Wednesday, December 17, 2014. Last Update: Wed 1:10 PM EST

The Observatory

An (Oil) Peak Too High

Energy crisis too big, too complex for media to handle on its own, experts say

DENVER—Protestors in giant chicken suits lingered outside the 2009 International Peak Oil Conference here on Monday. Their personas were meant... More

SEJ Accused of Protecting Gore

Filmmaker’s criticism is self-serving and wrong, however

An independent filmmaker accused the Society of Environmental Journalists of “protecting” Al Gore on Friday after the filmmaker’s mic was... More

Synthetic Biology Still Not a Story

Americans know little about the emerging field, poll finds

According to a recent poll, Americans know very little about synthetic biology, which seeks to genetically engineer new forms of... More

Grantham Prize Seminar To Honor Air Pollution Series

Anybody in or around Washington, D.C. on Monday should check out the fourth annual Grantham Prize Seminar on the State... More

Green Rankings a Means, Not an End For Journalists

Are you invested in a dirty company? If you work for the state of New York and plan to draw... More

Are Americans Wild Enough?

Ken Burns’s documentary and the debate over how much nature we need

On Sunday evening PBS will air Ken Burns’s much anticipated documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. News outlets and... More

Sidebar: The New Energy Beat

Our Web-only list of the energy sites journalists need to know

Energy Journalism All Green To Me: An eclectic energy and environment Web site from The News Journal in Wilmington,... More

Newsweek Ranks 500 Greenest Companies…

But shills for Big Oil in the process

The press’s latest attempt to quantify and categorize the environmental track records of myriad businesses attempting burnish their eco-credentials is... More

MinnPost.com Launches “Science Agenda”

Newcomer outlet picks up the slack left by MSM

On Thursday, I wrote about a group of thirty-five research universities that have launched a “newswire” called Futurity.org to showcase... More

Is Futurity the Future?

Citing a lack of science coverage, universities launch their own “newswire”

Citing the decline of science coverage in the mainstream news media, thirty-five of the country’s top universities have banded together... More

Science Needs a Storyline

The question is not if, but how scientists should frame their research

Journalists choose an angle for every story they write. Should scientists do the same when explaining the import of their... More

From Hudson to 9/11

Times smartly pairs two lower-Manhattan anniversaries

Remember remember the month of September. So says a smart tribute in today’s New York Times, pairing the eighth anniversary... More

Research, Not Relations…

Why scientists should leave communications to the pros

A piece in The Observatory last week lamented the fact that Rajenda Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on... More

EPA Targets Major Emitters

Journal sees an admission that limiting carbon will be costly

The Environmental Protection Agency sent a “tailoring rule” to the White House for consideration on Saturday that would limit regulation... More

When Kennedy Didn’t Compromise

Lessons from the senator’s early health reform failure

I join the chorus of those who have long admired Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s remarkable Senate career and his persistence... 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


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”

Lessons from factchecking, and the limits of journalism (Feministing)

“Fact-checking taught me a lot, and here’s one thing I learned: One of the main purposes of fact-checking is to correct journalism’s bias toward a ‘good story’ above all else”

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.