Monday, September 22, 2014. Last Update: Fri 4:26 PM EST

The Observatory

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Brain waves

Articles about neuroscience push ideology, inflame divisions, study says

From advice about “exercising your mind” to treatises on “the gay brain,” media coverage of neuroscience in the UK often... More

Obama promises climate talk

But reporters will probably have to keep asking

Three cheers to Rolling Stone cofounder Jann S. Wenner for getting President Barack Obama to utter the words “climate change”... More

NYT Obscures Wal-Mart, EDF Link

Article overlooks green group’s close ties to Walton Family Foundation

A recent New York Times article about the Environmental Defense Fund’s efforts to help Wal-Mart “cut waste” painted an incomplete... More

Equivocal Efficiency?

Some articles fail to stress bottom line of electric-vehicles report

A new report outlining regional differences in electric cars’ contribution to climate change is drawing a lot of media attention,... More

Titanic Proportions

The 100th anniversary of one of the world’s most-covered stories

You can’t sink a good story. The past few months have produced countless articles, columns, photo galleries, videos, and sundry... More

Nutrition Coverage Under Fire

From red meat to white rice, not enough skepticism of observational studies

The incessant coverage of nutritional studies that make tenuous claims about the harms or benefits of consuming various foods and... More

Q&A: The NYT’s Justin Gillis

The recent Oakes Award winner talks about how to keep climate on the front page

At the end of March, Columbia University awarded the 2011 Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism to New York Times... More

Little Context for Obama Energy Speech in Ohio

Local reports present a war of words without much fact checking

Unchecked accusations about gas prices and oil production defined local coverage of President Barack Obama’s speech at Ohio State University... More

Reporter’s Toolbox: Oil and Gas Prices

Resources to help journalists stop the spin

Every year, news stories about US gasoline prices appear in the early spring and remain popular until the end of... More

Pessimism Reigns a Year After Fukushima

Media forecast a gloomy future for the nuclear industry

The barrage of stories worldwide on the first anniversary of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant provided... More

Heartland, Gleick, and Media Law

Experts weigh in on leaks and deceptive tactics

When, if ever, are deceptive tactics legally or ethically permissible in journalism? An old debate over that question has raged... More

Q&A: Eric Roston, Bloomberg’s sustainability editor

A new section tracks businesses’ response to the global “resource crunch”

At the end of November, Bloomberg News launched a Sustainability section “to uncover what businesses are doing, or what... More

“Economy Class Syndrome” Debunked

Personal blood-clot narrative makes for bad science writing in Washington Post

Telling a first-person story about a health problem is a popular frame in medical writing, and it can be effective... More

What Drives Public Opinion About Climate Change?

Politicians, economy more influential than media coverage, study says

The media influence public opinion about climate change, but not as much as national politicians and the state of the... More

The Presidential Energy Narrative

Campaign coverage takes on a green hue

In the last week, President Obama has rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, focused his first campaign ad on clean energy,... More

Stop using ‘Brooklyn’ to mean hipster neighborhoods - Elite-oriented outlets typically only cover the borough’s most affluent, Manhattan-adjacent neighborhoods

The Reporters Committee is about to start suing people to help journalists - Katie Townsend joins the organization as its first litigation director

How a Nebraska newspaper kicked off a major prison sentencing scandal - The Omaha World-Herald found that hundreds of inmates were being released early

On media freedom, United Nations plays by its own rules - Months of international crises raises the stakes for reporting on the UN, but investigative journalists remain without a right to information

Keep calm and write a headline worth reading - Ease up on the exaggerations because someday you may need those explosive adjectives when a truly big story lands


Adviser of high school paper that refused to use ‘Redskins’ suspended (Student Press Law Center)

“Amid a months-long battle with administrators for editorial control … the Playwickian’s faculty adviser was suspended for two days this week”

Apple’s ‘warrant canary’ disappears (GigaOm)

Apple included language in its first Transparency Report to say that it had not been subject to a Section 215 Patriot Act request. That language is now gone.

Trend Piece (New Yorker)

Buzzword, buzzword, buzzword. Isn’t the buzzword on your mind now? Perhaps it is on other people’s minds? Read on or you’ll be clueless, dated, and without any friends in the world. Buzzword again!

This Is How Joanna Coles Changed Cosmo (Refinery29)

The British reporter-turned-editor has made good on her promises to bring politics to the magazine, win some very big-deal journalism awards, and secure the most interesting exclusive interviews

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.