29 January 2010

Why Journalism is Dying, part 84,037

Of course, new technology has allowed "citizen journalists" to publish their own work, providing more competition for traditional journalists. And this technology allows people to customize the news they receive more than ever before - so what was once the half-hour newscast everyone was forced to watch is now the dim sum menu from which anyone can choose.

But a big part of it - much more than many journalists want to accept - is just how canned and over-simplified the news is these days. I've spent some time talking with scientists and health care providers lately, people who have fairly complex things to talk about. But so many journalists today don't want complex - they want controversial. And they stick to a formula they think has worked for some time. Science and medical folks think this format means a lot of important, subtle details are necessarily missed and controversies are played up at the expense of facts.

I'm learning that science bloggers like to express their frustration in some fairly creative ways. Here's one example, a priceless clip from BBC4 that I saw on Living the Scientific Life thanks to a tweet from @BoraZ:

Enjoy your weekend, everyone.

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