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Articles by Brendan Nyhan | Email the Author

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Fast-tracking the truth in IPAB coverage

How to cover a key ACA provision without making misinformation worse

One of the most underrated political stories of the next year is the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (also... More

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If you were John Boehner, you’d cry too

Why journalists should put the struggles of the House speaker in a larger context

On Thursday, John Boehner survived some conservative defections to narrowly win re-election as Speaker of the House, prompting a predictable... More

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Beware Green Lantern thinking in gun policy coverage

The president isn’t as powerful as you think

In a riff inspired by the blogger Matthew Yglesias a few years ago, I proposed what I called the Green... More

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Addressing the asymmetry question

Factchecking is the wrong format

Factchecking made great strides during the 2012 campaign, but were those advances compromised by the pressure to maintain partisan balance?... More

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Cracking open Congress

We need better insider reporting about the “fiscal cliff”

We've just finished an election in which quantitative analysis provided far more accurate predictions than pundits and reporters, who frequently... More

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The future of factchecking

Here’s what journalists should learn from the 2012 campaign

As journalists close the books on 2012 and look forward to coverage of a second Obama administration, one important question... More

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Predictable in retrospect

The dangers of hindsight bias in election postmortems

The media has undergone a strange change of mindset. Immediately before last Tuesday's election, many reporters and commentators ignored or... More

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How to cover the presidential results

A guide for journalists on election fundamentals and campaign effects

One of the most fascinating parts of the aftermath of an election is the construction of post-hoc narratives to "explain"... More

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Pundits versus probabilities

The misguided backlash against Nate Silver

Who will win the presidential election next Tuesday? Until recently, the market for analysis of questions like these has been... More

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The momentum behind a misleading narrative

Why reporters have been getting the polls wrong in the presidential race

On Thursday night, Politico beat a retreat in the great momentum debate of 2012. The site's Glenn Thrush and Jennifer... More

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All good debate coverage is local?

Failings of the national press not mirrored in NH

NEW HAMPSHIRE — If you cover politics for a national publication, the story of the debates so far has been... More

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Enabling the jobs report conspiracy theory

The consequences of careless coverage of Friday’s unemployment numbers

NEW HAMPSHIRE — Media ethics pop quiz: When conspiracy theories started circulating on Twitter claiming that Friday's jobs report had... More

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Breaking the pack journalism paradigm

What would happen if reporters covered debates without access to the spin?

NEW HAMPSHIRE — As tonight's presidential debate approaches, the chattering classes are pondering whether it will change the dynamics of... More

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Will Obama really ‘break the fever’?

Why more journalists should question the President’s second-term claims

With the media focused on the horse race (and Mitt Romney's ongoing tactical miscues), the claims by President Obama and... More

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Jumping the gun on the Romney ‘47%’ video

In early coverage, reporters overstated the meaning and impact of Romney’s comments—and left out out key context

NEW HAMPSHIRE — Yesterday, Mother Jones released a secretly-recorded video of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney making the following comments... More

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When factcheckers get trigger-happy

A checklist to help journalists decide when to take aim

Is there such a thing as too much factchecking? Factcheck.org described former President Bill Clinton's speech to the Democratic convention... More

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Ignored factchecks and the media’s crisis of confidence

Whatever campaigns may do, aggressive truth-telling is the right approach for reporters

Can the media stop politicians from misleading the public? That's the question on the minds of many journalists and commentators... More

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Conventions: A great learning opportunity for voters

Why the debate over a lack of news misses the point

Every four years, the two presidential candidates do battle in a series of high-stakes televised events that could shape the... More

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Another factchecking fiasco

Journalistic failure in coverage of Harry Reid and his mysterious source

A week ago, The Huffington Post's Sam Stein and Ryan Grim published an article repeating Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's... More

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The Gore-ing of Mitt Romney

Poisonous cycle of gotcha coverage and access restrictions recalls an earlier campaign

The profane confrontation between one of Mitt Romney’s press aides and reporters at the end of the presumptive GOP nominee’s... 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.