Sunday, March 01, 2015. Last Update: Fri 2:51 PM EST

The Observatory

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

Another Cozy TV-Hospital Partnership

Will the practice ever end?

Once more, a large hospital system has climbed in bed with a friendly TV station to promote high-end services, using... More

New survey reveals everything you think about freelancing is true - Data from Project Word quantifies challenges of freelance investigative reporting

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

Why we ‘stave off’ colds - It all started with wine

The New Republic, then and now - Tallying the staff turnover at the overhauled magazine

Why serious journalism can coexist with audience-pleasing content - Legacy media organizations should experiment with digital platforms while continuing to publish hard news


The rise of feelings journalism (TNR)

“Bloom engaged in an increasingly popular style of writing, which I’ve discussed on my blog before, which I call “feelings journalism.” It involves a writer making an argument based on what they imagine someone else is thinking, what they feel may be another person’s feelings. The realm of fact, of reporting, has been left behind.”

Things a war correspondent should never say (WSJ)

“The correspondent retelling war stories surely knows that fellow correspondents had faced the same dangers or worse”

On WaPo trying to interview a cow (National Journal)

“‘I wasn’t milked on the White House lawn by a strange man,’ The Washington Post—the venerable institution that would later come to break the Watergate scandal and win 48 Pulitzers—quoted her, a farm animal, as saying”

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.