Monday, December 22, 2014. Last Update: Mon 2:15 PM EST

The Observatory

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ABC News: armchair psychologist

The network offers irresponsible speculation about the Colorado shooter

Here we go again. A gunman fires on an unsuspecting crowd and the American media leap to conclusions about the... More

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Flames, causes and context

As Western wildfires rage, reporters grapple with stories beyond acreage burned and homes destroyed

When faced with the explosive fury of multiple wildfires torching hundreds of homes like so many Roman candles, journalists can... More

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The heatwave debate

How the science of probability affects science coverage

We can all agree that the weather has been unseasonably warm this summer. But fewer people, including media types, agree... More

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The Palm Beach Post exposes a hidden menace

Government cutbacks and the worst TB epidemic in 20 years

Reporting on tuberculosis is not most reporters’ idea of a glamor assignment. It’s an ancient disease, drug companies aren’t keen... More

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Like steam, ping-pong balls, and Omar Sharif

The media has an entertaining struggle trying to explain the Higgs boson

On Wednesday, scientists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which runs the world’s largest particle accelerator and collider... More

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The expectations game

Blogs drive MSM speculation about Higgs announcement

Excited speculation about the discovery of one of physics’ most sought-after particles is coming in waves now, with media outlets... More

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Press war Down Under

A mining mogul’s battle with an Australian media group shakes the industry

Fairfax Limited, one of Australia’s largest media conglomerates, is at war with its largest individual shareholder, the world’s richest woman.... More

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Our polar backyard

Economist explores what a melting Arctic means to the world

The Arctic is not under-covered. Some might even say the opposite is true. The polar bear has been “the poster... More

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Rio+20 side events become the main event

Does the summit deserve the scorn and indifference it has received from the media?

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — Tragedy and farce. Those are the two general impressions conveyed by much of the world’s... More

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“Prophet of Katrina” stays put

Times-Picayune’s ace environment reporter sticks with Nola Media Group

The man The New York Times called “a prophet of Katrina’s wrath” for his prescient coverage of New Orleans’ vulnerability... More

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How creativity works? Not like that.

Science writer Jonah Lehrer accused of self-plagiarism

The author of a recent book about how creativity works is finding out the hard way that the answer is... More

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Rio+20 roundup

Coverage of the UN sustainable development summit revs up, or not

Big, international summits geared toward protecting the environment and promoting sustainability just don’t have the cachet that they used to.... More

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Adrift in a sea of (no) coverage

For two years, little in the news about battle over National Ocean Policy

Last October, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar called on the press to pay more attention to the Obama administration’s... More

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Covering the animal within

Zoobiquity promotion belies activity in comparative medicine

The promo machine for an upcoming book, Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing,... More

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NSF invests in literary science journalism

Creative nonfiction program seeks emerging writers

The National Science Foundation (NSF) doubled down on literary science journalism this year. Actually, it quintupled down. In 2010, NSF... More

Reporters fail to capture implications of pension provision - A ‘big shift’ tucked into the spending bill goes under-examined

The New Republic: A public trust or a business? - How Chris Hughes turned a 100-year-old publication into a “product”

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

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

The problem with sharing uncredited photos - “Just because you put something on the internet does not give people the right to steal it”


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.