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Articles by John Mecklin | Email the Author

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The cost of Angels in the outfield

Reporters covering lease negotiations over Anaheim’s Angel Stadium need to find their calculators—and their skepticism

SANTA BARBARA, CA -- Judging from the initial coverage the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times gave to... More

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A concrete example of journalistic success

The Los Angeles Times expands on its outstanding coverage of earthquake risks

In media criticism as in journalism in general, it's easier to write compellingly about failure than success. As the old... More

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A fault-finding mission

Los Angeles Times series seeks to make sure towers aren’t built along earthquake faults

SANTA BARBARA, CA -- When it comes to public service, journalists do some of their best work when focused on... More

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Nonprofit journalism on the American Riviera

Starting an in-depth news operation from scratch can have its ups and downs, even in paradise

SANTA BARBARA -- It was June 2009, and the Santa Barbara News-Press imbroglio that had begun three years earlier was... More

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Gambling with infectious disease

Las Vegas’s CBS affiliate, KLAS TV, shows what not to do in vaccination reporting

SANTA BARBARA, CA -- Sometimes, a headline pretty much tells the whole, journalistically horrifying story. Late in July, Las Vegas... More

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Lights! Camera! Tax credits!

And the struggle to cover them in depth

In a boffo performance that won't come soon to a theater near you, Nicolas Cage appeared before the Nevada Senate... More

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Beyond San Onofre’s closure

The LA Times and U-T San Diego thoroughly covered the local nuclear power plant’s closing, but the wider energy story is still waiting to be told

SANTA BARBARA, CA -- Nuclear power plants are complex, interdependent systems of systems, and the state and federal bureaucracies that... More

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Boom’s time?

The promising nonprofit quarterly, Boom: A Journal of California, aims to bridge academia and journalism, reach beyond California—and stay afloat.

SANTA BARBARA, CA -- Nonprofit journalism is now central to the American national news ecosystem; ProPublica, the Center for Investigative... More

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A lobbyist columnist?

The San Francisco Chronicle editorializes in favor of lobbying reform that could apply to its own weekly columnist, former Mayor Willie Brown

SANTA BARBARA, CA -- In an unusual turn in opinion journalism, the San Francisco Chronicle published an editorial May 26... More

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Citizen Wanes

The Bay Citizen brand winks out—and leaves behind a lesson about nonprofit governance

Way back in the distant mists of mid-2010, The Bay Citizen, a San Francisco experiment in nonprofit civic journalism, launched... More

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Da Mayor, da columnist, da questions

Legendary political deal-maker Willie Brown writes a column in the San Francisco Chronicle, raising eyebrows higher than the Golden Gate Bridge

SANTA BARBARA, CA -- Former mayor, ex-state Assembly speaker, clothes horse, raconteur, and legendary political power-player Willie Brown has been... More

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Keeping up with the bullet train

An immensely ambitious project requires hugely creative coverage. California had it, for a while. Time to try again?

Californians might be forgiven for being puzzled about the merits of their state's ambitious high-speed rail program. The sprawling,... More

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Flooding the apathy zone

The Los Angeles Times sends a team of reporters and a star columnist to battle civic disengagement, with impressive results—even if turnout was only 16 percent

SANTA BARBARA, CA -- Let's get an understatement out of the way: Your average citizen of Los Angeles is not... 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

Journalists subpoenaed in ‘pink-slime’ suit - BPI wants emails from NYT’s Michael Moss, public-health lawyer Michele Simon, and others

Bloomberg struggles to break out of the box - Justin Smith’s ambitious digital transformation hits some bumps

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

Embedded with the Koch brothers - Hometown reporters get rare access to the media-shy oilmen, with mixed results


Your iPhone can now make free encrypted calls (Wired)

The beginning of the end of burner phones?

The new face of Richard Norris (GQ)

“‘Richard?’ I say. ‘Richard?’ I shove his shoulder and nothing happens. He is dead. He is on my watch and he is dead. I hear gurgling. Breathing. He’s on my watch and he is not dead.”

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”

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.