Steven Pinker on the how news misleads

News is a misleading way to understand the world. It’s always about events that happened and not about things that didn’t happen. So when there’s a police officer that has not been shot up or city that has not had a violent demonstration, they don’t make the news. As long as violent events don’t fall …

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My escape from the newsroom

Laura Paskus did a lovely job chronicling my post-newspaper-journalism (post-journalism?) life and thinking about water and the news, no longer the old nickname – “the harbinger of doom”: “I began to realize there was this other story about people not running out of water,” he says. Locally, for example, he points to a drop in Albuquerque’s …

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the future of journalism has different names

A couple of my friends, journalists, have started a neat new side project: The guys said they were from Puebla, a picturesque state in central Mexico whose colonial capital is a tourist gem — although much of the countryside is impoverished. Puebla has a long tradition of sending men and women north: There are so …

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Optimism, problems journalism, and solutions journalism. And groundwater.

It is not hard to find and highlight problems. Solutions are more difficult stories to tell, because they often manifest themselves as things that just work, unnoticed by the very fact of their practical efficiency – “Problems scream, solutions whisper,” as a new friend working on “solutions journalism” recently told me. Thus it is, for …

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A new favorite in the “cracked mud journalism” genre

As a connoisseur of cracked mud and journalism of the drought apocalypse, I tip my hat to the folks at Sports Illustrated for this: “The Pacifics want to do their part to call attention to California’s drought conditions and so we won’t wash our uniforms for games after we draw 500 fans,” vice president of …

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Journalism, “public goods”, and climate change in New Mexico

I heard a great talk this afternoon by Laura Paskus, a journalist here in New Mexico who recently launched a climate change project under the umbrella of New Mexico in Depth, a non-profit news organization. I also made a financial contribution to support the work, and I would encourage others to do the same. Here …

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The best editor I ever had mostly wasn’t my editor

Oh my, this picture of journalism: That’s my old friend Jim Timmermann, the best editor I ever had, who died last week. He wouldn’t want me to bury the lede. A few days ago, staring at a computer monitor in frustration as I tried to figure out what to type, I quipped thus…. Journalism 1) Understand …

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Cadiz, scientization, and how Dan Sarewitz almost drove me out of journalism

Ian James at the Desert Sun this week took on the journalistic task of rounding up the back-and-forth over the politics, law, policy, and science of the Cadiz project, a proposal to pump groundwater in the deserts of Southern California and ship it off for use in coastal plain cities. Ian, who’s earned a reputation …

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A note on my qualifications

At the end of a marvelous twitter soliloquy on Hegel, Locke, Dewey, and the implications of last night’s meeting on sex education in Vegas schools, Las Vegas Sun politics editor Scott Lucas concluded with this:   Anyways, I'm just a journalist, the fuck do I know? — Scott Lucas (@ScottLucasNV) September 30, 2015 Havin’ that …

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