Monday, August 3, 2009

"We Have Not Left Journalism; Journalism Has Left Us"

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 5:33 PM

The above quote comes from Sabin Russell, an award-winning medical writer, who worked for the San Francisco Chronicle until his contract was bought out earlier this year. Russell, 56 years old and considered one of the country’s top science journalists, was interviewed as part of a recent article, “Unpopular Science” , in The Nation. 

     Among other things, the story points out the declining amount of science journalism in daily newspapers — From 1989 to 2005, the number of US papers carrying a weekly science section plummeted from 95 papers to 34 papers — and how much of what remains isn’t geared towards informing the public as it is about amping up the “hot” headline. Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, co-authors of Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-wrote the article, and they say the public is turning more and more to the Internet for it’s science journalism, but there is no unifying objective form, and Web users have to parse through what is factual and what is merely opinion, conjecture, or just flat out wrong.

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