As we know all too well here at Mediaite, a media entity reporting on the media can be a tricky business. Not only do members of the media loathe being judged in the way that they do others, but it’s often an insular community and, these days, an increasingly politicized one.
So finding media reporters (not just “critics,” whatever that means) whose stories are interesting, unique, fair and have the potential to actually matter is… not always an easy task.
With the exception of our own excellent media reporters, we believe these thirteen (in no particular order) do it as well as anyone:
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has exploded onto the scene as one of the country's top media reporters with prodigious tweets and scoops at all hours. With such prolific output, he baffles us with his ability to report on major media moments from across all platforms seemingly without missing a step. He has quickly come a long way from his more obscure perch at Dylan Byers Adweek.
really doesn't seem to like Mediaite, as evidenced by his near obsession with Jeff Bercovici attacking the site throughout its first year of existence. But just because he may not like us, that doesn't mean we can't respect what he does. He brings a good deal of techie smarts and media business insight to a field often plagued with clichés and relatively uninteresting assessments. He is a true capital-J Journalist, whose work generally would make old-school journalists proud.
New York Times
At age 27,
has already become the dean of the media reporters bar. The TVNewser founder is the trusted reporter for networks to hand over their biggest scoops. Within the last week, he broke the big news that Brian Stelter Alex Wallace will take over NBC's Today Show and made headlines when he suggested that MSNBC may replace Ed Schultz in their primetime lineup.
David Zurawik may not be on the radar as much as some of the others... but he should be. He is unpredictable and wisely biting in a way that would be refreshing from bigger names like . Howard Kurtz
New York Post
New York Post's Page Six trades mainly in celebrity gossip, but they also break as many stories about media as anyone else in the business. In her first couple of years, Emily Smith has deftly kept Page Six on the minds of every major media figure and hypocrite.
Despite writing for the
Huffington Post, never seems like a partisan. And his blog's title -- "The Backstory" -- is appropriate for how thorough he is in trying to get at the story behind major media moments. Michael Calderone
New York Times
is not your average reporter. His opinions become news. On everything from the future of content web properties, the mainstream media to social media, when Carr speaks... people listen. At this point, with or without the David Carr New York Times behind him, Carr would successfully function as a stand-alone brand.
Much like Carr,
Jim Romenesko has become a brand of his own. Once a blogger for the media-based non-profit Poynter, Romenesko accrued such a massive reputation that he went into "semi-retirement" and created a media website with his own namesake. The sub-headline on JimRomenesko.com is "A Blog About Media And Other Things I'm Interested In" -- and the fact that influential people want to read all of that is a good indicator of just how respected his voice has become.
Inside Cable News
While his site is tiny and seems to be on "hiatus" as often as he is writing, "Spud" understands the cable news landscape as well as anyone (which is why Mediaite
sometimes republishes his thought pieces). His insight and fearlessness ought to be a model for other small sites like TVNewser and other Mediabistro properties who report on the minutiae of the media world.
The Washington Post's Erik Wemple is one of the few remaining and outstanding beat "media reporters." Unafraid to take on his subjects, Wemple has written strongly-worded criticisms of major cable networks, including a recent piece imploring Fox News to "kill" its morning show Fox & Friends.
's often thoughtful political and media pieces could appear on far more "intellectual" sites than Gawker and his creativity serves as a nice counterbalance to the piety of his colleague John Cook . Cook's relentless use of FOIA has led him to break many Fox News-related stories, including the recent news that during the Bush years, FNC chief Hamilton Nolan Roger Ailes offered Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice off-the-record assistance.
New York Post
Bringing with her the business savvy from her previous gig as biz editor of
Cable & Broadcasting, Claire Atkinson has become a force to be reckoned with in the business-of-media space -- keeping the NY Post's business section on every media exec's desk.
Love him or hate him -- when
is at his best, he is far and away the funniest media critic on television. No one skewers the over-the-top proclamations of cable news pundits and hosts quite like Stewart. And, yes, while he's left-of-center, no media blowhard, left or right, escapes his mockery. Jon Stewart
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