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Articles by Curtis Brainard | Email the Author

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Don’t pick up!

RFK, Jr. talks journalists’ ears off with his vaccine conspiracy theory

Check your caller ID. If you're a reporter who has criticized Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. for spouting nonsense about vaccines... More

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Crop cop

Keith Kloor makes a beat out of policing frightful coverage of GMOs

The media have stoked irrational distrust of science in many fields over the years, from vaccines to climate change. But... More

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Journalistic generalization disorder

David Brooks attacks, then defends, psychiatry’s shortcomings

On Monday, David Brooks weighed in on the debate about the merits of the latest edition of the DSM-5, psychiatry's... More

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When a journalist calls [Updated]

Ed Yong counsels scientists on giving comments to reporters

[Original post, May 28, 5pm] There is no shortage of advice for scientists on talking to journalists. Just look at... More

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Under the bridge

Climate Desk tracks down its ‘most pernicious’ troll

Frustrating as they may be, every journalist wonders at some point about the identity of his or her most devoted... More

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A bogus boycott

The GOP hijacks the transparency debate as the EPA calls for a ‘reset’ with reporters

At Gina McCarthy's congressional confirmation hearing in early April, questions about transparency at the Environmental Protection Agency, which she'd been... More

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Little green in Arab Spring

Egypt Independent’s closure a blow for environmental coverage

Last month's closure of the Egypt Independent, a weekly newspaper and website, was a setback for progressive journalism in the... More

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A new ‘golden era’?

Nautilus is the latest in a proliferation of science-news sites

Nautilus, a new science magazine whose first issue appeared online April 29, has New York Times reporter Dennis Overbye, one... More

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Finding James Foley

GlobalPost tracked down its missing reporter in Syria—now to bring him home

After 162 days with no information about his whereabouts, GlobalPost announced Friday that James Foley, an American journalist who went... More

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Reinventing Audubon

Mark Jannot to craft new content, communications strategy

There's new vigor at the 108-year-old National Audubon Society, a nonprofit environmental group focused on birds, which is in the... More

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Sticking with the truth

How ‘balanced’ coverage helped sustain the bogus claim that childhood vaccines can cause autism

In 1998, The Lancet, one of the most respected medical journals, published a study by lead author Andrew Wakefield,... More

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Who’s covering local climates?

A new, interactive map from the Earth Journalism Network has details

Want to know more about how the climate is changing in your area, and who's writing about it? On Earth... More

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Earth Day ennui

Google doodle dominates coverage of the environmental holiday

It's a bad sign when the biggest news on Earth Day is an animated Google doodle of nature, wherein a... More

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Disaster science

Articles about explosives, surveillance, and prosthetics followed tragedies in Boston, Texas

As is often the case after bombings and explosions, a steady stream of science stories seeking to explain the mechanics... More

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InsideClimate wins a Pulitzer

Five-year-old news site honored for exposé of Michigan oil spill

On Monday, InsideClimate News, a five-year-old investigative news outlet that is based in Brooklyn, but doesn't even have an office,... More

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McCarthy faces transparency questions

Journalists, GOP demand more openness at EPA

Journalists and the GOP called for more transparency at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week, as Gina McCarthy, the... More

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Keystone XL road trip

New ebook from TED Books and The Washington Post takes readers down the pipeline’s proposed path

In June 2012, a team from The Washington Post, including energy reporter Steven Mufson, photographer Michael Williamson, and videographer Whitney... More

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Q&A: NewYorker.com editor Nicholas Thompson

On the site’s new science and technology section and blog

On Tuesday, The New Yorker launched a science and technology page on its website, along with a companion blog called... More

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HeLa-cious coverage

Media overlook ethical angles of Henrietta Lacks story

A New York Times bestseller about the most widely used human cell line in biological research has inspired wide-ranging debates... More

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‘The Finkbeiner Test’

Seven rules to avoid gratuitous gender profiles of female scientists

There's still a gender gap in the sciences, with far fewer women than men in research jobs, and those women... 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


Female sportscasters are speaking up (NYT)

“[i]n the wake of the recent scandals, women have been driving the story, providing a perspective that their male counterparts simply cannot”

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!

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.