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Articles by David Downs | Email the Author

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New West

News, analysis, and culture reporting for the Rocky Mountain region

MISSOULA, MONTANA — All over the harsh terrain of the Rocky Mountains, local fears of rampant development burst with the... More

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The Connecticut Mirror

Former Courant staffers step up to fill the state’s hard news gap

HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT — A tiny, talented, maybe-a-bit-too-earnest team of ex-Hartford Courant staffers is trying to plug the glaring gaps in... More

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Intersections South Los Angeles

USC students report on their neighboring communities

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — When conservative Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly needs a sparring partner on immigration issues, his producers... More

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Neon Tommy

A student-run news site with a national reputation

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — When swine flu heated up international headlines in 2009, University of Southern California's fledgling news site... More

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Oakland Local

Susan Mernit & co. cover their corner of the Bay

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA — Born from the community outrage that followed a local police-on-civilian killing caught on cell phone and spread... More

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voiceofsandiego.org

A nonprofit news innovator in Southern California

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA — Exposing the darker side of a sunny beach city, the six-year-old news site Voice of San... More

Five Inconvenient Truths…

Of environmental journalism

In its June issue, Wired dedicated its cover story to the "inconvenient truths about global warming," taking conventionally unconventional looks... More

Garbage Island Diary

Viceland’s alternative model for environmental reporting

Fledgling online video Web site VBS.tv scored an environmental journalism coup this month with "Garbage Island" - a quirky, travelogue-documentary... More

Neuroscience Reporting, Debugged

Flackery and extrapolation plague stories about the brain

Within the last month, Wired magazine's Mark Anderson and author Tom Wolfe, in an interview published in the San Francisco... More

Rock Bottom

Get stoked: the MSM are acting less childish about pot

The strain of “reefer madness” that's been infecting American newsrooms since at least 1911 appears to be abating amid some... More

Notes from Underground

Revisiting the Vietnam-era radical press

Storm clouds threaten downtown San Francisco tonight. The San Francisco Chronicle faces closure. Craigslist and its kind starve the local... 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.