Thursday, July 31, 2014. Last Update: Thu 3:20 PM EST

The Observatory

Bye, Bye Blackbirds

Bizarre reports of dead birds and fish enliven a slow news week

With remakes of classic films all the rage, it may be time for Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller The Birds to be... More

Best of 2010: The Observatory

Curtis Brainard picks the top stories from 2010

1. “New” Media Crucial in Aftermath of Haitian Earthquake With standard telephone, radio, and television communications disabled, “new” media platforms... More

Climate Change 101

Trio of articles re-cover some global warming basics

A little more than a year ago, there was a feeling among many editors and reporters that the climate-change story... More

The U.N. Climate Caravan

Author of report criticizing coverage of Copenhagen summit reflects on Cancun meeting

CANCÚN, MEXICO—There is no doubt that the United Nations climate-change negotiations here, which concluded just over a week ago, were... More

Show Him the Money!

Reporter Joydeep Gupta asks tough questions at the Cancún climate conference

CANCÚN, MEXICO—Joydeep Gupta wants to know where the money is, and he's going to keep asking everyone he can that... More

The Right Place for Scientific Debate?

Scientists snub media as controversy over arsenic-eating microbes rolls on

First there was the wild speculation about the discovery of extraterrestrial life. Then came widespread, sometimes misguided, coverage of the... More

Can Rolling Stone Claim Blankenship’s Scalp?

Can Rolling Stone claim another scalp? Six months after ending the career of Stanley McChrystal, Rolling Stone published Jeff Goodell's... More

The Muzzling of the FDA

How government press officers stole our freedom

It is 1978. I have just been refused admission to a Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association section meeting that is to... More

A Life Less Ordinary

After speculation about aliens, arsenic-eating microbe stirs wide coverage

A bacterium trained to substitute arsenic for phosphorus—one of six elements considered essential for life—in some of its basic cellular... More

Close Encounters of the Media Kind

NASA press release leads to wild speculation about alien discovery

Over the last two days, bloggers at a few of the country’s top news outlets have engaged in wild and... More

The Risk of Poor Coverage of Risk

Why does a healthier-than-ever world feel so scary?

There is a hidden danger in this modern world of unprecedented plenty and healthier, longer lives: our growing fears about... More

From Copenhagen to Cancun

A challenging year for the climate story

It’s been a challenging time for the climate change story on just about every front. A year ago, the unauthorized... More

How to Place a Story?

Survey finds top environmental newsmakers still target traditional media

Despite disruptive changes in the media industry, which have made it more difficult to place stories and develop relationships with... More

Echoes of Grit and Humor

Great Lakes news startup brings on an inspiring new voice

If all goes as planned, Tom Henry’s decision to take on more work—in the form of a monthly column for... More

Gruesome Graphic Labels

FDA’s new anti-smoking labels light up the web

It was inevitable that the FDA’s new proposal to put graphic, and often gruesome, pictures of dead bodies and diseased... More

How Forbes got to $475 million - That’s what a Hong Kong investor has agreed to pay for a firm that two years ago had trouble paying its rent

Journalists subpoenaed in ‘pink-slime’ suit - BPI wants emails from NYT’s Michael Moss, public-health lawyer Michele Simon, and others

Bloomberg struggles to break out of the box - Justin Smith’s ambitious digital transformation hits some bumps

The Grand Dame of Florida reporting has retired twice, but she’s still causing trouble - A conversation with the Tampa Bay Times’ Lucy Morgan

Embedded with the Koch brothers - Hometown reporters get rare access to the media-shy oilmen, with mixed results


The 60-second interview: Marty Baron (Capital New York)

CAPITAL: I just noticed that the most-read story right now on your website is an aggregated piece about a Russian lizard sex station in space. BARON: [Laughs] Is that right?

Your iPhone can now make free encrypted calls (Wired)

The beginning of the end of burner phones?

The new face of Richard Norris (GQ)

“‘Richard?’ I say. ‘Richard?’ I shove his shoulder and nothing happens. He is dead. He is on my watch and he is dead. I hear gurgling. Breathing. He’s on my watch and he is not dead.”

How to be a decent entertainment reporter (Eric Danton)

“Here’s how not to suck at it: Don’t write like an entertainment reporter”

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.