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Articles by Alexis Sobel Fitts | Email the Author

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The media’s growing interest in how animals think

The more divorced we become from animals in our daily lives, the more we want to look at them online

Tip the elephant arrived in New York to accolades and fanfare--until things went wrong. A few years into his stay... More

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How Katrina and BP spill coverage defined NOLA as the two events, in turn, shaped local press

A review of Oil and Water: Media Lessons from Hurricane Katrina and The Deepwater Horizon Disaster

When Hurricane Katrina charged through New Orleans, the devastation left in its wake had an unintended side effect: It became... More

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The newest tool in teaching about climate change: the weatherman

A South Carolina pilot project expands

In March of 2013, CJR awarded a laurel to a meteorologist in the midst of a promising project: Jim Gandy,... More

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Story Control

A new suite of tools allows the public to parse press coverage

Back in February, MIT's Center for Civic Media published a stunning series of graphics tracing press coverage of Trayvon... More

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As Congress scolded him, Dr. Oz launched a magazine

The Good Life is less inflammatory than the doctor’s television show, but the line between ad and editorial is murky

Journalists have delighted in tearing into Dr. Mehmet Oz this week, after a Senate hearing shamed the daytime television personality... More

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Narrating climate change

Incremental journalism isn’t driving home the dire state of the climate to the public, so researchers and outlets are trying to reach them through a shift in storytelling

In late April, the Yale Forum on Climate and the Media, an independent group publishing reported stories, analysis, and opinion... More

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The EPA goes on background, and journalists revolt

For some reporters, having the call ‘on background’ rather than ‘on the record’ meant that the material was essentially unusable

When the Environmental Protection Agency released the Clean Power Plant Proposal last week, which some are suggesting may signify a... More

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Chaos at The Wire?

Without an editor in chief, The Atlantic’s army of young aggregators is directionless

Back in November, things seemed promising at The Wire. In four years since launch the site's easily digestible breaking news... More

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New York launches social science vertical

“Like a Jehovah’s witness, if you show up at their door and say, ‘Can I interest you in some behavioral economics,’ they’ll say no”

When news broke this January that New York magazine was expanding its trademark brand of psychology-backed cultural analysis--played out in... More

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The ‘new feminists’ of Joanna Coles’ Cosmopolitan

“We’re not a magazine that tells you to spend $4,000 on a bag”

When Cosmopolitan took home a National Magazine Award for public service journalism--the first ASME recognition in the magazine's almost 50-year... More

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The king of content

How Upworthy aims to alter the Web, and could end up altering the world

In the summer of 2010, a conservative talk show host named Michael Graham scheduled a pit stop on his tour... More

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Climate scientist’s privacy victory may prove a loss for journalists

Court ruling limits access to public information in Virginia

After deliberating for months, late last week the Virginia Supreme Court ruled in favor of climate scientist Michael Mann in... More

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Walking the public opinion tightrope

Early reception of a celebrity-packed Showtime documentary demonstrates the difficulty of engaging audiences on climate change

The first episode of Years of Living Dangerously, Showtime's mammoth documentary series on climate change that premiered Sunday night, is... More

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OnEarth eliminates print

The science mag’s editors say sticking to digital will allow them to devote more resources to environmental journalism

Back in February we praised OnEarth, the editorial arm of the Natural Resources Defense Council, for using its website to... More

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The banality of ‘What We Know’ about climate change

Can a “boring” AAAS report change the global warming conversation?

Earlier in March, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the most prominent scientific society in the US, launched... More

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FiveThirtyEight’s disappointing science section

Science journalism could use an infusion of analysis, but FiveThirtyEight isn’t yet doing it rigorously or objectively

The internet hates Nate Silver today--at least the small quotient closely following the launch of his new site, FiveThirtyEight, this... More

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Americans learn about science from the internet; Brits watch TV

Two surveys of public attitudes towards science reveal national differences

Ipsos Mori, a market research organization based in London, just released a report on of public attitudes towards science, revealing... More

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The end of obesity, sort of

On the heels of a White House media blitz, two contrasting press releases reveal a misleading story

Last week's health headlines were punctuated by a conveniently timed bit of news: On the heels of the White House's... More

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To revitalize journalism, give it away

That’s the approach of Mosaic, a new science site that’s affixing a Creative Commons license to its longform

For the last few months, word of British digital science journalism upstart Mosaic has been circulating quietly, as a roster... More

Why The New Yorker’s radical feminism and transgenderism piece was one-sided - “This effectively advances the views of a group that wants to see the genocide of trans women, a group that, data shows, faces extraordinarily high rates of discrimination in every measurable way”

Journalism groups rally around a petition supporting James Risen - The Supreme Court ruled against the NYT reporter, who is refusing to reveal sources

Why one editor won’t run any more op-eds by the Heritage Foundation’s top economist - A reply to Paul Krugman on state taxes and job growth made some incorrect claims

Gannett’s changes bring excitement, some pain, and a full-time beer beat - A conversation with Joshua Awtry, the chain’s top editor in the Carolinas

Build the future - Journalism’s deathwatch is over


Tour guide wars at a Paris cemetery (WSJ)

“Because dead men tell no tales, visitors to Père Lachaise cemetery lend their ears to Bertrand Beyern”

Last call (Medium)

“The death of newspapers is sad, but the threatened loss of journalistic talent is catastrophic. If that’s you, it’s time to learn something outside the production routine of your current job.”

Maureen Dowd on James Risen (NYT)

“Risen may be trapped in Ibsen, but Obama is channeling Orwell”

Preparing yourself to cover chaos (Medium)

“There are things you should know before you show up, and you’re not going to find them in the current news cycle”

Bloggingheads

Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

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Who Owns What

The Business of Digital Journalism

A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Study Guides

Questions and exercises for journalism students.