Dan Zak reflects on his progress from nervous intern to veteran reporter in an essay that is part how-to, part confessional: "There were times when I stayed in my car instead of getting out to face the uncomfortable, or when I left a community meeting without talking to a person that I really should've talked to. That's a special kind of journalist shame. I was young. And in that way I am still young sometimes." Reaction from Mike Feinsilber.
As the Supreme Court prepares its King v. Burwell decision, Tabitha M. Powledge notes that Obamacare opponents are taking a new approach: "So there is talk of finding legal ways to extend those subsidies after all. Which raises the question of why bring suit in the first place, but keep in mind that this is politics, where the only logic is the strategy for winning." Also, the comet lander Philae finally wakes up, and does "the female Viagra" rely on the placebo effect?
A Chinese newspaper's undercover reporter exposed cheating on university exams, but Charles Liu writes that the effort is being denounced: "Chen Baocheng, a reporter with Caixin Media, criticized the undercover reporter’s use of another person’s identity to gain admittance to the exam. Chen said that since the undercover reporter committed the same crime as those he was attempting to expose, he should be punished as well. 'A news article is no excuse,' Chen said."
Julia Rosen draws from her own experience and from interviews with other scientists-turned-science-writers for a guide to making the move from academia to journalism. She also discusses her own motives for making the big switch: "Although I had excelled in science classes as an undergraduate, I was unprepared for the drudgery of lab work, and the funnel of ever-narrower research questions that felt ever more removed from the questions that motivated me at the outset."
Erik Wemple writes about a Vice News reporter's struggles to pry some reports out of a Pentagon office via the Freedom of Information Act. Reporter Jason Leopold took the government to court and negotiations ensued, Leopold told a congressional hearing: "Then this happened: 'Recently they said that "We’ll give you some documents as long as you promise to never file a FOIA request again and don’t have anyone else file a FOIA request on your behalf,"' testified Leopold."
In defending against a lawsuit brought by unhappy shareholders, the biotech firm Amgen is trying to force a newsletter reporter to disclose how he learned about negative clinical trial results for one of the firm's products, Ed Silverman writes: "As Erik Gordon of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan notes, the newsletter 'got dragged in because the shareholders are quoting it saying there was important information people weren’t aware of.'"