Monday, October 20, 2014. Last Update: Mon 6:50 AM EST

The Observatory

Climate Change, Crop Catastrophe

California papers ignore the agricultural consequences of climate change

California’s awful fiscal and economic crises—$24 billion budget shortfall, fifth highest level of unemployment in the nation—have been much in... More

Gene Randall “Reporting,” Inc.

Will journalists’ flight toward PR mean the end of reportorial integrity?

Former CNN correspondent-turned-PR consultant Gene Randall’s video “report” for oil giant Chevron might be unprecedented for how it blurred the... More

Talking Shop: Karen Ravn

The Los Angeles Times freelancer discusses her recent piece on medical dishonesty

In “Body of Lies,” a recent article published in the Los Angeles Times, Karen Ravn reported on the widespread problem... More

Pregnancy Pounds

A bun in the oven doesn’t mean you should fill up on rolls

Eating for two might not be such good advice for expectant mothers, according to new guidelines for how much weight... More

Earth 2100 Sizzles

ABC News’s two-hour special finally out of the frying pan, into the fire

On Tuesday night, ABC News aired a two-hour special called Earth 2100, describing the potentially apocalyptic scene that could await... More

Foolish Fusion

Explanatory science journalism is becoming rarer than a nuclear reaction

Coverage of the dedication ceremony for the National Ignition Facility, the world’s largest laser system, may have made it hard... More

Sotomayor’s “Sweet” Side

Coverage of judicial nominee’s diabetes lacks breadth

Over the past week, members of the news media have talked a lot about SCOTUS nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s race and... More

Climate Bill Cacophony

With so much back-and-forth on news pages, papers need more editorials

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce committee approved energy and climate legislation that could put the first national cap... More

Probability Problems

Clumsy numbers in coverage of MIT’s “Greenhouse Gamble” study

A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, which found... More

“The Mediacene Age”

Ancient primate fossil inspires an unusual press blitz, but will it work?

On Tuesday, The New York Times ran its second article about a 47-million-year-old skeleton that is being described as “the... More

Trek Tech

Reporters use mega-movie release to explore innovations

I am not a Trekkie, despite my older brothers’ countless attempts to make me one. But the first time I... More

The Science of Art…

And other reflections on the fiftieth anniversary of “The Two Cultures”

Last Thursday was the fiftieth anniversary of C.P. Snow’s famous lecture, “The Two Cultures,” which described a divide between scientists... More

To Report or Repeat?

Finding that press releases hype research does not diminish journalists’ responsibility

It’s hard to agree with a study last week that claimed academic medical centers hype their research through their press... More

Facebook and Procrastination

Runaway coverage mistakes correlation for causation

From the start, we knew that the news release we were distributing had a chance for ample news coverage. After... More

Science Journalism’s Crystal Ball

Whither the expertly reported content of yore?

In covering a crisis, it is crucial to quickly separate reliable information from speculation and hype—or, in the case of... More

PBS pulls ads from Harper’s Magazine after critical essay - Piece argues public broadcaster has fallen under the sway of political influence and outside money

Should all journalists be on Twitter? - Reasons to take up or forgo the 140-character platform

Chris Hondros: How He Got that Picture - From CJR’s Covering Iraq oral history

Beware journo-speak - Only journalists would call a tragedy a “mishap”

Will feminist writers save Playboy? - As Playboy’s safe-for-work site has passed the one-month mark, a look at the online media’s bedazzled reactions, and how the new image suits the old brand


Lawmakers on why they’re mired in place (Esquire)

Mark Warren “spoke with 90 members of the House and Senate about what’s gone so wrong in Congress. Sometimes it got a little emotional.”

My childhood friend, the ISIS jihadist (Mashable)

How a young Danish man turned extremist

What it’s like to carry a Nobel Prize through Fargo (SciAm)

“And they’re like, ‘Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?’ ‘The King of Sweden.’ ‘Why did he give this to you?’ ‘Because I helped discover the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating.’”

Newspapers prefer lesbians (Bloomberg)

In five states that just got gay marriage, the vast majority of local papers covered it with photos of women getting hitched

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.