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Articles by Curtis Brainard | Email the Author

Climate Conundrums

Slack coverage, quality issues stir debate

2010 was “the year climate coverage ‘fell off the map,’” The Daily Climate, a website that tracks related news and... More

Best of 2010: The Observatory

Curtis Brainard picks the top stories from 2010

1. “New” Media Crucial in Aftermath of Haitian Earthquake With standard telephone, radio, and television communications disabled, “new” media platforms... More

Climate Change 101

Trio of articles re-cover some global warming basics

A little more than a year ago, there was a feeling among many editors and reporters that the climate-change story... More

The Right Place for Scientific Debate?

Scientists snub media as controversy over arsenic-eating microbes rolls on

First there was the wild speculation about the discovery of extraterrestrial life. Then came widespread, sometimes misguided, coverage of the... More

A Life Less Ordinary

After speculation about aliens, arsenic-eating microbe stirs wide coverage

A bacterium trained to substitute arsenic for phosphorus—one of six elements considered essential for life—in some of its basic cellular... More

Close Encounters of the Media Kind

NASA press release leads to wild speculation about alien discovery

Over the last two days, bloggers at a few of the country’s top news outlets have engaged in wild and... More

Drop Out?

Suggested closure of Colorado journalism school sparks controversy

The University of Colorado at Boulder kicked up a cloud of dust when it announced in August that it had... More

How to Place a Story?

Survey finds top environmental newsmakers still target traditional media

Despite disruptive changes in the media industry, which have made it more difficult to place stories and develop relationships with... More

Echoes of Grit and Humor

Great Lakes news startup brings on an inspiring new voice

If all goes as planned, Tom Henry’s decision to take on more work—in the form of a monthly column for... More

Press Pass Problems

Cetacean Society’s decision to deny a reporter raises questions about access

On Tuesday, the American Cetacean Society denied a freelancer’s request for a press pass to attend the society’s annual meeting... More

A Future for Cooperative Politics?

New York Times story on candidates’ psychology is overly optimistic

Thankfully, the days of “neuropunditry,” which sought to decipher voters’ thoughts with brain imaging and which blighted coverage of the... More

Paint it Green

Why it’s been left to reporters to bring up environmental issues on the campaign trail

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, “In much of the nation, ‘cap and trade’ has... More

Red, White, and Blue, but Not Green

Energy and environment issues lacking in mid-term election coverage

Remember the 2008 presidential campaign, when candidates and voters alike couldn’t seem to get enough of energy and climate issues... More

Q&A: Miles O’Brien, Back in Action

Ex-CNN correspondent talks about the NewsHour’s new Science News Unit

Bucking the trend in science journalism, the PBS NewsHour announced last Tuesday that it has created a new Science News... More

“This is Our Beat”

Breaking news and the big picture in Audubon’s special report on the oil spill

Shortly after the Deepwater Horizon sank and oil began erupting into the Gulf of Mexico in late April, the 105-year-old... More

Q&A: Covering the IPCC

Perlman award-winner Pallava Bagla talks about courage and tough questions

[Editor’s Note: The American Geophysical Union recently awarded this year’s David Perlman Award for Excellence in Science Journalism to Indian... More

The Oil Plume Paradox

Coverage of various studies engenders frustration

Pinpointing the amount of oil lingering in the Gulf of Mexico continues to be a source of frustration for journalists... More

Gulf Coast Guessing Game

Fresh wave of articles highlight uncertainty about lingering oil

More scientific criticism of a government report that attempted to calculate the amount oil left in the Gulf of Mexico... More

More on Extreme Weather

Day Two stories go a step farther in drawing connection to climate change

Stories exploring a possible connection between climate change and extreme weather around the world continued over the weekend, with some... More

Temperate Coverage of Extreme Weather

Media put heat, floods in proper climatic context

More and more, reporters have been asking whether or not climate change could be responsible for this summer’s extreme weather.... More

Hey millionaire tech bros: Have patience with the editorial process - Chris Hughes probably wanted to enable great journalism at first. Then the dust settled and before you know it, he’s shaking everything up again

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

Price hike at UC Berkeley’s journalism school - Governing body approves additional fee of $7,500 starting 2016

Will Denver really have a newspaper war? - As a billionaire floats reviving the Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post might buckle its chin strap

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


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.