Sunday, September 21, 2014. Last Update: Fri 4:26 PM EST

Author Archive

Articles by John Mecklin | Email the Author

angelstad.jpg

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

kobeearthquake.jpg

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

HollywoodSign.jpg

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

sbarbara.jpg

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

vaxgirl.jpg

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

las vegas.jpg

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

sanonofre.jpg

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

Boomscreenshot.jpg

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

chronicle.jpg

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

SanFranTrolleyCar.jpg

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

williebrown.jpg

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

bullet train.jpg

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

LATphoto.jpg

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

Stop using ‘Brooklyn’ to mean hipster neighborhoods - Elite-oriented outlets typically only cover the borough’s most affluent, Manhattan-adjacent neighborhoods

The Reporters Committee is about to start suing people to help journalists - Katie Townsend joins the organization as its first litigation director

How a Nebraska newspaper kicked off a major prison sentencing scandal - The Omaha World-Herald found that hundreds of inmates were being released early

On media freedom, United Nations plays by its own rules - Months of international crises raises the stakes for reporting on the UN, but investigative journalists remain without a right to information

Keep calm and write a headline worth reading - Ease up on the exaggerations because someday you may need those explosive adjectives when a truly big story lands


Adviser of high school paper that refused to use ‘Redskins’ suspended (Student Press Law Center)

“Amid a months-long battle with administrators for editorial control … the Playwickian’s faculty adviser was suspended for two days this week”

Apple’s ‘warrant canary’ disappears (GigaOm)

Apple included language in its first Transparency Report to say that it had not been subject to a Section 215 Patriot Act request. That language is now gone.

Trend Piece (New Yorker)

Buzzword, buzzword, buzzword. Isn’t the buzzword on your mind now? Perhaps it is on other people’s minds? Read on or you’ll be clueless, dated, and without any friends in the world. Buzzword again!

This Is How Joanna Coles Changed Cosmo (Refinery29)

The British reporter-turned-editor has made good on her promises to bring politics to the magazine, win some very big-deal journalism awards, and secure the most interesting exclusive interviews

Bloggingheads

Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

  • If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $19.95 (6 issues in all).
  • If not, simply write cancel on the bill and return it. You will owe nothing.

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.