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

The Observatory

The Potential for Medical Journalism in Kenya

A country that’s aching for quality health reporting

NAIROBI, Kenya—Before landing in Kenya, my doctor had me get shots for typhoid, tetanus, cholera, yellow fever, and meningitis. He... More

Environmental Journalism Associations Proliferating Worldwide

Members find strength—and challenges—in numbers

When I was a journalist uncovering how oil and petrochemical companies were dumping mercury into the Gulf of Thailand, I... More

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

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

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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.