Friday, November 21, 2014. Last Update: Fri 2:45 PM EST

The Observatory

March of the Politicians

Journal calls out Congress’s climate-change junket Down Under

On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal fronted an article about a trip that ten members of Congress took last year... More

Writing Wrongs

Journals’ call to publish scientific setbacks is an opportunity for journalists

For journalists, some scientific flops are just too good to pass up. Think of the Large Hadron Collider’s failure to... More

It’s Tanking; I’m Teaching…

And other current events in the tumultuous world of science journalism

Following the fiftieth fortieth anniversary of the first moon landing two weeks ago, The Observatory ran a short round-up of... More

Clunkers, the Economy, and the Environment

When it comes to “green,” reporters focus on the pocketbook

Since the Department of Transportation announced last Thursday that new-car buyers had bankrupted the “cash for clunkers” rebate initiative in... More

Fuel for Thought

Once credulous, biofuels coverage grows skeptical

Fuel from corn. Fuel from coffee grounds. Fuel from chicken feathers. Whatever the recipe, the search for a replacement for... More

(E)mission Impossible?

Blogs, Web sites provide climate policy analysis lacking elsewhere

After the recent Group 8 meeting in Italy, news outlets released a flood of reports about certain developing countries—led by... More

The DEA, Michael Jackson, and Me

How the agency’s press office cost our magazine the propofol scoop

Scoops are won through hard work, luck and even, in the case of Evelyn Waugh’s William Boot, mistaken identity. They... More

Media on the Moon

Anniversary of Apollo landing inspires stories both quirky and critical

The media loves to commemorate space-age milestones. In 2007, it was Sputnik’s fiftieth birthday. In 2008, it was NASA’s. This... More

George Will and Climate Change: Have We Seen This Movie Before?

He’s ba-ack. After igniting a firestorm in the blogosphere (and attracting some attention from mainstream media) with a February 15... More

Science Clichés: Steer Clear

Cheers to the Knight Science Journalism Tracker for picking up a snarky post at Wired titled, “5 Atrocious Science Clichés... More

The New Pioneers of the West

Start-up tries to fill the void in environment coverage

When Robert McClure picked up the phone to talk to about the new journalism startup he’s working for, Investigate West,... More

BPA, Health, and Nuance

STATS report criticizes media coverage, but has its own faults

The FDA is supposed to reach a final decision on the safety of Bisphenol A (BPA)—a plastics additive found in... More

Science Journalism in a Can

Are pre-packaged science stories better than none at all?

Last week, the The Washington Post’s Health section carried a lead story about AIDS immunology research being spearheaded by a... More

Grace-ful Coverage

Libby asbestos trial highlights the value of robust regional reporting

The name Libby doesn’t conjure the same images of corporate and environmental malfeasance as Love Canal or Three Mile Island.... More

Science Journalism Around the World

WCSJ participants talk about reporting in their home countries

LONDON — During the meeting here last week, I began referring to the World Conference of Science Journalists as my... More

Why won’t journalists ask Bill Cosby the tough questions? - Sexual assault charges are hardly ever mentioned to the TV star

Knoxville’s alt-weekly wasn’t losing money. It got shut down anyway - Scripps pulls the plug on Metro Pulse in favor of an entertainment supplement for the local daily

Chuck Todd’s Obama book says more about the author than it does about the president - ‘The Stranger’ underscores a broader problem with the way we cover politics

Beware labeling Pope Francis a liberal - Political boxes like liberal/conservative and evolutionist/creationist miss his real significance

The Virginian-Pilot produces a breakthrough investigation amid layoffs - Reporter John Holland discusses how the story came together, newsroom cutbacks, and colleagues who cover for each other


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”

UNITY’s convention is no more (All Digitocracy)

“The organization’s board of directors decided that UNITY will no longer host the quadrennial conferences for which it had become known”

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.