At Pharyngula there is a science journalism thread worthy of your attention.
Dissatisfaction with journalism among scientifically literate people is widespread. It’s not just climate people. My favorite comment there is by llewely, who quotes Carl Zimmer saying “It’s always important in these situations to bear in mind that reporters almost never write their own headlines.” and responds
As a result of this practice, the headline is often the stupidest part of an article – even when the article itself is really, really stupid. Often times, the article goes to press with the equivalent of a fresh turd sitting on its head. Yet another case of an industry-wide practice that is blindingly stupid.
Ben Goldacre (“Bad Science”) is piling on as well.
So people who are miffed at me for “broad generalizations” really ought to look at what the people who ought to be their market are saying.
- The first author of a peer reviewed paper has to sign off on any institutional press office press release.
- The journalist writing the story has to write the headline.
- Every research-related news report needs proper citation to every cited research article, with links in online versions.
- The journalist reporting on a science story press release has to run it, headline and all, past an author, if possible the first author, of every cited paper
That would help a lot.
Again, nothing generalizes perfectly. There are plenty of good stories out there, and some reliably good science journalists. I thank them for their efforts in spite of a not very supportive environment. Meanwhile, though, I think that the real demands of a large swath of the population for reliable, informed, and proportionate science reporting simply aren’t being met.