Drought and media bias

Tom Curwen has a great story in today’s Los Angeles Times of the sort that I’d like to see more of – beyond “OMG California is toast” drought coverage to look at what works in the state’s water management, what sort of adaptive capacity exists in the places where water is not running out. Which, …

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Deconstructing media coverage of the California drought

Brian Devine has written one of those special pieces that made me smack my forehead repeatedly and say, “Yeah, that!”: To conflate the myriad problems of water in California into a single problem is the hallmark of a generalist reporter on deadline, as if I wrote that the Detroit auto industry’s collapse was because they made …

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Ostrom on institutional transparency

On twitter the other day, I was joking that I’ve adopted a new approach to my book research: when confronted with a problem, I first ask, “Did Elinor Ostrom write about this?” Ostrom won the economics Nobel in 2009 for her work on how communities solve common pool resources problems, work that’s central to the …

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If the plagiarism is inaccurate, is it still plagiarism?

A fresh-looking piece of Colorado River journalism made the rounds this week, by Frances Weaver at The Week, about the Colorado River’s current decadal-scale drought. But some of the language had a familiar ring to it. Here’s Weaver: The most immediate cause is 14 years of drought unrivaled in 1,250 years. Here’s Michael Wines in …

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“idle imaginings of the newspaper man”

The tension between scientists and journalists goes back a long time: The vaporings and idle imaginings of the newspaper man, I am compelled to believe, are more acceptable both to landlords and tourists, than any presentation of actual facts. That’s University of California Professor C.B. Bradley, writing in Overland Monthly & Out West Magazine in …

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