Journalism

Category archives for Journalism

Music Writing and Science Writing

No, this isn’t another blog post lamenting the fact that music writing gets far more attention than science writing. If anything, it’s a bit of an argument that science writing ought to be less like popular music writing. On Twitter this past weekend Jim Henley, one of the few bloggers I consider “old school” (the…

Given the academic circles I run in, it’s not surprising that one of the most repeated stories crossing my social media feeds yesterday had to do with the changes to the SAT. Starting in 2015, the essay section will no longer be mandatory, and they’re going to reconfigure the reading and math sections to emphasize…

Science Journalism vs. Sports Journalism

Over at Backreaction, Bee takes up the eternal question of scientists vs. journalists in exactly the manner you would expect from a physicist: she makes a graph. Several of them, in fact. It’s generally a good analysis of the situation, namely that scientists and journalists disagree about how to maximize information transfer within the constraints…

On Irony and Ivory Towers

The outrage of the moment in academic circles is this Nick Kristof column on how academics need to be more engaged with a broader public. And it’s really impressive how he manages to take an idea that I basically agree with– I regularly give talks on the need for scientists to do more outreach via…

Journalism of the Gaps

I’ve seen a bunch of links to this interview with Peter Aldhous, mostly focusing on this quote: I think for most science journalists, their model of journalism is explanatory. It’s taking the arcane world of the high priests and priestesses of science and translating what they do into language the ordinary mortal can understand. And…

Blogging Used to Be Punk Rock, Man

There’s a sense in which the saddest true statement I’ve read about the unpleasant events of the past week is this: Blog editor at Scientific American is a position of great power, with the ability to make or break careers. I’m not disputing the truth of this. It’s absolutely true that the position has enormous…

Over the weekend, before the whole Scientific America debacle blew up, Ben Lillie tweeted: Looking for science news pegs that aren't "a paper was published." Good examples? #ScioOcean #scionew — Ben Lillie (@BenLillie) October 12, 2013 This is, of course, a familiar problem to a lot of people who care about the public dissemination of…

Malcolm Gladwell Is Deepak Chopra

I’m sure I’ve done more than enough wibbling about TED for this week, but the only major physics story at the moment involved the Higgs boson, and I’m thoroughly sick of that. So let’s talk about Malcolm Gladwell and journosplaining. Gladwell has a new book out, David and Goliath that from all reports is pretty…

Thursday’s tempest-in-a-teapot was kicked off by an interview with Dan Vergano in which he suggests science reporting is a “ghetto:” The idea, and it comes from the redoubtable Tom Hayden, is that science reporting has largely become a secret garden walled off, and walling itself off, from the rest of the world. Instead of reporting…

Last week’s post about communications between scientists and journalists sparked a bit of discussion, and prompted the folks at the IoP’s Physics Focus blog to ask me for a guest post advising journalists on how to talk to scientists. The post is now live, with the self-explanatory headline How Journalists Can Help the Scientists They…