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Articles by Brendan Nyhan | Email the Author

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The scandal attention cycle

How the media lost interest in IRS targeting, even as new facts emerged

At this point, the evidence on the Internal Revenue Service scandal is clear. Contrary to the initial hype, there is... More

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Factchecking enters ‘Conversation’ in Oz

How an Australian news site is taking a new approach to the format

Australia has suddenly become a hotbed for political factchecking. In May, PolitiFact Australia launched as the first international affiliate of... More

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When ‘he said,’ ‘she said’ is dangerous

Media errs in giving “balanced” coverage to McCarthy’s discredited views

ABC's announcement yesterday that actress/comedian Jenny McCarthy will become a co-host of The View brought forth a torrent of condemnation... More

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A cure for second-term doldrums?

TNR’s Obama “recovery guide” is a break from the media tedium

During second terms, the Washington press corps gets bored. There's usually not much going on! As a result, reporters hype... More

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Hillary’s first tweet: A 2016 harbinger?

Trivia and speculation signifying nothing

After more than four years representing the US abroad as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton returned to the domestic political... More

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No, the scandals aren’t dragging down Obama’s ratings (yet)

Some reporters seize on an outlier poll, but others get the story right

Get out your wizard hats! It's starting to sound like campaign season again. Just as political reporters wanted to tell... More

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How extreme is that legislator, really?

A new data set on lawmakers’ ideology can bolster reporting at the state level

When Republican Scott Brown faced Democrat Martha Coakley in a January 2010 special election for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, he... More

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Covering facts versus the ‘narrative’

The challenge for journalists when scandal fever hits

The dilemma for journalists this week: How should you cover a series of proto-scandals with seemingly little in common? As... More

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Backsliding on the ‘death panels’ myth

The need for caution—and avoiding “he said,” “she said”—in reporting on IPAB

House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a letter on Thursday stating that they would not... More

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Covering ‘The American Presidency’

Fiction vs. reality in coverage of the White House

In Hollywood and the accounts of many of the nation's leading journalists, events in Washington revolve around the president, who... More

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Fast and wrong beats slow and right

The incentives for speed-induced misinformation in Boston bombings coverage

Breaking news addicts were glued to their screens last week as developments in the Boston bombings case flooded cable news... More

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Bill Adair, setting pants ablaze no more

The PolitiFact founder on his move to academia and the state of the factchecking movement

The Tampa Bay Times announced last week that Bill Adair, the newspaper's Washington bureau chief and the founder and editor... More

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The most political science-friendly reporter in America

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Craig Gilbert takes an unusual approach to covering politics

One of the most encouraging trends in journalism over the past few years has been the tentative embrace of political... More

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That’s not a factcheck!

How punditry undermines the mission of journalistic watchdogs

What, exactly, is a "serious" plan to resolve the budget impasse in Congress? It's not clear how to define adjectives... More

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The Green Lantern Theory of Sequestration

Hey, pundits: President Obama can’t magically solve the budget impasse in Washington

One of the recurring themes in commentary on national politics is the demand for the president to change politics as... More

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The third party fever dream, revisited

Five points for reporters to consider about third party prospects

National Journal's Ron Fournier has posted a gracious reply to my CJR column challenging what I considered to be his... More

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The third party fever dream

Why do some journalists keep predicting a major challenge to the two-party system?

National Journal editorial director Ron Fournier is a respected journalist with years of distinguished service as an Associated Press correspondent... More

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State of the Union media prebuttal II

What reporters should do instead of overhyping the SOTU

Early each year, I brace myself for an onslaught of poorly informed commentary and polling about the effects of the... More

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Boosting the Sandy Hook truther myth

The dangers of covering fringe misperceptions

In the weeks since the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, fringe conspiracy theorists have suggested... More

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Hey readers: They’re bluffing! (maybe)

The need to put political bargaining positions in context

Insider reporting is vital to understanding what The Wall Street Journal's Gerald Seib describes as the "'Groundhog Day' loop of... 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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