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Articles by Curtis Brainard | Email the Author

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Debunking the ‘war on coal,’ take two

The AP gets it right the second time around

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Such was The Associated Press’s approach this month to explaining the... More

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Turner’s turnaround

LA Times columnist learns that evaluating electric vehicles is harder than it seems

Twice in the past six months, the media have gotten carried away with stories portraying electric vehicles as unreservedly bad... More

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The vilification of electric vehicles

Media botch full explanation of the latest research

When comparing electric vehicles (EVs) to gas-powered vehicles, most studies have focused on the electricity or fuel consumed while driving,... More

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The good news about organics

And why the media tend to ignore it

In the long-running debate about whether organic food is more healthy and nutritious than the conventional variety, the press has... More

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TNR causes trouble for coal baron

Exposé on pressuring employees to make campaign contributions stirs inquiry

The New Republic stirred up a bit of trouble for coal baron Robert Murray by revealing the aggressiveness with which... More

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Jackpot lost

Is a $75K prize or better training more likely to improve environmental coverage?

The backers of one of journalism’s richest awards are bringing the prize to an end, betting that professional development, rather... More

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The value of skepticism

Why science reporters should question research

Skepticism has earned a bad name in recent years thanks to those who doubt the consensus that human industry is... More

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No debate about environment

Hopes for questions about climate, public lands fall flat

The presidential candidates didn’t talk about the environment during their first debate on Wednesday. Nobody really expected them to; they... More

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BPI’s beef with ABC News

‘Pink slime’ defamation suit a long shot, media report

The maker of “lean, finely textured beef,” which critics call “pink slime,” is unlikely to prevail in a defamation lawsuit... More

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Press digs into anti-GMO study

Reporters thwart scientists’ attempt to prevent scrutiny

A paper claiming that a diet of genetically modified corn and/or a widely used weed killer increased the likelihood of... More

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Shoddy TV science coverage

CNN’s Gupta promises cancer cure, while PBS’s Michels delivers false balance on climate

It’s been a bad week and a half for coverage of science on television. Stories about cancer at CNN and... More

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What does ‘healthier’ mean?

Coverage of organic-food study plays loose with the term

“Healthier” is a word the media often use without enough care, and that shortcoming was on full display during last... More

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Yao Ming and the elephant massacre

Recent coverage of the African poaching crisis strikes at supply and demand

After weeks of the media mostly failing to realize why basketball star Yao Ming’s trip to Kenya was fairly important... More

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Conventions create climate coverage

While ScienceDebate.org gets some answers

The presidential candidates are still treating it like a back-burner issue, but the Republican and Democratic national conventions incited a... More

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Water woes

Regional papers turn out series on sea level, drought

Exposés about the changing climate in the polar north are great, and all the more important in light of reports... More

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Required skimming: fossil fuels

Drill, baby, drill

This month, CJR presents “Required Skimming,” a daily miniguide to our staffers’ beats and obsessions, ranging from finance to food.... More

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CBS goofs up the green beat

Network fails to disclose M. Sanjayan’s affiliation and ties to source

Only two months after hiring him, CBS News has already botched a report from its new science and environment contributor,... More

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Candidates clam up on climate

Reporters call out Obama and Romney’s silence

Nary a word has been spoken about climate change on the presidential campaign trail, and it’s a silence that some... More

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UPI shirks responsibility

Raeburn takes wire to task for cribbing from Science News

The plagiarism, or problematic paraphrasing, parade continued on Thursday as several reporters from Science News complained on Facebook that the... More

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Ryan re-energizes coverage

VP candidate brings fossil fuels, alternatives back into focus

Paul Ryan’s selection as the GOP’s candidate for vice president has renewed debate about, and coverage of, the stark differences... More

16 women whose digital startups deserve Vox-level plaudits - A look at the media entrepreneurs who aren’t grabbing headlines

Why was ‘Dasani’ shut out of the Pulitzers? - 5 problems with The New York Times’ ambitious, influential series on the life of one homeless Brooklyn girl

The AP downplays its Obamacare scoop - Repeal on deductible caps marks another step in The Great Cost Shift

The enduring pull of mag covers - Why do magazine cover images still hold so much cultural power in this decline-of-print era?

Michael Wolff’s digital media bloopers - The Newser founder trolls (other) digital-news companies


The truth about Google X

A look behind the secretive lab’s closed doors

How to shop online

Sister-websites Wirecutter and Sweethome will give you just one recommendation per product, for everything from WiFi routers to nail clippers

The future of Facebook may not say ‘Facebook’

The future of the social network is apps—lots and lots of apps

Bitcoin creator ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ unmasked-again?

A linguistics analysis suggests that Nick Szabo, a well known name in cryptography circles, is the mysterious father of the digital currency

New Jersey’s good government

Despite the bridge scandal, Chris Christie’s state is relatively transparent and accountable. CJR’s Greg Marx talks to Gordon Witkin

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