

But of course, there’s more. So much, in fact, that starting here and now, we’re going to be profiling a range of journalism sites and resources that will build into what we hope will evolve into a useful reference guide for anyone with anything from a passing to a professional interest in journalism.

We’re launching with With the words ‘strong press, strong democracy’ emblazoned on its masthead,  the site is home to the digital version of the 50 year-old bi-monthly print magazine, the Columbia Journalism Review. Founded under the auspices of Columbia University’s prestigious Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, its stated aim is to offer a ‘deliberative mix of reporting, analysis, criticism and commentary’ – a mix that is designed ‘to encourage and stimulate excellence in journalism in the service of a free society’. And that’s exactly what it delivers.

Some – but not all – of the contents of the print magazine are available for free online: full subscription to the print version of the magazine costs a bit under $30 a year for six issues. But even if you’re not planning to stump up for a personal subscription, the companion site offers a wealth of material written for the web that provides journalistic news and view on everything from politics and policy (Campaign Desk), business (The Audit), science (The Observatory), and – of course – the media (Behind the News). Additionally, there’s the daily blog The Kicker that reports on news about journalism and journalists from around the globe.

The site also hosts a study guide that is designed as a companion piece to each print issue of the magazine. While many of the topics will inevitably be of greater interest to American than Australian audiences, the guide – like the magazine – regularly covers themes of global interest: stories covered in the November/December 2010 guide include netizens in China and the role of search algorithms in determining the content of journalism.

Augmenting all these features is a wealth of podcasts including the Blog Talk Radio series which recently produced a lively discussion about what WikiLeaks means to journalism.

It’s a lot to keep up with, but to help you navigate the wealth of material, the site offers an email sign-up service that you can customise, along with vibrant presences on Facebook and Twitter.

Lawrie Zion is a co-founder of upstart and a Senior Lecturer in Journalism at La Trobe University.


Want to suggest (or write about) a site we should cover at Sited? Then send your suggestions/contributions to


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