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Articles by Curtis Brainard | Email the Author

Missing the Bottom Line

Celebrity status and race distract from campaign ads’ real message: energy and the economy

This week, campaign trail chatter has been all about ads—John McCain's ads, and their accuracy, to be specific. On Monday,... More

“Whiplash” Climate Journalism

Revkin investigates the media’s tendency to ricochet from one global-warming study to another

Anybody who has been following Andrew Revkin's New York Times blog, Dot Earth, closely may have already heard of "whiplash"... More

Can GM Crops Solve the Food Crisis?

UCS says journalists overstate potential for higher yields

With global food prices up eighty-three percent over the last three years, world leaders are looking for any means available... More

The Shallow Coverage of Candidates’ Energy Policies

Reporters must use events, not ads, to leverage information

Last week, energy issues made their way back to the forefront of presidential campaign coverage with a pair of "dueling... More

How Much Are You Worth?

The AP gets the scoop on the EPA’s decision to devalue a “statistical life”

Last month, I wrote a column about the challenges journalists face in covering the ethical decisions that affect humanity's response... More

All Grown Up!

Over at Grist, the popular online environment magazine, David Roberts has a spot-on takedown of a recent Newsweek column by... More

The Prediction Predicament

The risks in reporting long-range weather forecasts

New York Times environment reporter Andrew Revkin posted an interesting bit of media criticism (or perhaps context) on his Dot... More

Consider the “Carbon Footprint”

Thinking through a metaphor

In the December/November issue of Columbia Journalism Review's magazine, our managing editor, Brent Cunningham, made the case for a rhetoric... More

Beyond Energy Stump Speeches

Two articles retake control of the media spotlight

In a series of speeches since the beginning of May, Senator John McCain has effectively grabbed control of the media... More

The Volatile Coverage of Phthalates

Scare tactics prevent reporters from following more useful angles

Anybody that has bought one of the cheap, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic shower curtains, which are nearly ubiquitous in American... More

Reuters connects mortgage crisis to environment

The U.S. mortgage crisis has been a staple of American news budgets since it began last fall and reporters have... More

Covering Candidates’ Medical Records

Larry Altman talks about access and interest

Three weeks ago, John McCain, who would be the oldest president in history if elected, released 1,173 pages of his... More

Turning Point: Energy

Finally, real differences between the candidates for the press to explore

This is part four of a series on the start of the 2008 presidential election’s general campaign. Links to the... More

Environmental Photographer of the Year

The Times of London has an intriguing photo slideshow on its Web site right now headlined, "Environmental Photographer of the... More

Credit Where Credit is Due

Yesterday, The Scientific Activist blog (part of the ScienceBlogs.com community) carried a keen-eyed piece of media criticism, turning the rating... More

Climate, Ethics, and the News

The role of morality in global warming coverage

Last week, I attended a dinner with twenty-eight other reporters where the evening's speaker argued that the media have inadequately... More

Covering Climate

Journalists and scientists discuss the media’s treatment of global warming

Earlier this month, I moderated a panel at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism about the press coverage of... More

Defining Green Jobs

A couple weeks ago, Observatory freelancer Russ Juskalian wrote an excellent column about the proliferation of the term "green-collar jobs"... More

Daylight on Climate

Mac gives the press room to work

It's nice how the situation changes so quickly. Well, maybe not changes, but at least presents the opportunity for change.... More

Covering Climate

Journalists and scientists discuss the media’s treatment of global warming

Earlier this month, I moderated a panel at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism about the press coverage of... More

How Forbes got to $475 million - That’s what a Hong Kong investor has agreed to pay for a firm that two years ago had trouble paying its rent

Are female journalists up to the job of a Jill Abramson interview? - Reporters avoid unflattering discussion about her firing

How to check if that viral video is true - Journalists don’t always verify user-generated content, so readers need to learn how to verify what they see online

The Grand Dame of Florida reporting has retired twice, but she’s still causing trouble - A conversation with the Tampa Bay Times’ Lucy Morgan

Brick by brick - After years of shrinking ambition at The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos has the paper thinking global domination


How to be a decent entertainment reporter (Eric Danton)

“Here’s how not to suck at it: Don’t write like an entertainment reporter”

A First Look update (First Look Media)

“[R]ather than immediately launching a large collection of digital ‘magazines’ based on strong, expert journalists with their own followings, as we imagined earlier, we’ll begin by building out the two we’ve started and then explore adding new ones as we learn”

The White House deploys minders to interviews all the time (WaPo)

“Almost every officially sanctioned exchange between reporters and the proverbial ‘senior administration officials’ is conducted in the presence of a press staffer”

The down-and-dirty history of TMZ (BuzzFeed)

“TMZ’s real engine — what defines its mission, what legitimizes it and sets it apart — is a unique and controversial mix of scandal mongering and investigative journalism”

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.