Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Last Update: Wed 3:17 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

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


Insufferable parenthetical asides, ranked (The Hairpin)

18. (strictly for the mise-en-scene)

You are now entering the demented kingdom of William T. Vollmann (TNR)

“Franzen tells a hilarious story of being a young writer in New York, meeting Vollmann, becoming fast friends, and inaugurating a draft swap. A while later, they exchanged work. Franzen gave Vollmann a dozen chiseled pages. Vollmann gave Franzen an entire novel.”

39 pieces of advice for journalists and writers of color (BuzzFeed)

“Make yourself indispensable. Dispel any rumors, however quiet, that you are just there for a ‘quota’”

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.