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Articles by Alexis Sobel Fitts | Email the Author

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BP’s aggressive PR strategy obfuscates facts

The company’s flack blurs lines between journalism and company mission

.@MorrellGeoff's piece in @Politico is no different than any other op-ed by any other company in any other publication— State... More

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Why media probably shouldn’t name Ebola victims

Ebola’s made its American sufferers famous—but what do we gain with personal details?

By the time the video of Nina Pham was released last week, most Americans were likely familiar with her name--and... More

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We still don’t know how to stop misinformation online

But new tools like Emergent could help find the answer

From the beginning the story seemed suspect, but that didn't stop the New York Post's report last month of a... More

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How Facebook is changing who gets paid for your work

Content curators and aggregators aren’t going away

In 2009, Wired's then-executive editor, Chris Anderson, released a book with a daunting prediction. In Free: The Future of A... More

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Why Elise Andrew is an exceptional self-made brand

She introduced her brand to a wide audience without the aid or endorsement of journalistic institutions

When CJR placed Elise Andrew on our September/October cover alongside the title "journalism's first self-made brand", we unleashed a tirade... More

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Do you know Elise Andrew?

The creator of the Facebook page “I f*cking love science” is journalism’s first self-made brand

In retrospect, I could easily have ignored the picture that appeared on my Facebook feed on a lazy Sunday... More

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Michael Brown shooting and the crimes journalists choose as newsworthy

Examining why black suspects are covered at a greater proportion than they commit crimes

Since Michael Brown's fatal shooting on August 9, news coverage of the event and its aftermath has been followed by... More

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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

The ethics of The Guardian’s Whisper bombshell - It would have been a journalistic lapse not to have told readers

Gawker: The internet bully - Nick Denton’s media empire is an intellectual online fraternity that invites people to their parties only to make them buy the booze

The Washington Post short-sells a reporter’s integrity - Steven Pearlstein smears TheStreet’s Adam Feuerstein for criticizing a biotech firm

Former Sun-Times staffers react to top reporter’s resignation - “Whereas we don’t have all the answers, we have way too many questions about what happened here”

Stop trolling your readers - We know you’re only doing it for clicks


Which news org is the most trusted? (Pew)

The answer is complicated

‘My Captivity’ (NYT Mag)

An American journalist on his two-year kidnapping in Syria

FBI faked an AP story, in Seattle Times style, to catch a suspect (Seattle Times)

“‘We are outraged that the FBI, with the apparent assistance of the US Attorney’s Office, misappropriated the name of The Seattle Times to secretly install spyware on the computer of a crime suspect,’ said Seattle Times Editor Kathy Best”

How one reporter copes inside the ‘Ebola bubble’ (BuzzFeed)

“Bring gloves to give nurses you meet at clinics, even if you’re there for a story. Get small change to give to the kids who have been out of school for months and are selling ground nuts for pitiful sums on the side of road. Hell, give them candy. Violate all the principles of ostensibly good aid stewardship, because the good stewardship of the developed world didn’t get help here in time, and now everyone is dying around you.”

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.