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Articles by Alexis Sobel Fitts | Email the Author

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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

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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

Stop using ‘Brooklyn’ to mean hipster neighborhoods - Elite-oriented outlets typically only cover the borough’s most affluent, Manhattan-adjacent neighborhoods

The Reporters Committee is about to start suing people to help journalists - Katie Townsend joins the organization as its first litigation director

How a Nebraska newspaper kicked off a major prison sentencing scandal - The Omaha World-Herald found that hundreds of inmates were being released early

On media freedom, United Nations plays by its own rules - Months of international crises raises the stakes for reporting on the UN, but investigative journalists remain without a right to information

Keep calm and write a headline worth reading - Ease up on the exaggerations because someday you may need those explosive adjectives when a truly big story lands


Adviser of high school paper that refused to use ‘Redskins’ suspended (Student Press Law Center)

“Amid a months-long battle with administrators for editorial control … the Playwickian’s faculty adviser was suspended for two days this week”

Apple’s ‘warrant canary’ disappears (GigaOm)

Apple included language in its first Transparency Report to say that it had not been subject to a Section 215 Patriot Act request. That language is now gone.

Trend Piece (New Yorker)

Buzzword, buzzword, buzzword. Isn’t the buzzword on your mind now? Perhaps it is on other people’s minds? Read on or you’ll be clueless, dated, and without any friends in the world. Buzzword again!

This Is How Joanna Coles Changed Cosmo (Refinery29)

The British reporter-turned-editor has made good on her promises to bring politics to the magazine, win some very big-deal journalism awards, and secure the most interesting exclusive interviews

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.