From Neiman Reports, a special issue on Reporting from Faraway Places: Who does it and how? From NeoAmericanist, Andrew O'Connor on infotainment’s appeals and consequences. TV news is driven, more and more, by the latest scoops on JonBenet, Caylee, and Natalee; the inside story of how tabloid-TV stories are made, bought, and paid for — and Larry Garrison, the man who's often behind it all. Arianna Huffington has created a media upstart valued at $100 million — what's it really worth? How the drive to attract massive numbers of visitors to their Web sites (and the advertisers that might follow them) is having a profound effect on news judgment at traditional news organizations. Who is Howard Kurtz and why shouldn't you care? A question of credibility: Journalism is more than thorough research and investigation — it also includes the open handling of sources. The rules say reporters shouldn’t get involved with the people they cover, but when faced with the aftermath of a devastating earthquake, some veterans realized there are times to abandon professional standards. From CJR, the hamster wheel: Why running as fast as we can is getting us nowhere; video journalism is dying — long live video journalism; and an interview with Mike Liebhold of The Institute For the Future. He bribed, he blackmailed, he extorted, he lied — was Jack Anderson a reporter or a spook? (and more) A report from the borderland between history and journalism: Writing in new genres involves learning new skills and sometimes jettisoning old habits. Hong Kong’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club was once the favoured watering hole of veteran reporters, inspiring classic novels and countless brawls. Death to the Generic News Story: If I've read that headline a hundred zillion times before, it can't possibly be news. What's the point of journalism school, anyway? The rally to restore journalism: In both our media and our politics, style over substance has become the status quo.

Rainer Forst (Frankfurt): Two Stories about Toleration. Georg Struver (DUI): Too Many Resources or Too Few? What Drives International Conflicts? The latest Analecta Hermeneutica is a special issue on "The Absolute Question" — i.e. God — which includes papers from a conference on the philosophy of religion hosted by the International Institute for Hermeneutics at Mount Allison University (New Brunswick) in August 2006. A review of The German Genius: Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution and the Twentieth Century by Peter Watson. Why do Americans have yards? A murder in Salem: In 1830, a brutal crime in Massachusetts riveted the nation — and inspired the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. A review of Bring on the Books for Everybody: How Literary Culture Became Popular Culture by Jim Collins. A review of Animalkind: What We Owe to Animals by Jean Kazez. Aaron David Miller on five myths about Middle East peace. From NYRB, a review essay on Oscar Wilde, classics scholar. A review of Science’s First Mistake: Delusions in Pursuit of Theory by Ian O. Angell and Dionysios S. Demetis. Dan Ariely on new economists worth knowing. The Heidelberg Thingstatte is a Nazi edifice built on a sacred mountain site used by various German cults. Why democracies don't get cholera: It's about a lot more than just clean water. A review of Taliban: The True Story of the World's Most Feared Fighting Force by James Fergusson. A review of Spinoza and the Specters of Modernity: The Hidden Enlightenment of Diversity from Spinoza to Freud by Michael Mack. A review of Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century by John B. Thompson.

From the New York Times Magazine, a special issue on technology and education. Educational excellence bites back: American education is far from perfect, but the models abroad aren't much better. How to fix our schools: A manifesto by Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee and other education leaders. Is Michelle Rhee’s revolution over?: When people rebel against education reform. The myth of charter schools: Diane Ravitch on Waiting for “Superman”. Why good study habits may be bad for learning. Schoolwork: Nicholas Lemann on the real education problem. STEM education has little to do with flowers: The letters stand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, but it has some branding issues — and is it even a brand worth saving? No Child Left Behind has given us a lot of hard numbers — but we still don't know what they're telling us about educational outcomes. Learning by playing video games in the classroom: Can one middle school’s approach transform education? High school bullying is causing four times as many gay teens to kill themselves as their straight peers — so why not just bypass high school? An interview with Bill Smoot, author of Conversations with Great Teachers. Why school lunch is “nasty”: Liam Julian on commodity surpluses and policy shortcomings. Teacher Trap: In the world of education, there's no such thing as a Superman. From National Affairs, does school choice "work"? Frederick Hess investigates. A review of The History of Special Education: A Struggle for Equality in American Public Schools by Robert L. Osgood. Brilliance in a Box: What do the best classrooms in the world look like? A review of Patriotic Pluralism: Americanization Education and European Immigrants by Jeffrey E. Mirel. Is the best way to fix the American classroom to improve the furniture?

Richard E. Redding (Chapman) and William O’Donohue (Nevada - Reno): The Psychology of Political Correctness in Higher Education. Mitchell J. Nathanson (Villanova): Truly Sovereign at Last: CBC Distribution v. MLB and the Redefinition of the Concept of Baseball. Randy Borum (USF): Understanding Terrorist Psychology. From n+1, my life and times: Anonymous on PR for the PRC; and a perfect bomb: Nick Holdstock visits Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. A review of The Uyghurs: Strangers in Their Own Land by Gardner Bovingdon. Colonial studies: A real ant colony is more like an office that communicates by meaningless text messaging. They work together, share food and send their elders into battle to protect the young, and EO Wilson thinks they have a lot to teach us. A review of Lysander Spooner: American Anarchist by Steve J. Shone. From The Chronicle, what are books good for? At their best, they are better, smarter versions of ourselves — but though books aren't crucial, long-form texts are. The first chapter from A Tale of Two Cities: Santo Domingo and New York after 1950 by Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof. Using music to teach politics: An interview with political scientist Chris Soper. Age of Innocence: How discovering planets is like losing your virginity. A review of The Social Life of Scriptures: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Biblicism. Avenue Verte is the London-Paris cycle route that keeps getting you lost. Failing poor single mothers: A review of Stretched Thin: Poor Families, Welfare Work, and Welfare Reform by Sandra Morgen, Joan Acker, and Jill Weigt; Both Hands Tied Welfare Reform and the Race to the Bottom in the Low-Wage Labor Market by Jane L. Collins and Victoria Mayer; and The War on Welfare Family, Poverty, and Politics in Modern America by Marisa Chappell. A review of Carl Schmitt and the Politics of Hostility, Violence and Terror by Gabriella Slomp.

From Verbum et Ecclesia, Johannes van Oort (Utrecht): Manichaeism: Its Sources and Influences on Western Christianity; Trudie Stark (North-West): The “Jezebel spirit”: A Scholarly Inquiry; Rory du Plessis and Marinda Maree (Pretoria): Engendered Representations: Exploring Sexuality through Symbols and Myths; and Samuel Hill (Johannesburg): A Hermeneutics of Sexual Identity: A Challenge to Conservative Religious Discourse. Is atheism a belief? One of the most common accusations aimed at atheists is that atheism is an article of faith, a belief just like religion. William Pike on the Jesus Seminar: A 25 year quest for the irrelevant Jesus. An interview with Mary Warnock on Godless morality. Suppose someone who hasn't been keeping up with theology for the past 25 years now wants to read the most important books written during that time, what five titles would you suggest? Against humanism: Of course we should love, honour and cherish our species, says Mary Midgley, but should we have to worship it too? A review of Sin: A History by Gary Anderson. It's a standard piety that nothing should be sacred, and nothing above criticism, but it this desirable or even possible? An excerpt from John R. Shook's The God Debates: a 21st Century Guide for Atheists and Believers (and Everyone in Between). A review of Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years by Philip Jenkins. Friends like these: Attacks on New Atheism, especially from fellow atheists, are ill-advised, counter productive and play into the hands of the religion apologists. Was George W. Bush the last hippie? An interview with David Williams, author of Searching for God in the Sixties. Liturgy against the laws of physics: How does religious ritual preserve humanity from chaos and entropy? Social progress vs. endless war: Why do atheists and humanists disagree?<br id="dxn_5" />