Thursday, August 28, 2014. Last Update: Wed 2:50 PM EST

The Observatory

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

Covering “Crazy”

“Goldwater rule” overlooked in articles about Qaddafi, Sheen, and Loughner

The media has a penchant for psychoanalysis that often gets news outlets into trouble. From killers to celebrities to dictators,... More

Misinformation Clouds Much Japan Coverage

International media’s output enters the “Journalistic Hall of Shame”

Andrew Woolner’s Yokohama residence was left without power shortly after the recent major earthquake struck Japan. But his laptop and... More

Quaking in California

Articles about the “big one” short on science

The 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan on March 11 not only sent a tsunami barreling across the Pacific, but also... More

NYT Whitewashes its Japan Error

If you’re having trouble tracking the twists and turns as Japanese workers struggle at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, you’re... More

Crisis Juggling in Japan

Reporters struggle to balance quake, tsunami, nuclear coverage

The triple disaster. The triple whammy. Both terms are now common in media accounts of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear-plant disaster that has... More

Japan’s Quake and Political Fallout

Notes on nuclear renaissance

The ongoing struggle to bring four reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station under control has understandably shaken the... More

Political Aftershocks

Reactions to a disaster abroad, at home

The news cycle being what it is, it’s not surprising that we’ve taken to navel-gazing just days after the Japanese... More

Risk Reporting 101

What journalists should know about hazards and exposure

During my years as a daily TV journalist in Boston, I covered a seemingly endless string of risks: from the... More

Las Vegas Sun Shines Light on Nevada Health Care

Multimedia investigation of hospital injuries wins 2011 Goldsmith Prize

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—“Where do you go for great health care in Las Vegas?” Answer: “The airport.” That local joke set Las... More

Microbes and the Media

Burned in the past, journalists wary of astrobiology hype

Claims about extraterrestrial life are once again making headlines. Unlike a December incident involving an assertion about the discovery of... More

“Frack”-tious Reactions

Skirmishes follow recent coverage of shale-gas drilling

The former head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection is not happy with The New York Times’s Ian Urbina and... More

Has ‘Climate’ Become a Dirty Word?

Despite audience fatigue, interest remains stronger than ever in the most vulnerable countries

When President Obama gave his State of the Union address in January, there seemed to be more commentary among environmentalists... More

Alternating Currents

Why reporters struggle to find the right angle for clean energy stories

Is today’s media up to the task of covering renewable energy issues? That was the broad topic explored during two... More

Apple can’t hide from a 20-year-old reporter - The University of Michigan student gets behind the tech titan’s newest products

Al Jazeera America struggles to get off the margins - A quality-first strategy faces huge hurdles

Finding James Foley - This 2013 story takes a look at GlobalPost’s search for the photojournalist

Gannett cribs from Advance Publications playbook for struggling newspapers - Staff compete for fewer jobs; ‘readers become the assignment editor’

Cop corruption probe sparks newspaper feud - A spiked story is at the center of a bitter fight between Philadelphia’s two dailies


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.”

The McDonald’s in Ferguson (LAT)

“Lately, the restaurant has taken on the appearance of a battered frontier outpost”

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.