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.'"
Alex Pappademas interviews the documentary filmmaker, who discusses the Interrotron, moments from The Thin Blue Line, Fog of War, and The Unknown Known, and how he began writing in his mid-50s: "I was called by the New York Times and I was asked to write op-ed pieces on photography … I had a hard time at first, and then much less of a hard time. I started writing quite a bit. I wanted to write a self-help book — From Writer’s Block to Graphomania in Two Easy Weeks."
Conservative commentators are taking aim at the whole field of social science in the aftermath of that fabricated gay-marriage study, but Tabitha M. Powledge writes that their allegations of a broad liberal conspiracy in science are misplaced: "The social sciences do possess a liberal bias. But it’s not a conspiracy. It’s human nature, a byproduct of liberal leanings. And, I would add, a political leaning not only among social scientists, but among all scientists."