Friday, October 31, 2014. Last Update: Fri 2:45 PM EST

The Observatory

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

Swine Flu and CAFOs?

Blogs call for more coverage; MSM hesitant

In the search for the swine flu outbreak’s “ground zero,” blogs have called upon mainstream media to investigate the potential... More

Learning from Perlman and Maddox

Press salutes two pioneers of science journalism

Many of us in science journalism today know (or should know) that our careers are vastly different because of two... More

Toying with Climate Information

Media last week rife with stories of misdirection

The news media and blogs were rife with stories last week about politicians and journalists alike manipulating information related to... More

Green Issues Fade

Several magazines cancel, cutback annual environment editions

Another year, another Earth Day, another wave of “Green Issues” on newsstands… or not. After three years, the springtime fad... More

Capturing Conversation

Press finally digs into CCS both nationally and locally

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency formally announced that heat-trapping greenhouse gases are a danger to human health and welfare,... More

Wish He Was a Baller

Friedman fumbles with last-minute call for a carbon tax

As virtually all of America knows by now, Tom Friedman is a big environmentalist. He loves nature, green things, responsible... More

The Man with the Van

Early reports failed to check Italian earthquake researcher’s science, qualifications

In early March, in a mountainous, quake-prone patch of central Italy, the readings on Gioacchino Giuliani’s patented radon detector suddenly... More

Holdren’s First Interviews

Obama’s new science advisor causes a media stir

President Barack Obama’s new science advisor, physicist John Holdren, met the press this week, with mixed results for the ensuing... More

Post vs. Post

News article, blog entry criticize Will’s account of warming (one fails)

On Tuesday, an article and a blog entry at The Washington Post both took the unusual step of rebutting one... More

Class Dismissed

The ‘populist’ case against cap-and-trade is absurd

Historian John Steele Gordon, writing on Barack Obama’s economic policies in the April issue of Commentary, says that the president's... More

Looking Past Red Flags

Coverage of MS stem-cell transplant research lacks caution

In late January, clinical immunologist Richard Burt and his Northwestern University colleagues published the results of a study which found... More

The ethics of The Guardian’s Whisper bombshell - It would have been a journalistic lapse not to have told readers

Gawker: The internet bully - Nick Denton’s media empire is an intellectual online fraternity that invites people to their parties only to make them buy the booze

The Washington Post short-sells a reporter’s integrity - Steven Pearlstein smears TheStreet’s Adam Feuerstein for criticizing a biotech firm

Former Sun-Times staffers react to top reporter’s resignation - “Whereas we don’t have all the answers, we have way too many questions about what happened here”

Stop trolling your readers - We know you’re only doing it for clicks


John Oliver video sweepstakes (The Awl)

“We may update this list next week to reflect Facebook shares gathered by The Awl as the result of this post, which is ultimately an elaborate excuse to embed a John Oliver video on our website”

Which news org is the most trusted? (Pew)

The answer is complicated

‘My Captivity’ (NYT Mag)

An American journalist on his two-year kidnapping in Syria

FBI faked an AP story, in Seattle Times style, to catch a suspect (Seattle Times)

“‘We are outraged that the FBI, with the apparent assistance of the US Attorney’s Office, misappropriated the name of The Seattle Times to secretly install spyware on the computer of a crime suspect,’ said Seattle Times Editor Kathy Best”

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.