Comment: Editor’s week
Emily Bell, Saturday September 17, 2005, The Guardian
1. Fifth Ashes Test, over by over
No audio, no video, but utterly, utterly gripping
2. Why the iPhone won’t rock your world
The Observer’s John Naughton is underwhelmed by the Apple/Motorola offering
3. Bad Science: Don’t dumb me down
Ben Goldacre bemoans the shabby coverage of science in the media
4. Beauty products from the skin of Chinese prisoners
Startling revelations about cosmetic sources
5. Sorry, Mr President, Katrina is not 9/11
The two disasters, says Simon Schama, revealed very different faces of the US
How the bloggers saw it …
“Why is science in the media so often pointless, simplistic, boring, or just plain wrong?” asked Bad Science columnist Ben Goldacre last week
The main reason for this kind of thing happening is perhaps a more general problem with the media: they must entertain or shock their audience. Well-reasoned, balanced arguments, which most science consists of, isn’t exciting.
Simon Grimshaw at www.funkysimon.com
I think the problem is much wider than reporting on science, or even the prevalence of humanities graduates in the broadsheet press. Surely it’s also about the pressure in all daily print media to shoehorn the facts into too little space – the better to fit in lifestyle stories and entertainment news – and to file off the rough edges to make the report more accessible at the expense of accuracy and depth.
John Robinson at Soreeyes.org
Really [the article] ought to be compulsory reading for every news editor and executive editor and editor. And then framed and put over their desks, and re-read occasionally.
Any claim to being correct is seen as merely a means to exercise power over those who claim another truth. Thus it follows that science is a tool of oppressing the have-nots and must therefore be destroyed. There’s a huge problem with that project: the pursuit of scientific knowledge, and the technology that derives from it, is creating power. By focusing only on mocking the pursuit of science, the media are denying the knowledge to those who do not make it their living. By limiting the spread of knowledge, the postmodern attack on science in the name of social justice defeats itself.
Ted Wade at gametheworld.blogspot.com