Thursday, October 02, 2014. Last Update: Thu 6:50 AM EST

The Observatory

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

The Flu Formerly Known As Swine

Coverage of naming controversy has wasted time

Over the past week, media reports cycled through various names for the 2009 A(H1N1) influenza—swine flu, Mexico flu, North American... More

Why one editor won’t run any more op-eds by the Heritage Foundation’s top economist - A reply to Paul Krugman on state taxes and job growth made some incorrect claims

This is how Tehran Bureau covers Iran - Its reporting model, using undercover journalists and distant editors, is one way to cover closed societies

Alessandra Stanley’s troubling history of error - Scrutiny alone isn’t enough to solve the problem

Why Bill Simmons might leave ESPN - Other outlets would jump at the chance to gain his following

Simon & Schuster should come clean about discredited Monroe/DiMaggio book - C. David Heymann’s Joe and Marilyn is full of highly dubious information—just like many of his previous books


The Recollectors

Remembering parents lost to AIDS

Swedish scientists sneak Dylan quotes into articles (The Guardian)

Whoever nets the most before retirement wins a free lunch

Mag for dog haters is a hit in Germany (WSJ)

Poop and Pooches. That is all

A data viz reading list (Susan McGregor)

Useful resources for journalists

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.