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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

Virginian-Pilot journalists: Corporate management pressure is stifling coverage - “Lovers of journalism in this newsroom are pissed. It’s bad.”

Paper files public records request—and city’s response is a lawsuit - Local officials argue Montana courts should strike balance between privacy and disclosure

BBC Pop-Up reports from small town America - A small team is traveling across the United States for six months in hopes of finding underreported local stories

What game design can do for journalism - Three newly selected fellows at American University talk about the medium’s future

Timeline, an app based on ‘the history of…’ - But chronology doesn’t reveal everything


Photojournalism while pregnant (NYT Mag)

“Momentarily forgetting I was pregnant, I jockeyed for a position close enough to capture the initial moments of euphoria, hurling myself into the mix of hundreds of frenzied relatives. As the weight of men started to close in on me, I realized how vulnerable I was and started to panic.”

We should all step back from security journalism (Medium)

“It should be made clear, in law, that the tasks security reseachers do to make the net more secure and journalists do to understand and contextualize the truth for the public are not crimes”

Trust In Business And Media Is Declining, But People Have Faith In Search Engines (Buzzfeed)

People have become less trusting of major institutions, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer. And large majorities doubt that businesses want to make the world a better place.

With New Charlie Hebdo Cover, News Value Should Have Prevailed (NYT)

Public editor Margaret Sullivan on why the paper should have published the images.

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.