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What's next after the health care ruling?

The answer might come from the states, Joanne Kenen writes for the Association of Health Care Journalists. The Supreme Court is scheduled to rule before the end of the month and the health care law's individual mandate, among other provisions, is on the line. Kenen says states are getting ready: "If your state officials say they don’t have any backup plans, ask again ... If they won’t tell you before the Supreme Court ruling, ask again right after. And keep asking."

How Peter Gleick got those Heartland emails

© Arcadi

It was pure-and-simple phishing, the Guardian reports after the Heartland Institute makes public an email chain in which Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick asks for — and gets — internal documents from the climate-denying thinktank. Turns out Gleick pretended to be a Heartland board member and asked to have board emails sent to an address that wasn't the board member's. Gleick asked for a leave of absence Friday.

The Observatory's year in review

Among a half-dozen selections from Curtis Brainard's 2011 collection are the "hot ticket" of the ScienceOnline conference, and the logistical and political challenges of the World Conference of Science Journalists in Doha, Qatar. Also, a possible turning point for climate coverage, and why journalists go wrong when "covering crazy" — "From killers to celebrities to dictators, this year has already born witness to more armchair psychiatry than critics can stomach."

What's coming in science news

© CERN Geneva

Speedy neutrinos, the elusive Higgs boson, old spaceships, new planets — these were among the biggest science stories of 2011, but John Timmer on Ars Technica explains why they bear watching in 2012 as well. "For a science writer, these are the gifts that are just going to keep giving.," Timmer writes. Also: Discover, Nature, and Scientific American offer their own lists of 2011 science stories.

Key senator sounds off on physician data

From the Association of Health Care Journalists: U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter today to the Health Resources and Services Administration, criticizing its decision to remove a public version of the National Practitioner Data Bank, which has helped reporters and researchers to expose serious gaps in the oversight of physicians.

Stories from the CDC on Sept. 11


NASW member Maryn McKenna blogs some 9/11 stories from the CDC, excerpted from her book “Beating Back the Devil.” She describes them as “stories of that day and what came after: the terrorism first, and then the fears of a bioterror attack to follow; the relief when no epidemic appeared, and then the sinking shock when it did. The 'disease detectives' of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were at the center of that month of horror and confusion.”

Covering a politician's anti-science views


Rick Perry's entry into the presidential race poses a challenge for journalists, Adam Hochberg writes on the Poynter Institute site. The Texas governor's views on evolution and global warming are unsupported by science, and journalists must make that clear, Hochberg says: "It’s understandable that mainstream journalists don’t want to be seen as taking sides in a political conflict. But you can write a fair story while still referencing the prevailing scientific view."

How much Irene coverage is too much?

NOAA photo

It wasn't the storm of the century after all, but it still took lives and did damage. So, on the whole, how did the news media perform as the hurricane approached? Julie Moos collected reaction at the Poynter Institute, and stated her own view (that it wasn't hyped) in a separate post. Also, the New York Times on Irene-related Twitter hoaxes. And views on the links to global warming.

An arrest over threats to writers

© Berry

Montreal police have arrested a man accused of making violent threats online against scientists, atheists, science writers and others. At ArsTechnica, John Timmer has background on the man most often known as Dave Mabus, who now faces 16 charges relating to the threat allegations. More from CTV, the New York Times, and Phil Plait.

Lessons from Oslo for digital media

Major events like Oslo bring out the good and the bad in coverage. On Storify, the Daily Beast compiled a stream of images, tweet and other facts that won praise. But Google's flagship paid the price for ending real-time search. At Google+, however, the fledgling social media platform's first big test and it got high marks. More tips on using Google+ to cover the news.