Monday, December 22, 2014. Last Update: Fri 5:42 PM EST

The Observatory

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HeLa-cious coverage

Media overlook ethical angles of Henrietta Lacks story

A New York Times bestseller about the most widely used human cell line in biological research has inspired wide-ranging debates... More

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‘The Finkbeiner Test’

Seven rules to avoid gratuitous gender profiles of female scientists

There's still a gender gap in the sciences, with far fewer women than men in research jobs, and those women... More

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Nuclear knowledge

Reams of useful data now flowing from global monitoring system designed to detect weapons tests

At the height of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis in 2011, whose second anniversary passed on March 11, journalists and... More

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All thumbs, none green

Environment coverage is down at the Times, even if it wasn’t supposed to be

Two weeks ago, I excoriated The New York Times for canceling its Green blog a month after it had dismantled... More

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Open government?

Some progress, on paper at least

Since President Obama came to the White House in 2009, federal regulatory and science agencies have taken measurable steps--on paper,... More

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Windmills, tourism, and transparency

Maine blogger’s ongoing conflict-of-interest problems spark concern

The former executive director of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine, who's now a fulltime media personality covering travel and outdoors... More

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Attack of the climate-denial books

Conservative think tanks fuel publishing boom that spreads misinformation

If you find Red Hot Lies in an airport bookstore or online bookseller, don't expect a juicy account of a... More

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Post Newtown, AP adds ‘mental illness’ entry

Guidelines warn against conflating mental illness and violence

After Adam Lanza killed 20 children on December 14, a host of subsequent coverage of the Newtown, CT, massacre focused... More

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A laurel to WLTX meteorologist Jim Gandy

For tackling climate change science in a red state where politics can polarize it

COLUMBIA, SC -- Four years ago, an academic climate change researcher and a Washington, DC-area meteorologist were looking to... More

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Green drones?

Unmanned aerial vehicles poised to enhance environmental coverage

As the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prepares to allow the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for a wide array of... More

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Eilperin leaving the green beat

Washington Post reporter joins the paper’s new “Digital Strike Force”

Juliet Eilperin, one of the country's leading environment reporters, is switching beats at The Washington Post, moving to a newly... More

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NYT cancels Green blog

No explanation from editors following surprise announcement

At 5pm on Friday afternoon, The New York Times posted the following announcement: The Times is discontinuing the Green blog,... More

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Brain mapping

NYT raises questions about federal project, science press provides answers

On February 17, The New York Times touched off an anxious debate in the neuroscience community with a front-page article... More

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Policing the food police (part 1):
the assault on salt

Covering government efforts to improve the nation’s eating habits is more complicated than it seems

This is the first installment in an occasional series that will examine media coverage of public initiatives aimed at ending... More

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Open access and the press

Two ways the new eLife could improve media coverage

After a decade of growth, the open-access movement in scientific publishing still hasn't overthrown the traditional model of paid content... More

Hey millionaire tech bros: Have patience with the editorial process - Chris Hughes probably wanted to enable great journalism at first. Then the dust settled and before you know it, he’s shaking everything up again

Serial creators don’t know what will happen to Adnan Syed - New developments in his legal case suggest that the outcome is wide open

Price hike at UC Berkeley’s journalism school - Governing body approves additional fee of $7,500 starting 2016

Will Denver really have a newspaper war? - As a billionaire floats reviving the Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post might buckle its chin strap

FOIA reform dies while the press looked the other way - RIP Improvement Act of 2014


The traffic lure of outrage (Slate)

“I didn’t become a journalist to peddle indignation on Facebook. But it sells—the page views don’t lie.”

NBC news producer’s sons were in the besieged school in Peshawar (NBCnews.com)

“I remained silent and didn’t know what to say — I know how such attacks on schools usually end”

Hero mom calls into CSPAN to berate her arguing pundit sons (WaPo)

“This was not planned. She called in on the normal line.”

Dick Cheney doesn’t want to call it torture but the media doesn’t have to follow (Vox)

“People deserve to know that the American government (proudly!) did things that in any other context are called torture”

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.