Friday, October 31, 2014. Last Update: Fri 2:45 PM EST

The Observatory

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

The Times, It Is A Changin’

New editors to lead science, environment coverage

“The world turns. The universe expands. The stethoscope passes. And we have a new Science editor,” Bill Keller, the executive... More

Extreme Measures

Must reporters cite climate change in every article about severe weather?

Last week, the journal Nature made a big splash in the press with the publication of two studies which found... More

Coming to Terms with the “Value” of Life

The rhetorical debate behind the NYT’s front-pager

Last week, my colleague Felix Salmon expressed his love for The New York Times’s front-page article on Thursday about federal... More

Dr. Search Engine

NYT prompts needed discussion about the relative merits of health websites

Eighty percent of Internet users seek out health information on the web, according to a survey released by the Pew... More

The Scientific Method for Reaching a Wider Audience

How digital media is helping science escape the “echo chamber”

“Are science blogs stuck in an echo chamber? Chamber? Chamber?” Ed Yong, an award-winning science blogger at Discover, wondered in... More

Snow Job

Just what constitutes a “record”?

The snowstorm that hit much of the United States last week was one for the books. In Chicago, the 20.2... More

The Cost of Living, Part IV

Digital mammograms in the medical marketplace

Containing the runaway costs of medical care is perhaps the thorniest of health care issues. Despite the rhetoric about getting... More

Introducing ‘Earth Journalism’

A global view of a local beat

In the grand scheme of environmental affairs, journalism is almost always an afterthought. The media world seems to return the... More

Science Faltering?

Obama wants more R&D, but few willing to discuss research productivity

President Obama wants “to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the Space... More

Blogging from Biology Class

Staten Island high school students team up with Nature Education

If you’re worried about the future of science journalism, take solace in two fourteen-year-old students named Sam and Naseem who... More

In Deep Water

Reporters explore socio-economic complexity underlying floods in Brazil, Australia

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — No one is singing in the rain. The mudslides here and the floods in Australia... More

The ethics of The Guardian’s Whisper bombshell - It would have been a journalistic lapse not to have told readers

Gawker: The internet bully - Nick Denton’s media empire is an intellectual online fraternity that invites people to their parties only to make them buy the booze

The Washington Post short-sells a reporter’s integrity - Steven Pearlstein smears TheStreet’s Adam Feuerstein for criticizing a biotech firm

Former Sun-Times staffers react to top reporter’s resignation - “Whereas we don’t have all the answers, we have way too many questions about what happened here”

Stop trolling your readers - We know you’re only doing it for clicks


John Oliver video sweepstakes (The Awl)

“We may update this list next week to reflect Facebook shares gathered by The Awl as the result of this post, which is ultimately an elaborate excuse to embed a John Oliver video on our website”

Which news org is the most trusted? (Pew)

The answer is complicated

‘My Captivity’ (NYT Mag)

An American journalist on his two-year kidnapping in Syria

FBI faked an AP story, in Seattle Times style, to catch a suspect (Seattle Times)

“‘We are outraged that the FBI, with the apparent assistance of the US Attorney’s Office, misappropriated the name of The Seattle Times to secretly install spyware on the computer of a crime suspect,’ said Seattle Times Editor Kathy Best”

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.