Monday, September 01, 2014. Last Update: Fri 2:45 PM EST

The Observatory

Can Science Be “Humanized?”

Or is democracy doomed, Harper’s wonders

There is a hauntingly dystopian headline in the September issue of Harper’s Magazine: “Dehumanized: When math and science rule the... More

Media Hype Swine Flu Report

Coverage of possible death toll ranges from wrong to remedial

On Monday, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology released a report (pdf) about the possible impact of... More

Forbes on ExxonMobil: “Green Company of the Year”

Really?

What an eye-grabber! “ExxonMobil: Green Company of Year.” I mean, who woulda thunk it? Too bad the provocative headline of... More

March of the Politicians

Journal calls out Congress’s climate-change junket Down Under

On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal fronted an article about a trip that ten members of Congress took last year... More

Writing Wrongs

Journals’ call to publish scientific setbacks is an opportunity for journalists

For journalists, some scientific flops are just too good to pass up. Think of the Large Hadron Collider’s failure to... More

It’s Tanking; I’m Teaching…

And other current events in the tumultuous world of science journalism

Following the fiftieth fortieth anniversary of the first moon landing two weeks ago, The Observatory ran a short round-up of... More

Clunkers, the Economy, and the Environment

When it comes to “green,” reporters focus on the pocketbook

Since the Department of Transportation announced last Thursday that new-car buyers had bankrupted the “cash for clunkers” rebate initiative in... More

Fuel for Thought

Once credulous, biofuels coverage grows skeptical

Fuel from corn. Fuel from coffee grounds. Fuel from chicken feathers. Whatever the recipe, the search for a replacement for... More

(E)mission Impossible?

Blogs, Web sites provide climate policy analysis lacking elsewhere

After the recent Group 8 meeting in Italy, news outlets released a flood of reports about certain developing countries—led by... More

The DEA, Michael Jackson, and Me

How the agency’s press office cost our magazine the propofol scoop

Scoops are won through hard work, luck and even, in the case of Evelyn Waugh’s William Boot, mistaken identity. They... More

Media on the Moon

Anniversary of Apollo landing inspires stories both quirky and critical

The media loves to commemorate space-age milestones. In 2007, it was Sputnik’s fiftieth birthday. In 2008, it was NASA’s. This... More

George Will and Climate Change: Have We Seen This Movie Before?

He’s ba-ack. After igniting a firestorm in the blogosphere (and attracting some attention from mainstream media) with a February 15... More

Science Clichés: Steer Clear

Cheers to the Knight Science Journalism Tracker for picking up a snarky post at Wired titled, “5 Atrocious Science Clichés... More

The New Pioneers of the West

Start-up tries to fill the void in environment coverage

When Robert McClure picked up the phone to talk to about the new journalism startup he’s working for, Investigate West,... More

BPA, Health, and Nuance

STATS report criticizes media coverage, but has its own faults

The FDA is supposed to reach a final decision on the safety of Bisphenol A (BPA)—a plastics additive found in... 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.