Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Last Update: Tue 11:20 AM EST

The Observatory

Inside COP17

Why UN climate summits like the one in Durban are challenging, but worth covering

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA—It’s not easy to be a climate reporter. You have to understand the science of climate change, as... More

Frozen Planet’s Final Episode Will Air in US

Discovery Channel reverses course following wave of criticism, but what will viewers get?

Discovery Channel reversed course on Tuesday when it announced that it would air all seven parts of a BBC series... More

Besser to Oz: “You Were Right”

Consumer Reports confirms arsenic-in-apple-juice investigation

After accusing Dr. Mehmet Oz of “fear mongering” for reporting that some brands of apple juice contained high levels of... More

The Landman Cometh

Innovation Trail and other New York outlets help readers prepare for fracking prospectors

Knock, knock. Who’s there? It’s the “landman,” offering quick cash to extract natural gas on your property using a technique... More

UEA E-Mails Fail to Provoke

Wary of “Climategate,” reporters treat latest leak as minor news

Uneager, perhaps, to provoke the type of criticism that followed the dreadful coverage the “Climategate,” journalists have treated the emergence... More

AP Rings the Alarm

Story about cancers from Fukushima plays up the scare factor

A lot of cancer is more newsworthy than a little cancer, or so seems to be lesson of an Associated... More

Congress Nixes Climate Service

GOP lawmakers deny NOAA proposal to create central information hub

Congress has denied the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) bid to create a promising “one stop shop” for data... More

WSJ Marginalizes Muller

Climate-change op-ed didn’t run in the paper’s US edition

Media Matters, a group dedicated to bird-dogging conservative spin in the press, made a good catch last week when it... More

Frozen Planet Freezes Out Climate

BBC’s polar series unwisely sets apart episode about global warming

The BBC is taking a mild pummeling for giving foreign television networks the option not to buy an episode about... More

Puzzling Over the Flood

James Fahn pieces together the Thai disaster from international and local news

In the movie The Paper, a group of editors for a New York tabloid are trying to decide how prominently... More

The Kochs and Keystone XL

InsideClimate fails to make its case about brothers’ interest in the pipeline—but it should keep trying

Koch Industries, a giant oil and energy conglomerate, has InsideClimate News, a four-year-old online news startup, in its crosshairs. In... More

Like the Odds of a Heart Attack?

The limits of medical analogies for the climate-weather connection

With the latest death toll from floods in Thailand reaching nearly 400 people, reporters have had yet another opportunity to... More

Cracking the Case

Why is it so difficult to cover investigations of environmental crimes?

The federal civil and criminal investigations of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continue to be a... More

Soda Scare

Association, causation confused in news about pop and violence

Here we go again. A study finds an association between A and B, but some news reports say that A... More

Salazar Calls for Coverage

Interior Secretary highlights underreported environment stories

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar had a few tips for environmental journalists last week about under-covered stories on their... 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


How to be a decent entertainment reporter (Eric Danton)

“Here’s how not to suck at it: Don’t write like an entertainment reporter”

A First Look update (First Look Media)

“[R]ather than immediately launching a large collection of digital ‘magazines’ based on strong, expert journalists with their own followings, as we imagined earlier, we’ll begin by building out the two we’ve started and then explore adding new ones as we learn”

The White House deploys minders to interviews all the time (WaPo)

“Almost every officially sanctioned exchange between reporters and the proverbial ‘senior administration officials’ is conducted in the presence of a press staffer”

The down-and-dirty history of TMZ (BuzzFeed)

“TMZ’s real engine — what defines its mission, what legitimizes it and sets it apart — is a unique and controversial mix of scandal mongering and investigative journalism”

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.