Former Intern Sues Magazine Publisher, Claiming She Was An Unpaid Full-Timer

Although students gain work experience and connections from internships, the professional world tends to get the better end of the deal, exploiting talented interns for free or low-pay labor. Federal law bars companies from treating interns as they would employees, but overworked students don’t often feel as though they’re in much of a position to blow the whistle if their mentors cross the line. [More]

Site Calls Out The Year's 10 Most Disingenuous Movie Critics

Site Calls Out The Year's 10 Most Disingenuous Movie Critics

Movie studio marketing departments like to present the image of prestige by plastering movie ads with quotes from rave reviews. The problem is, sometimes your movie is Transylmania, a film without a single positive review according to Rotten Tomatoes. That’s where so-called quote whores come in. Studios allegedly trade trips to promotional junkets and access to interviews with stars in exchange for positive quotes about terrible movies. [More]

Report: Disney Blocks Johnny Depp From Talking To ABC Stations About "The Rum Diary"

Report: Disney Blocks Johnny Depp From Talking To ABC Stations About "The Rum Diary"

Things get weird and ugly when journalism collides with the inelegant demands of outlets’ corporate masters. A Houston TV reporter alleges Disney prevented reporters from ABC affiliates from interviewing Johnny Depp at the Austin Film Festival because he was there to promote the upcoming movie The Rum Diary while his film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has just come out on home video. [More]

Mocking Hacker Stock Photo Art

Mocking Hacker Stock Photo Art

It can be so hard to find just the right photo to illustrate a story about hacking. Luckily, stock photo agencies have stepped up to the challenge. [More]

Website Fires Film Critic Following Fabrication Accusation

Website Fires Film Critic Following Fabrication Accusation

A former New York Times film critic was canned by a website following an investigation into his review of Source Code, which contained language that made it appear as though the review could have been based upon an early draft of the script rather than the movie itself. [More]

Blogger Must Pay $60K To University Employee Fired Because Of Post

Blogger Must Pay $60K To University Employee Fired Because Of Post

A Minnesota jury decided a blogger must pay $60,000 in damages to a former University of Minnesota employee who was fired after the blogger’s posts exposed the former employee’s alleged involvement in a mortgage fraud. [More]

Men Pay More Attention To "Sexier" News Anchors, But Remember Less

Men Pay More Attention To "Sexier" News Anchors, But Remember Less

TV networks try to boost ratings by hiring comely female anchors and dressing them and shooting them in ways to accentuate their visual assets, but a study finds it actually reduces the amount of information recalled by male viewers. The “sexier” the female anchors, the more attention men pay, but the less they remember of what the news was about. [More]

Investigate Companies By Scraping Data Off The Web

Investigate Companies By Scraping Data Off The Web

In order to put together its awesome “Dollars for Docs” database that let readers search to see if their doctor had received pharma company payments ProPublica had to convert data from all sorts of Websites, PDFs, Excel docs and even Flash sites into one system. Not an easy task, but that kind of data wrasslin’ is key for modern investigative journalism, and ProPublica have put together tutorials to show you how you can do it too. [More]

The Template For Every Weasely Science Article

The Template For Every Weasely Science Article

Ever read an article about some scientific finding and wondered why you felt like you knew less afterward than you did before? And not in a wow, my mind has been blown, but in a what the heck was that rubbish kind of way. Have heart, as a satirical article in The Guardian skewering the format for every single useless and weasely science story ever written explains why. [More]

Massachusetts Regulators Rarely Acted Against Subprime Brokers And Lenders

Massachusetts Regulators Rarely Acted Against Subprime Brokers And Lenders

An investigative report finds that Massachusetts regulators only acted against 3% of its licensees during the sub-prime peak, the lowest among fellow New England states, while publicly preening that it was being “aggressive.” In fact, as foreclosures rose during ’06-’08, enforcement actually dropped. Forget who watches the watchdogs, who watches? [More]

Corporations Stole Billions Of Dollars Of Gas From Landowners

Corporations Stole Billions Of Dollars Of Gas From Landowners

Energy companies were supposed to compensate rural Virginians for the billions of dollars worth of gas they sucked from their land, but a local newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation found that the money has instead been diverted into escrow accounts for over 20 years. If the landowner even knows the money is there, it’s nigh impossible to get it out, and in any event, the companies have only been putting in a fraction of what they’re supposed to. A rubber-stamping regulatory board that hadn’t done an audit for a decade only compounded the problem. I drink your milkshake, indeed. [More]

MTV News Becomes Paid Shill For FreeCreditScore.com

MTV News Becomes Paid Shill For FreeCreditScore.com

Maybe you didn’t take MTV News too seriously to begin with, but if you did you might want to reconsider. BrandChannel started noticing that MTV News was posting articles about FreeCreditScore.com’s contest for a new sellout band for its TV spots. (This is the same company as FreeCreditReport.com; both charge for their services and generally suck.) The problem with the paid MTV sponsorship is that it’s not disclosing that the “news stories” are just advertorials. [More]

Samsung Sues Journalist For Satirically Pointing Out That Its Chairman Keeps Getting Convicted Of Crimes

Samsung Sues Journalist For Satirically Pointing Out That Its Chairman Keeps Getting Convicted Of Crimes

Did you know that the chairman of Samsung, Lee Kun-hee, was convicted in 2008 for tax evasion in South Korea? Or that he was convicted in the 90s for bribing politicians? A British journalist, Michael Breen, wrote a satirical column in a South Korean newspaper last December, and now the electronics giant is suing him for libel. If found guilty, Breen could face jail time. [More]

Directly Pitch Your Stories To Pro Video Journalists

Directly Pitch Your Stories To Pro Video Journalists

VJ Movement is a new site that lets everyday people pitch their ideas for news stories to a group of selected global professional video journalists who then go on to produce them and post them online. Here’s one about a poor Chinese immigrant turned professional gambler who plays poker so that his kids can live the American Dream in Orange County, California.

WSJ 1999: "If This Is A Bubble, It Sure Is Hard To Pop"

WSJ 1999: "If This Is A Bubble, It Sure Is Hard To Pop"

I just found this awesome Wall Street Journal front page from 1999 covering the first time the Dow broke 10,000. It’s full of unintentionally hilarious crap that gives keen insight into how we got into this economic catastrophe in the first place. Full-size inside.

Consumer Columnist Sues Paper, Says Advertiser Criticism Squelched

Consumer Columnist Sues Paper, Says Advertiser Criticism Squelched

Consumer watchdog George Gombossy this morning filed a 1st Amendment lawsuit against his former employer, Tribune-owned Hartford Courant. There’s some gangbusters stuff in the filing, like the part where he says the new owners told him to “be nice” to one of their key advertisers:

Was Consumer Columnist's Demise Due To Editorial Cutbacks Or Advertising Interference?

Was Consumer Columnist's Demise Due To Editorial Cutbacks Or Advertising Interference?

The story of consumer columnist George Gombossy‘s departure from the Hartford Courant has become a “he said”/”company said” argument that seems like something out of a consumer affairs column. Was Gombossy let go for reporting on an advertiser, as he alleges, or was the elimination of his position simply part of the cutbacks taking place all over the Tribune Company?

Looking To Interview Truth-In-Advertising Lawyer

Are you a lawyer with experience and knowledge of truth-in-advertising litigation? Or know someone who is? I’m looking to interview such a person for an article with a deceptive marketing hook. Email me at ben@consumerist.com, subject line, “lawyer.”