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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

Hey millionaire tech bros: Have patience with the editorial process - Chris Hughes probably wanted to enable great journalism at first. Then the dust settled and before you know it, he’s shaking everything up again

Serial creators don’t know what will happen to Adnan Syed - New developments in his legal case suggest that the outcome is wide open

Price hike at UC Berkeley’s journalism school - Governing body approves additional fee of $7,500 starting 2016

Will Denver really have a newspaper war? - As a billionaire floats reviving the Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post might buckle its chin strap

FOIA reform dies while the press looked the other way - RIP Improvement Act of 2014


The traffic lure of outrage (Slate)

“I didn’t become a journalist to peddle indignation on Facebook. But it sells—the page views don’t lie.”

NBC news producer’s sons were in the besieged school in Peshawar (NBCnews.com)

“I remained silent and didn’t know what to say — I know how such attacks on schools usually end”

Hero mom calls into CSPAN to berate her arguing pundit sons (WaPo)

“This was not planned. She called in on the normal line.”

Dick Cheney doesn’t want to call it torture but the media doesn’t have to follow (Vox)

“People deserve to know that the American government (proudly!) did things that in any other context are called torture”

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.