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The scientific organization -----the newspaper for prominently covering the predictions of a psychic while -----to report on a major research conference.

Without getting any hint as to which subject (scientific organization / newspaper) the second verb after while refer to, from the two verbs supposedly placed in the two blanks.

My thought: the scientific organization.

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    It makes no obvious sense to me. Looks like a C&P error or other mistake. – Robusto Jul 14 '15 at 17:19
  • @Robusto, how come? – most venerable sir Jul 14 '15 at 17:23
  • Which part doesn't make sense? – most venerable sir Jul 14 '15 at 17:23
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    "excoriates" ... "failing" – Greg Lee Jul 14 '15 at 17:26
  • @GregLee, how do you see which subject "failing" refers to? – most venerable sir Jul 14 '15 at 17:26
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I am puzzled by the fact that you have omitted the two verbs. I shall put them back, or at least two plausible alternatives.

The scientific organization criticised the newspaper for prominently covering the predictions of a psychic while failing to report on a major research conference.

Here "while" is a conjunction (or conjunctive adverb). It doesn't refer to anything. It connects the two parts of the sentence.

If you have any doubt about it being a conjunction, notice that you could replace "while" with "and" or "but" and the sentence would still make sense.

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