If you are interested in the topic of science journalism, how it’s changing, what’s new, and who’s who in it, you are probably already reading Knight Science Journalism Tracker. If not, you should start now.
They have recently been digging around and finding projects with which I am involved in one way or another. For example, a few days ago, they profiled science blogs in general and scienceblogs.com in particular, but mainly focused on ResearchBlogging.org which aggregates and gives a stamp of approval to blog posts covering peer-reviewed research. The aggregator is a local thing – it is a brainchild of Dave Munger here in Davidson, NC, and it was first announced to the world at the 2008 Science Online conference here in RTP.
Blog posts that show up there are also tracked by PLoS articles as a component of article-level metrics, and the blogging guidelines for getting onto the PLoS press list are taken directly from ResearchBlogging.org. Aggregation on ResearchBlogging.org is also a requirement for eligibility for our Blog Pick Of The Month prize.
A couple of days ago, folks at Knight Science Journalism Tracker stumbled onto an article in Raleigh News & Observer and were curious where the original local science reporting is coming from, knowing that the paper has laid off its science reporters a while ago.
Having a lot of well-connected readers and commenters, they got their question answered quickly: the brand new Monday Science section, a collaborative project of Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer (both owned by McClatchy group).
Instead of full-time reporters sitting in the newsroom, the articles are written by freelance writers (mostly) residing in the area, including Dave Munger (remember Cognitive Daily blog?), DeLene Beeland, Sabine Vollmer (former science reporter at N&O), Cassie Rodenberg and a number of others (mainly writers organized around SCONC).
But the new Monday section is not the only thing the folks at Knight Science Journalism Tracker learned about in this effort. They also heard about – and thus blogged about – Science In The Triangle.org (and its blog), a new online project designed to fill in the vacuum in science, environmental and medical reporting left by the deep cuts in local newsrooms. The site is still in its infancy, but we are working on it. Currently we have one videographer (Ross Maloney), one professional journalist (Sabine Vollmer), and two bloggers (DeLene Beeland and myself). I hope you take a look, subscribe/bookmark, and watch the site evolve in the future.