Saturday, January 31, 2015. Last Update: Fri 4:35 PM EST

The Observatory

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Mad cow, sane coverage

Most media treat BSE discovery with appropriate concern

A few days after the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement last month that it had discovered a case of... More

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Brain waves

Articles about neuroscience push ideology, inflame divisions, study says

From advice about “exercising your mind” to treatises on “the gay brain,” media coverage of neuroscience in the UK often... More

Obama promises climate talk

But reporters will probably have to keep asking

Three cheers to Rolling Stone cofounder Jann S. Wenner for getting President Barack Obama to utter the words “climate change”... More

NYT Obscures Wal-Mart, EDF Link

Article overlooks green group’s close ties to Walton Family Foundation

A recent New York Times article about the Environmental Defense Fund’s efforts to help Wal-Mart “cut waste” painted an incomplete... More

Equivocal Efficiency?

Some articles fail to stress bottom line of electric-vehicles report

A new report outlining regional differences in electric cars’ contribution to climate change is drawing a lot of media attention,... More

Titanic Proportions

The 100th anniversary of one of the world’s most-covered stories

You can’t sink a good story. The past few months have produced countless articles, columns, photo galleries, videos, and sundry... More

Nutrition Coverage Under Fire

From red meat to white rice, not enough skepticism of observational studies

The incessant coverage of nutritional studies that make tenuous claims about the harms or benefits of consuming various foods and... More

Q&A: The NYT’s Justin Gillis

The recent Oakes Award winner talks about how to keep climate on the front page

At the end of March, Columbia University awarded the 2011 Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism to New York Times... More

Little Context for Obama Energy Speech in Ohio

Local reports present a war of words without much fact checking

Unchecked accusations about gas prices and oil production defined local coverage of President Barack Obama’s speech at Ohio State University... More

Reporter’s Toolbox: Oil and Gas Prices

Resources to help journalists stop the spin

Every year, news stories about US gasoline prices appear in the early spring and remain popular until the end of... More

Pessimism Reigns a Year After Fukushima

Media forecast a gloomy future for the nuclear industry

The barrage of stories worldwide on the first anniversary of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant provided... More

Heartland, Gleick, and Media Law

Experts weigh in on leaks and deceptive tactics

When, if ever, are deceptive tactics legally or ethically permissible in journalism? An old debate over that question has raged... More

Q&A: Eric Roston, Bloomberg’s sustainability editor

A new section tracks businesses’ response to the global “resource crunch”

At the end of November, Bloomberg News launched a Sustainability section “to uncover what businesses are doing, or what... More

“Economy Class Syndrome” Debunked

Personal blood-clot narrative makes for bad science writing in Washington Post

Telling a first-person story about a health problem is a popular frame in medical writing, and it can be effective... More

What Drives Public Opinion About Climate Change?

Politicians, economy more influential than media coverage, study says

The media influence public opinion about climate change, but not as much as national politicians and the state of the... 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.