Saturday, August 30, 2014. Last Update: Fri 2:45 PM EST

The Observatory

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

Magazine Mayhem

SciAm and ACS cut staff, reposition for the long haul

Last week was yet another turbulent one for science journalism. Scientific American, the United States’s oldest magazine, and the American... More

Apple can’t hide from a 20-year-old reporter - The University of Michigan student gets behind the tech titan’s newest products

Al Jazeera America struggles to get off the margins - A quality-first strategy faces huge hurdles

Finding James Foley - This 2013 story takes a look at GlobalPost’s search for the photojournalist

Gannett cribs from Advance Publications playbook for struggling newspapers - Staff compete for fewer jobs; ‘readers become the assignment editor’

Cop corruption probe sparks newspaper feud - A spiked story is at the center of a bitter fight between Philadelphia’s two dailies


The impact of watching executions (PSmag)

“[E]xecutions, even for people who support capital punishment, and even when the criminals being put to death evoke little personal sympathy because of the nature of their crimes, take a toll on witnesses”

Times of India demands employee social media passwords (Quartz)

The company will possess log-in information and will be free to post any material to the account without journalists’ knowledge

Reconnecting with a story source, 17 years later (Hartford Courant)

“People who say reporters exploit people? You are right, we do. We parachute into people’s lives, sidle up, convince them that we care — and then disengage when the story is over. But that doesn’t mean we don’t connect, in a genuine way.”

The McDonald’s in Ferguson (LAT)

“Lately, the restaurant has taken on the appearance of a battered frontier outpost”

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.