Sunday, September 21, 2014. Last Update: Fri 4:26 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

Stop using ‘Brooklyn’ to mean hipster neighborhoods - Elite-oriented outlets typically only cover the borough’s most affluent, Manhattan-adjacent neighborhoods

The Reporters Committee is about to start suing people to help journalists - Katie Townsend joins the organization as its first litigation director

How a Nebraska newspaper kicked off a major prison sentencing scandal - The Omaha World-Herald found that hundreds of inmates were being released early

On media freedom, United Nations plays by its own rules - Months of international crises raises the stakes for reporting on the UN, but investigative journalists remain without a right to information

Keep calm and write a headline worth reading - Ease up on the exaggerations because someday you may need those explosive adjectives when a truly big story lands


Adviser of high school paper that refused to use ‘Redskins’ suspended (Student Press Law Center)

“Amid a months-long battle with administrators for editorial control … the Playwickian’s faculty adviser was suspended for two days this week”

Apple’s ‘warrant canary’ disappears (GigaOm)

Apple included language in its first Transparency Report to say that it had not been subject to a Section 215 Patriot Act request. That language is now gone.

Trend Piece (New Yorker)

Buzzword, buzzword, buzzword. Isn’t the buzzword on your mind now? Perhaps it is on other people’s minds? Read on or you’ll be clueless, dated, and without any friends in the world. Buzzword again!

This Is How Joanna Coles Changed Cosmo (Refinery29)

The British reporter-turned-editor has made good on her promises to bring politics to the magazine, win some very big-deal journalism awards, and secure the most interesting exclusive interviews

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.