Wednesday, November 26, 2014. Last Update: Wed 10:50 AM EST

The Observatory

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

Press Pass Problems

Cetacean Society’s decision to deny a reporter raises questions about access

On Tuesday, the American Cetacean Society denied a freelancer’s request for a press pass to attend the society’s annual meeting... More

Man(n) the Torpedoes

Climate scientist Michael Mann goes on the offensive

NEW HAVEN, CONN.—It’s been exactly a year since “Climategate” broke, putting Penn State University researcher Michael Mann and climate scientists... More

A Referendum on Energy Issues?

Not so fast

There is something ironic about the post-election surge of articles about the environmental consequences of various outcomes at the polls... More

A Future for Cooperative Politics?

New York Times story on candidates’ psychology is overly optimistic

Thankfully, the days of “neuropunditry,” which sought to decipher voters’ thoughts with brain imaging and which blighted coverage of the... More

Q&A: UFO Journalist Leslie Kean

Is the truth out there?

Leslie Kean has written an unusual book on an unusual subject: Unidentified flying objects. But this Halloween weekend, Kean would... More

Paint it Green

Why it’s been left to reporters to bring up environmental issues on the campaign trail

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, “In much of the nation, ‘cap and trade’ has... More

How to Use ProPublica’s “Dollars for Docs” Database

Tips for reporters and editors

Investigative innovator ProPublica launched a new project this week, a national database of doctors and the money they have received... More

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

The press is responsible for ignoring Bill Cosby rape allegations - Where were journalists 10 years ago when claims originally surfaced against him?

Journalism has a plagiarism problem. But it’s not the one you’d expect - Fareed Zakaria’s case highlights news organizations’ ethical grey areas

4 topics John Oliver explained more clearly than television news - The political satirist brings explainer comedy to HBO viewers

Will radio save science journalism? - WNYC will soon have a new health unit


CNN reporters in Ferguson provide coverage of CNN reporters in Ferguson (Slate)

“[T]here was little that justified CNN’s egocentric coverage”

Which media outlets use ‘illegal immigrant’? (Fusion)

“[I]n spite of all the good reasons not to use the phrase, it is still very easy to find in the US press, even in headlines”

Jack Shafer on losing his job (Capital New York)

“Right now, my immediate plan is to go to work as a lay therapist at The Intercept to bring the healing there so John Cook and Matt Taibbi can return. I have great interpersonal skills.”

On outlets that continue to call unknown drone victims ‘militants’ (The Intercept)

“Like the US drone program itself, this deceitful media practice continues unabated”

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.