Today's Top Stories

The Freelance Surge Is the Industrial Revolution of Our Time

It's been called the Gig Economy, Freelance Nation, the Rise of the Creative Class, and the e-conomy, with the "e" standing for electronic, entrepreneurial, or perhaps eclectic. Independent workers abound. We call them freelancers, contractors, sole proprietors, consultants, temps, and the self-employed. And, perhaps most surprisingly, many of them love it.

Chant of 'tax the rich' growing louder in nation

Billionaire Warren Buffett may not seem to have much in common with angry laborers at town hall meetings or armies of California nurses protesting in the streets. But these days, the executive celebrity in his boardroom and working folks on the front lines have found a common mantra as the economy continues to sputter and the 2012 election approaches: "Tax the rich." And the calls have become louder as President Obama plans to unveil his jobs plan next Thursday.

Starting Over

David Protess is out as the moving spirit behind Northwestern University's Innocence Project, but the much-lauded investigative reporting program he founded lives on. And Protess himself, meanwhile, is still doing the same type of work as before, creating a new Chicago Innocence Project that has already argued for the innocence of a man serving a 100-year sentence for rape and deviant sexual conduct. Lending his name to the new venture: Rubin "Hurricane" Carter.

Why the “scoop” mentality is bad for news

“The scoop” has long been a hallmark of news culture. However, being first on a story usually matters far more to journalists than it does to anyone else. And while scoops can be great, prizing them blindly badly skews the priorities of a news organization -- to the detriment of their audiences, communities, and their own credibility -- because one story, by one news outlet, is rarely enough to cover any topic well. More coverage, as long as it’s done well, is always better.

Police contact with media to be evaluated by two inquiries

Investigations into potential corruption and procedural questions could alter way police officers and journalists interact

British police officers could be prevented from talking freely to the media under tough new proposals being considered in two major inquiries. In addition to an inquiry ordered by the home secretary, a second, led by the former parliamentary commissioner for standards, began at Scotland Yard. Both inquiries are considering proposals that all contact between police -- of all ranks -- should be regulated and officially recorded by a press officer.

Employers add no net jobs in Aug.; rate unchanged

Employers stopped adding jobs in August, an alarming setback for an economy that has struggled to grow and might be at risk of another recession. It was the weakest jobs report since September 2010. The unemployment rate remained at 9.1%.
Stock futures plunged on the news. Dow futures fell nearly 100 points shortly before the market opened. A strike by 45,000 Verizon workers lowered the job totals. Those workers are now back on the job.

WikiLeaks publishes full cache of unredacted cables

WikiLeaks has published its full archive of 251,000 secret US diplomatic cables, without redactions, potentially exposing thousands of individuals named in the documents to detention, harm or putting their lives in danger. The move has been strongly condemned by four previous media partners -- the Guardian, New York Times, El Pais and Der Spiegel -- who have worked with WikiLeaks publishing carefully selected and redacted documents.

Are books dead, and can authors survive?

Yes, books will survive -- in one form or another. But let's ask the more important question: Will writers be able to make a living and continue writing in the digital era? With the era of digital publishing and digital distribution, the age of author advances is coming to an end. Indeed, every industry that has become digital has seen a dramatic, and in many cases terminal, decrease in earnings for those who create "content."