Friday, August 29, 2014. Last Update: Fri 2:45 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

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.