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Articles by Curtis Brainard | Email the Author

Q&A: The NYT’s Justin Gillis

The recent Oakes Award winner talks about how to keep climate on the front page

At the end of March, Columbia University awarded the 2011 Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism to New York Times... More

Little Context for Obama Energy Speech in Ohio

Local reports present a war of words without much fact checking

Unchecked accusations about gas prices and oil production defined local coverage of President Barack Obama’s speech at Ohio State University... More

Reporter’s Toolbox: Oil and Gas Prices

Resources to help journalists stop the spin

Every year, news stories about US gasoline prices appear in the early spring and remain popular until the end of... More

Heartland, Gleick, and Media Law

Experts weigh in on leaks and deceptive tactics

When, if ever, are deceptive tactics legally or ethically permissible in journalism? An old debate over that question has raged... More

Q&A: Eric Roston, Bloomberg’s sustainability editor

A new section tracks businesses’ response to the global “resource crunch”

At the end of November, Bloomberg News launched a Sustainability section “to uncover what businesses are doing, or what... More

“Economy Class Syndrome” Debunked

Personal blood-clot narrative makes for bad science writing in Washington Post

Telling a first-person story about a health problem is a popular frame in medical writing, and it can be effective... More

What Drives Public Opinion About Climate Change?

Politicians, economy more influential than media coverage, study says

The media influence public opinion about climate change, but not as much as national politicians and the state of the... More

Florida Roots

A native son discusses environmental journalism

On any day, there are six novels hiding in the pages of The Miami Herald, says Carl Hiaasen, the... More

The Presidential Energy Narrative

Campaign coverage takes on a green hue

In the last week, President Obama has rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, focused his first campaign ad on clean energy,... More

Keystone XL Jobs Bewilder Media

Reporters still fumbling numbers in wake of pipeline’s rejection

God help the poor news consumers of America, especially the would-be voters. President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL... More

Does Big Pharma Pay Your Doctor?

New federal database could be a boon for reporters … but it needs their input

How useful would a database cataloguing the money that doctors receive from medical drug and device makers—for speaking, research, meals,... More

Critical Juncture for HuffPo Science

With new section, David Freeman has an opportunity to raise the bar

The Huffington Post’s announcement last week that it had launched a new section intended to be a “one-stop shop for... More

Down, But Not Out?

A closer look at the quantity of climate coverage in 2011

Just how scarce was climate-change coverage in 2011? It’s hard to get a fix on the details, but the broad... More

Climate Coverage Crashes

Downward spiral in English-language news media continued in 2011

Twelve months ago, The Daily Climate, a website that produces and tracks media stories about climate change, declared that 2010... More

Best of 2011: The Observatory

From extreme weather to the crisis in Japan, Curtis Brainard picks the top CJR stories from the past year

The Hottest Thing in Science Blogging: The hot ticket for science bloggers and online writers this year was ScienceOnline, a... More

Methane Mysteries

Coverage of permafrost melt creates confusion about level of worry

Methane—a potent greenhouse gas that could be released in vast quantities as climate change melts Arctic permafrost—has received quite a... More

Phone-Hacking Inquiry Eyes Science Journalism

Nature calls on scientists to “fight agenda-driving reporting”

The Leveson inquiry into the “culture, practice, and ethics” of the British press resulting from the News International phone-hacking scandal... More

Newsweek Fetishizes an “Epidemic”

Voyeuristic sex-addiction cover misses an important debate

A “sex addiction epidemic” is unfolding like a plague in the US, according a recent Newsweek cover story—but don’t reach... More

Frozen Planet’s Final Episode Will Air in US

Discovery Channel reverses course following wave of criticism, but what will viewers get?

Discovery Channel reversed course on Tuesday when it announced that it would air all seven parts of a BBC series... More

Besser to Oz: “You Were Right”

Consumer Reports confirms arsenic-in-apple-juice investigation

After accusing Dr. Mehmet Oz of “fear mongering” for reporting that some brands of apple juice contained high levels 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


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”

The 10 worst New Yorker longreads (Gawker)

“[A]pparently [Adam] Gopnik did not know you could bake fancy breads from France and other cultures. So he got his mom to teach him how to bake them. A fine anecdote, maybe, to tell a friend or a therapist. But in this case he wrote about it for the New Yorker, a magazine.”

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.