Thursday, July 24, 2014. Last Update: Thu 3:45 PM EST

The Observatory

Tornadoes and Climate Change

McKibben is wrong; many reporters are “making connections”

On Monday, The Washington Post published an op-ed by Bill McKibben, a writer and environmental activist, under the sarcastic headline,... More

Flame Retardants Raise Undue Alarm

Incomplete risk assessment mars coverage of chemicals in kids’ products

There is a great story in the news right now that illustrates the challenges for journalists who cover environmental risks.... More

A Watershed Moment for the Chesapeake Bay Journal

On its 20th anniversary, the paper is growing and remolding its image

The current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review features a short article about the twentieth anniversary of the Chesapeake Bay... More

A Mining Disaster Follow-up Follows the Money

L.A. Times’s revealing report on inaction after the WV coal mine explosion

A belated laurel to the Los Angeles Times team of Kim Geiger, Tom Hamburger, and Doug Smith, of the paper’s... More

Science Blogs “Win a Place at the Table”

Zimmer and Yong on the evolution of online science coverage

According to “techy historians,” there were around twenty-three blogs in 1998. As of mid-February, there were 156 million, Phil Hilts,... More

Red Alert on the Green Beat

Violence and threats severely restrain environmental coverage in much of the world

In 2007, Cherelle Jackson started publishing a three-part series of investigative reports that examined plans to develop tourism on an... More

Coverage of New Chernobyl Analysis Fails Risk Reporting Basics

Includes absolute risk, but not relative

The nuclear crisis in Japan keeps on revealing how the news media struggle to report accurately and thoroughly about risk.... More

Critics Slam PBS, NYT Autism Reports

Mnookin: “A reckless and irresponsible coda to Robert MacNeil’s career”

A PBS Newshour series about autism that drew former host Robert MacNeil back to the show for the first time... More

National Geographic Taking the Wheel at Scienceblogs.com

Report of merger prompts campfire history tale on Twitter

“My baby's all grown up,” mused Christopher Mims, retweeting an unconfirmed announcement posted nineteen minutes earlier that Scienceblogs.com, the site... More

Mixed Grades for Medical Coverage

Analysis of nearly 1,500 articles over five years finds pluses and minuses

A review of nearly 1,500 health-medical articles over the last five years has found that while journalists are nailing a... More

CU-Boulder to Shutter J-School

Journalism education remains a priority, administrators claim

The University of Colorado’s Board of Regents voted last week to close the journalism school at its Boulder campus, marking... More

California Watch is Watching

Investigation reveals lax oversight of seismic standards in schools

California Watch’s Corey Johnson was scanning the website of the state architect’s office one evening in December 2009 when he... More

The Importance of Energy Reporters

A Q&A with the NYT’s Matthew Wald about Japan’s nuclear crisis

The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan has underscored the importance of specialized energy reporters. Unfortunately,... More

Japan’s Other Environmental Woes

The Wall Street Journal breaks from the pack with article on non-nuclear fallout

The Wall Street Journal distinguished itself on Monday with an article that examined some of the non-nuclear environmental impacts... More

The Climate Context in Japan

Crisis tests media’s ability to frame nuclear debate in a world beset by energy risks

When I was a young journalist working as the environment editor for a Thai newspaper back in the 1990s, one... 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


The 10 worst New Yorker longreads (Gawker)

“[A]pparently [Adam] Gopnik did not know you could bake fancy breads from France and other cultures. So he got his mom to teach him how to bake them. A fine anecdote, maybe, to tell a friend or a therapist. But in this case he wrote about it for the New Yorker, a magazine.”

Insufferable parenthetical asides, ranked (The Hairpin)

18. (strictly for the mise-en-scene)

You are now entering the demented kingdom of William T. Vollmann (TNR)

“Franzen tells a hilarious story of being a young writer in New York, meeting Vollmann, becoming fast friends, and inaugurating a draft swap. A while later, they exchanged work. Franzen gave Vollmann a dozen chiseled pages. Vollmann gave Franzen an entire novel.”

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.