Monday, December 22, 2014. Last Update: Mon 6:50 AM EST

Author Archive

Articles by Curtis Brainard | Email the Author

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Covering the animal within

Zoobiquity promotion belies activity in comparative medicine

The promo machine for an upcoming book, Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing,... More

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NSF invests in literary science journalism

Creative nonfiction program seeks emerging writers

The National Science Foundation (NSF) doubled down on literary science journalism this year. Actually, it quintupled down. In 2010, NSF... More

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An eye on environmental justice

EHN series focuses on an under-covered angle on toxics

A number of media reports in last year have examined the impacts of toxic pollution on communities, but few have... More

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Salt Lake Tribune takes Grantham Prize

$75,000 award goes to series about threatened forests for second year in a row

For the second year in a row “the world’s richest journalism prize” went to a series of articles about threatened... More

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How to improve environmental coverage?

Project sets broad goals, learns to adapt

Fixing the news is a tall order, or so the Project for Improved Environmental Coverage is learning. The effort launched... More

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CBS News hires M. Sanjayan

Lead scientist at The Nature Conservancy to cover science, environment

Network news got a little better this month. CBS News announced in early May that it had hired M. Sanjayan,... More

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Evolved for exhibitionism?

Wired column makes weak claims about human behavior, psychology

“Sound the evo-psych bullshit klaxon!” British science journalist Ed Yong tweeted on Thursday. He was right to be concerned. Yong’s... More

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Reparative journalism

Reporter sinks a controversial paper on “ex-gay” therapy

It’s not often that a journalist convinces a prominent scientist to recant a controversial study that he has tenaciously defended... More

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The western frontier

KQED Quest, Pacific Standard keep their eyes on the other coast

American media may cluster in the east, but the west is still the land of pioneers, even in the domains... More

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USA Today’s oily, gassy rainbow

Detailed cover story a bit too rosy about ‘energy independence’

USA Today sees an oily, gassy rainbow on America’s energy horizon. “Energy independence isn’t just a pipe dream,” read a... More

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Attachment parenting, detached debate

Time’s titillating cover overshadows article’s substance

Time touched a nerve this week with its provocative cover photo of 26-year-old Jamie Lynne Grumet and her 3-year-old son... More

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The ice melt cometh

But flawless coverage about happenings in Antarctica has been rare

A variety of news outlets has covered two papers published this week indicating that the Weddell Sea area of Antarctica... More

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Biotech bogeymen

The San Francisco Chronicle’s muddled swipe at GE crops

If you’re worried about pesticides, then the San Francisco Chronicle has a sweeping indictment of genetically engineered (GE) crops to... More

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Mad cow, sane coverage

Most media treat BSE discovery with appropriate concern

A few days after the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement last month that it had discovered a case of... More

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Brain waves

Articles about neuroscience push ideology, inflame divisions, study says

From advice about “exercising your mind” to treatises on “the gay brain,” media coverage of neuroscience in the UK often... More

Obama promises climate talk

But reporters will probably have to keep asking

Three cheers to Rolling Stone cofounder Jann S. Wenner for getting President Barack Obama to utter the words “climate change”... More

NYT Obscures Wal-Mart, EDF Link

Article overlooks green group’s close ties to Walton Family Foundation

A recent New York Times article about the Environmental Defense Fund’s efforts to help Wal-Mart “cut waste” painted an incomplete... More

Equivocal Efficiency?

Some articles fail to stress bottom line of electric-vehicles report

A new report outlining regional differences in electric cars’ contribution to climate change is drawing a lot of media attention,... More

Titanic Proportions

The 100th anniversary of one of the world’s most-covered stories

You can’t sink a good story. The past few months have produced countless articles, columns, photo galleries, videos, and sundry... More

Nutrition Coverage Under Fire

From red meat to white rice, not enough skepticism of observational studies

The incessant coverage of nutritional studies that make tenuous claims about the harms or benefits of consuming various foods and... More

Reporters fail to capture implications of pension provision - A ‘big shift’ tucked into the spending bill goes under-examined

The New Republic: A public trust or a business? - How Chris Hughes turned a 100-year-old publication into a “product”

Serial creators don’t know what will happen to Adnan Syed - New developments in his legal case suggest that the outcome is wide open

FOIA reform dies while the press looked the other way - RIP Improvement Act of 2014

The problem with sharing uncredited photos - “Just because you put something on the internet does not give people the right to steal it”


The traffic lure of outrage (Slate)

“I didn’t become a journalist to peddle indignation on Facebook. But it sells—the page views don’t lie.”

NBC news producer’s sons were in the besieged school in Peshawar (NBCnews.com)

“I remained silent and didn’t know what to say — I know how such attacks on schools usually end”

Hero mom calls into CSPAN to berate her arguing pundit sons (WaPo)

“This was not planned. She called in on the normal line.”

Dick Cheney doesn’t want to call it torture but the media doesn’t have to follow (Vox)

“People deserve to know that the American government (proudly!) did things that in any other context are called torture”

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.