Sunday, December 21, 2014. Last Update: Fri 5:42 PM EST

The Observatory

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

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

Hey millionaire tech bros: Have patience with the editorial process - Chris Hughes probably wanted to enable great journalism at first. Then the dust settled and before you know it, he’s shaking everything up again

Serial creators don’t know what will happen to Adnan Syed - New developments in his legal case suggest that the outcome is wide open

Price hike at UC Berkeley’s journalism school - Governing body approves additional fee of $7,500 starting 2016

Will Denver really have a newspaper war? - As a billionaire floats reviving the Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post might buckle its chin strap

FOIA reform dies while the press looked the other way - RIP Improvement Act of 2014


The traffic lure of outrage (Slate)

“I didn’t become a journalist to peddle indignation on Facebook. But it sells—the page views don’t lie.”

NBC news producer’s sons were in the besieged school in Peshawar (NBCnews.com)

“I remained silent and didn’t know what to say — I know how such attacks on schools usually end”

Hero mom calls into CSPAN to berate her arguing pundit sons (WaPo)

“This was not planned. She called in on the normal line.”

Dick Cheney doesn’t want to call it torture but the media doesn’t have to follow (Vox)

“People deserve to know that the American government (proudly!) did things that in any other context are called torture”

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.