Wednesday, September 03, 2014. Last Update: Tue 3:20 PM EST

The Observatory

Newsweek Fetishizes an “Epidemic”

Voyeuristic sex-addiction cover misses an important debate

A “sex addiction epidemic” is unfolding like a plague in the US, according a recent Newsweek cover story—but don’t reach... More

Calling Dr. Crowd

News outlets rely on the masses for public health stories

When we feel ourselves coming down with something, we look it up. If you type the words “I think I’m... More

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

Q&A: An Apple critic with plenty to say - John Siracusa’s legendary - and lengthy - Apple reviews reach their 15th year

Why one editor won’t run any more op-eds by the Heritage Foundation’s top economist - A reply to Paul Krugman on state taxes and job growth made some incorrect claims

4 topics John Oliver explained more clearly than television news - The political satirist brings explainer comedy to HBO viewers

Michael Brown shooting and the crimes journalists choose as newsworthy - Examining why black suspects are covered at a greater proportion than they commit crimes

GOP-backed fake news sites target Dems in congressional races - - Unlike The Onion and other satire sites, the goal is to fool voters, not make them laugh


New WaPo publisher (WaPo)

The departure of Katharine Weymouth ends eight decades of Graham family leadership

The impact of watching executions (PSmag)

“[E]xecutions, even for people who support capital punishment, and even when the criminals being put to death evoke little personal sympathy because of the nature of their crimes, take a toll on witnesses”

Times of India demands employee social media passwords (Quartz)

The company will possess log-in information and will be free to post any material to the account without journalists’ knowledge

Reconnecting with a story source, 17 years later (Hartford Courant)

“People who say reporters exploit people? You are right, we do. We parachute into people’s lives, sidle up, convince them that we care — and then disengage when the story is over. But that doesn’t mean we don’t connect, in a genuine way.”

Bloggingheads

Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

  • If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $19.95 (6 issues in all).
  • If not, simply write cancel on the bill and return it. You will owe nothing.

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.