Science in the Media: Rude or Ailing Health? was a panel that recently convened in the UK, in a response to a recent UK government report on science in the media . You can watch the video of the entire thing at this link.
The panelists were Natasha Loder of the Economist, Andrew Jack of the Financial Times, Fiona Fox of Science Media Centre (and the author of the report) and Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science blog.
It is interesting to watch and there is much one can say. But it is unfortunate that there was a part of the panel proceedings that descended into the old tired journalists vs. bloggers trope. Most of us are over that. Have been over that for a few years now. But there are still people around, it seems, who just don’t get it. So, it is not surprising that there was a lot of reaction to this, especially to Fiona Fox’s repeat of the tired old idiocy that ‘bloggers cannot be journalists’ which she reiterated in her subsequent
article blog post. See these excellent reports and reactions here (I wanted to have them all in one place, for archival purposes – one-stop shop, single link, to all of it – if I missed something, please let me know so I can add the link):
The Science Media Debate: Is this blog journalism or not? by Charlotte King.
When is a blogger/journalist/communicator not a blogger/journalist/communicator? by Harriet Vickers.
Bloggers vs. Journalists: A Response to Fiona Fox (and Richard Littlejohn) by Martin Robbins.
On the bowls versus ice-cream debate by Ed Yong.
Investigative science journalism by Christine Ottery.
Who is to Blame for Bad Health Journalism? by Le Canard Noir.
Bloggers, journalists, same difference? by Grant Jacobs.
Jack of Kent: Orwell Prize Shortlist – and why blogging is *not* the new journalismby Jack of Kent
More on Blogging vs Journalism by Martin Robbins.
An outbreak of crankiness – UPDATED by Dr Aus
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Did you see Martin’s second post on this?
As I said in the comment there, I suspect this bleeding issue will run and run. I’m a bit worried about all this fanning the flames of Fox’s points (ignore it, maybe it’ll go away?) but it makes me so angry too. I loved Ed’s ice cream point. It felt cathartic to read it, I hope it felt good for him to write it.
For me, it’s like sci vs religion or sci vs humanities. Focusing on the “vs” is rather unhelpful (not to mention blindly unrealistic) often a matter trying to articulate territory. What I’d really like is a debate about all the tensions and problems and wonder in science blogging that, at least for an intellectual exercise, BANNS the “vs journalism” point from the get-go.
p.s. have another one, hot of the press (so to speak).
It’s not really bloggers vs journalists, but it’s a lovely example of blurring between the two and the role of bloggers have played in UK Science Journalism (esp. bit at end of fourth paragraph where he talks about meeting people who introduce themselves by their blog name).
Thank you, Alice. I added the links now. Of course, just checking the two blog Categories this post is in (Media, and Science Reporting) brings you to a whole slew of posts that are related to this issue, some directly attacking the journalists vs. bloggers false dichotomy, and others just bypassing it and moving forward, beyond that, into new ways of doing journalism.
And one of mine, also not terribly impressed by Fox’s viewpoint.
Now, Jay Rosen tweeted it.
And this post, though unrelated to Fiona Fox, is on the same topic, done pretty systematically.
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