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Articles by Alexis Sobel Fitts | Email the Author

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A lot: that’s how many

New study has journalists in a jellybean-counting contest over just how many Earth-like planets are out there

On Monday the University of California, Berkeley released the results of the kind of awe-inspiring study that makes for excellent... More

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Darts & Laurels

Sober statistics and misnamed killers

LAUREL to the BBC for debunking an incendiary TIME article chronicling "Africa's rising rate of alcohol abuse." "Africa has... More

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Curious tales

Citizen journalism at scale

Each day, Curious City, a public-radio show that airs on Chicago's WBEZ, hits its audience with a strangely intuitive... More

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Sandy’s quick-fix legacy

One year later, the story of how to rebuild post-storm is still complicated

When Hurricane Sandy barreled through the East Coast last year, the next day's news told the story of a city... More

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Brain imagining

A neuroscience comic book attempts to create better communication on the brain

As imaging techniques have birthed a new wave of brain-centric research, it's also created a slew of problematic journalism. Neuroscience... More

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QUEST’s quest for sustainability journalism

Telling local stories with a national vision is the secret to engaging an audience on a topic poisoned by buzzwords

Since its 2007 launch, QUEST, a public radio and television program airing on northern California's KQED, has been quietly producing... More

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Plight of the urban whore—ahem—science writer

SciAm faces internet fury for pulling a post about minorities in science

On Thursday afternoon, biologist Danielle N. Lee, who writes about ecology and diversity in science for her Scientific American blog,... More

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The Gladwellian ‘debate’

Why are we still listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s cherry-picked gospel?

In the 13-years since The Tipping Point shot Malcolm Gladwell onto the map and America's bookshelves, his brand of counter-intuitive... More

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When scientists attack

A laurel to Environmental Health News for taking a hard look at the politics behind a controversial editorial

Spend extended time reading the science press, and it's easy to think that science is a one-note story about the... More

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Risky business

What uncertainty means for scientists vs. journalists

Since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its report summarizing six years of global warming science Friday, the mammoth... More

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For the sake of science

PopSci’s ‘scientific’ justification for shutting down comments conveys the research poorly

The internet has largely weighed in on Popular Science's sudden decision to shut off its comments section earlier this week.... More

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Too much ado about gonads

Distracted by the SEO headline grab, reporters failed to capture the basic findings of a study

A piece of medical news made the rounds last week with the kind of fodder that makes Web editors dance... More

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#Oceanfall

The Seattle Times’ glitzy new digital package unveils a substantial piece of reporting on our changing seas

Like most newspapers around the country, The Seattle Times has cut staff and shaved resources in recent years to balance... More

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Calling out the climate conspirators

Slate, Discover, and The Guardian crack down on the David Rose’s distorted reporting

Over the weekend the Daily Mail's David Rose published a long screed on climate change with some pretty startling revelations:... More

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Politico publisher acquires Capital New York (UPDATED)

Over 30 to 45 days the website will quadruple staff and hone coverage on state and local politics, according to Jim VandeHei

[UPDATE, 4:06 pm] Jim VandeHei, executive editor of Politico and new president of Capital New York, says the site will... More

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Scientific American eats

A new group blog will explore the science of food

Scientific American has been on a food spree recently. Its September issue is food-themed, with pieces ranging from the conflicting... More

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Hard Numbers

Waging the privacy war

55 percent of American voters identified Edward Snowden as a "whistleblower" in July 2013 34 percent of American voters identified... More

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Innovation watch

Drill down in the Amazon

In 2008, Gustavo Faleiros, a reporter at the Brazilian news outlet O Eco, sought a way to synthesize the... More

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Required skimming: nouveau healthy dining

Eat less, mostly plants

My New Roots Run by a "holistic nutritionist," this blog posts inventive recipes, designed to impart a mostly... More

Apple can’t hide from a 20-year-old reporter - The University of Michigan student gets behind the tech titan’s newest products

Al Jazeera America struggles to get off the margins - A quality-first strategy faces huge hurdles

Finding James Foley - This 2013 story takes a look at GlobalPost’s search for the photojournalist

Gannett cribs from Advance Publications playbook for struggling newspapers - Staff compete for fewer jobs; ‘readers become the assignment editor’

Cop corruption probe sparks newspaper feud - A spiked story is at the center of a bitter fight between Philadelphia’s two dailies


The impact of watching executions (PSmag)

“[E]xecutions, even for people who support capital punishment, and even when the criminals being put to death evoke little personal sympathy because of the nature of their crimes, take a toll on witnesses”

Times of India demands employee social media passwords (Quartz)

The company will possess log-in information and will be free to post any material to the account without journalists’ knowledge

Reconnecting with a story source, 17 years later (Hartford Courant)

“People who say reporters exploit people? You are right, we do. We parachute into people’s lives, sidle up, convince them that we care — and then disengage when the story is over. But that doesn’t mean we don’t connect, in a genuine way.”

The McDonald’s in Ferguson (LAT)

“Lately, the restaurant has taken on the appearance of a battered frontier outpost”

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.