Time to focus on a particular aspect of the media.... Science Journalism. Who Do You Believe? 1. We all link, source and quote books, websites, blogs .yet overlook the fact that that undermines the unspoken idea that same doesn't necessarily prove our point. If one has any experience studying the political landscape, it is obvious that this nation is not only pretty evenly divided .(Obama 50.8 percent, while Romney had 47.49 percent.) Romney?s final share of the vote? You guessed it: 47 percent.) ....but fiercely so. a. Why, then, expect our 'experts' to be objective? Where do the statements originate?? The sign of the times is the death of science journalism. b. Answer: the same naïveté that imbues scientists with ethics different from any other human being. 2. The business model is part of the problem. Newspapers try to compete with the internet, and time is money. So inevitably there is a temptation to take short cuts -- such as relying more on press releases. "Under these straitened conditions the mainstream media's need for quick and accurate science content is being met primarily by public-relations departments," according to Fiona Fox, director of the Science Media Centre .quality is giving way to what British investigative journalist Nick Davies calls"churnalism". That means relying more on press releases and newswire stories rather than that time-consuming business of original reporting. How to save science journalism (Wired UK) Sensationalism sells far better than 'everything is alright.' a. Science media has gone from 'journals of verification' to 'journals of announcement'; by that he meant bloggers are just talking about the latest press releases rather than digging into substance. Science Journalists Have Met The Enemy, And They Are Bloggers b. Again: that means that rather than knowing, stories are relying on what interested parties are telling them. Including corporations, and political parties .and academics. That would be academics who need grants to put food on the table. Just like everyone else. 3. Heres an interesting insight from BBC science correspondent, Pallab Ghosh, who claimed that he witnessed the end of science journalism some eight years ago. At that time, claims were emerging that oil companies were paying people to go to policy conferences and instill doubt about climate change. This is not a verification that it was actually happening .nor that climate change is a fact. But, the rumor had an effect: Climate scientists and journalists, who until that time had stayed fairly moderate in their zeal discussing and reporting on the issue, suddenly started responding to claims that Exxon was funding debunkers to go to conferences and talks and instill doubt, and adapted a mentality of 'we must get something done now' and the tone began to change. Science Journalists Have Met The Enemy, And They Are Bloggers a. Science journalists .collectively adopted an activist mentality against anyone who doubted climate change. They believed they were banding together to support objective science. Yet they had inadvertently thrown away their own objectivity. They were now cheerleaders . Berezow and Campbell, Science Left Behind, p.198. b. The Royal Society of England wrote directly to sympathetic science journalists and asked them not to cover opposing claims about climate change. It was false to even mention skeptics; the science was settled. Ibid. 4. Royal Society, writes: "We are appealing to all parts of the UK media to be vigilant against attempts to present a distorted view of the scientific evidence about climate change and its potential effects on people and their environments around the world. I hope that we can count on your support." a. The Royal Society pressuring science writers?? Sound like science to you? b. Collins, the UK Telegraph, was shocked and wrote of the sceptics: These people are not nutcases, nor are they in thrall to the oil companies (even if they were, does anyone seriously believe that Big Oil wants to destroy the planet?). They are just as capable of doing serious science as those who take it as an article of faith that global warming is all our fault. Global warming generates hot air - Telegraph 5. So this is the state of things. Do not doubt, politics is more real than what is called science, today.