Thursday, October 30, 2014. Last Update: Thu 6:50 AM EST

The Observatory

Climate Bill Cacophony

With so much back-and-forth on news pages, papers need more editorials

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce committee approved energy and climate legislation that could put the first national cap... More

Probability Problems

Clumsy numbers in coverage of MIT’s “Greenhouse Gamble” study

A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, which found... More

“The Mediacene Age”

Ancient primate fossil inspires an unusual press blitz, but will it work?

On Tuesday, The New York Times ran its second article about a 47-million-year-old skeleton that is being described as “the... More

Trek Tech

Reporters use mega-movie release to explore innovations

I am not a Trekkie, despite my older brothers’ countless attempts to make me one. But the first time I... More

The Science of Art…

And other reflections on the fiftieth anniversary of “The Two Cultures”

Last Thursday was the fiftieth anniversary of C.P. Snow’s famous lecture, “The Two Cultures,” which described a divide between scientists... More

To Report or Repeat?

Finding that press releases hype research does not diminish journalists’ responsibility

It’s hard to agree with a study last week that claimed academic medical centers hype their research through their press... More

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

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


‘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”

How one reporter copes inside the ‘Ebola bubble’ (BuzzFeed)

“Bring gloves to give nurses you meet at clinics, even if you’re there for a story. Get small change to give to the kids who have been out of school for months and are selling ground nuts for pitiful sums on the side of road. Hell, give them candy. Violate all the principles of ostensibly good aid stewardship, because the good stewardship of the developed world didn’t get help here in time, and now everyone is dying around you.”

Fake news sites using Facebook to spread Ebola panic (The Verge)

“These sites claim to be satirical but lack even incompetent attempts at anything resembling humor”

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.