Jack Shafer

Mike Daisey’s brief guide to answering difficult questions

By Jack Shafer
March 20, 2012

Thanks to the “Retraction” episode of This American Life and his appearance at Georgetown University last night, we now know more than we ever wanted to about Mike Daisey’s damage control theories.

Busting Mr. Daisey

By Jack Shafer
March 16, 2012

This week, the highly regarded public radio show This American Life learned a lesson that many journalists, including me, have learned the hard way: It’s almost impossible for an editor to fact-check a contributor who lies.

What’s bad for publishers is great for readers

By Jack Shafer
January 20, 2012

As tech giants Apple and Amazon apply the squeeze, there has never been a worse time to be in the publishing business. Apple has turned its disruptive death ray on the publishers with an update of its free “iBooks” app, which allows anybody with a Mac to build an ebook and publish for sale in the company’s iBookstore. The rapacious bastards at Amazon are attacking on the same front with their KF8 Kindle software, plus they’re signing book authors (Deepak Chopra, Timothy Ferriss, James Franco, Penny Marshall and more to come) to their publishing imprint. An email, purportedly written by an anonymous book industry “insider” and published at PandoDaily today, got a lot of attention on the Web with its claim that Amazon’s ultimate goal is to destroy conventional publishing.

The apotheosis of Steve Jobs

By Jack Shafer
October 6, 2011

If BMW had an auteur—the kind of auteur Apple had until last night—would his fans gather at local BMW dealerships when he died to light candles and toss flowers in front of showroom windows the way Steve Jobs fans are now at Apple Stores around the world? Would they storm Twitter to post recollections of the first and second BMWs they owned and thank Mr. BMW for having made their ordinary trips to the store for milk and eggs more like cosmic adventures in motoring?