For News Writing, we are reading It Ain't Necessarily So: How Media Make and Unmake the Scientific Picture of Reality, by Murray, Schwartz, and Lichter. As a journalist, this book pisses me off(to be blunt) but it also has taught me a great deal of what to avoid when I enter my career.
BUT...it still annoys me.
In chapter 2 they talk about journalists making scientific statistics (on different subjects such a sperm counts an chemical ezplosions) into big, breaking news when really there is not much to worry about.
This is my response: Yes journalists may seem uneducated on the statistics and they may tend to over-react when putting the statistics into their articles. The public has every right to be upset over journalists making a big ordeal over something that may be inaccurate or only a minor problem. But either way journalists are going to be criticized- either for making the problem seem too big, or if they don't emphasize enough that there may be a problem.
So it's a catch-22. I don't think journalists will ever get the appropriate praise they need. I know how hard it is being a staff writer for a student produced paper at a small university- I can't even imagine what it's like to write for a national magazine or a large city's newspaper. We're only human, and there's only so much information we can cram into our brain before everything becomes muddled.
Maybe if the population spent one day in the life of a journalist, they'd understand, until then all we can do is hope for a little understanding...
(Note: I started writing this on Wednesday right after EL227, and I'm just now getting around to finishing it, the browser has been open on my computer for two days!)Posted by StormyKnight at October 26, 2005 12:37 PM