Hydrofracking Safe, Says N.Y. Health Dept. Analysis – NYTimes.com

Hydrofracking Safe, Says N.Y. Health Dept. Analysis – NYTimes.com.

News Narratives for 2012 – NYTimes.com

News Narratives for 2012 – NYTimes.com.

Natural gas: I wrote a couple of critical pieces in July about The Times’s “Drilling Down” series, but as 2012 unfolds I see a problem with the newspaper’s broader coverage of shale gas, which is becoming a major energy and environment story line.

The paper writes about shale gas on the business desk, the national desk and the metro desk. In some articles, the emphasis is on the huge economic potential; in others, the focus is on the environmental threat posed by the drilling process known as fracking. The coverage seems fragmented and at times contradictory. What’s the big picture?

Dean Baquet, the managing editor, told me The Times “could probably better coordinate on the issue” in 2012 and should have an editor to “make sure everybody knows what everybody else is doing.”