Saturday, November 22, 2014. Last Update: Fri 2:45 PM EST

The Observatory

Show Him the Money!

Reporter Joydeep Gupta asks tough questions at the Cancún climate conference

CANCÚN, MEXICO—Joydeep Gupta wants to know where the money is, and he's going to keep asking everyone he can that... More

The Right Place for Scientific Debate?

Scientists snub media as controversy over arsenic-eating microbes rolls on

First there was the wild speculation about the discovery of extraterrestrial life. Then came widespread, sometimes misguided, coverage of the... More

Can Rolling Stone Claim Blankenship’s Scalp?

Can Rolling Stone claim another scalp? Six months after ending the career of Stanley McChrystal, Rolling Stone published Jeff Goodell's... More

The Muzzling of the FDA

How government press officers stole our freedom

It is 1978. I have just been refused admission to a Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association section meeting that is to... More

A Life Less Ordinary

After speculation about aliens, arsenic-eating microbe stirs wide coverage

A bacterium trained to substitute arsenic for phosphorus—one of six elements considered essential for life—in some of its basic cellular... More

Close Encounters of the Media Kind

NASA press release leads to wild speculation about alien discovery

Over the last two days, bloggers at a few of the country’s top news outlets have engaged in wild and... More

The Risk of Poor Coverage of Risk

Why does a healthier-than-ever world feel so scary?

There is a hidden danger in this modern world of unprecedented plenty and healthier, longer lives: our growing fears about... More

From Copenhagen to Cancun

A challenging year for the climate story

It’s been a challenging time for the climate change story on just about every front. A year ago, the unauthorized... More

How to Place a Story?

Survey finds top environmental newsmakers still target traditional media

Despite disruptive changes in the media industry, which have made it more difficult to place stories and develop relationships with... More

Echoes of Grit and Humor

Great Lakes news startup brings on an inspiring new voice

If all goes as planned, Tom Henry’s decision to take on more work—in the form of a monthly column for... More

Gruesome Graphic Labels

FDA’s new anti-smoking labels light up the web

It was inevitable that the FDA’s new proposal to put graphic, and often gruesome, pictures of dead bodies and diseased... More

Press Pass Problems

Cetacean Society’s decision to deny a reporter raises questions about access

On Tuesday, the American Cetacean Society denied a freelancer’s request for a press pass to attend the society’s annual meeting... More

Man(n) the Torpedoes

Climate scientist Michael Mann goes on the offensive

NEW HAVEN, CONN.—It’s been exactly a year since “Climategate” broke, putting Penn State University researcher Michael Mann and climate scientists... More

A Referendum on Energy Issues?

Not so fast

There is something ironic about the post-election surge of articles about the environmental consequences of various outcomes at the polls... More

A Future for Cooperative Politics?

New York Times story on candidates’ psychology is overly optimistic

Thankfully, the days of “neuropunditry,” which sought to decipher voters’ thoughts with brain imaging and which blighted coverage of the... More

Why won’t journalists ask Bill Cosby the tough questions? - Sexual assault charges are hardly ever mentioned to the TV star

Knoxville’s alt-weekly wasn’t losing money. It got shut down anyway - Scripps pulls the plug on Metro Pulse in favor of an entertainment supplement for the local daily

Chuck Todd’s Obama book says more about the author than it does about the president - ‘The Stranger’ underscores a broader problem with the way we cover politics

Beware labeling Pope Francis a liberal - Political boxes like liberal/conservative and evolutionist/creationist miss his real significance

The Virginian-Pilot produces a breakthrough investigation amid layoffs - Reporter John Holland discusses how the story came together, newsroom cutbacks, and colleagues who cover for each other


Which media outlets use ‘illegal immigrant’? (Fusion)

“[I]n spite of all the good reasons not to use the phrase, it is still very easy to find in the US press, even in headlines”

Jack Shafer on losing his job (Capital New York)

“Right now, my immediate plan is to go to work as a lay therapist at The Intercept to bring the healing there so John Cook and Matt Taibbi can return. I have great interpersonal skills.”

On outlets that continue to call unknown drone victims ‘militants’ (The Intercept)

“Like the US drone program itself, this deceitful media practice continues unabated”

UNITY’s convention is no more (All Digitocracy)

“The organization’s board of directors decided that UNITY will no longer host the quadrennial conferences for which it had become known”

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

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Questions and exercises for journalism students.