October 30, 2008

Let's get the spelling right...

In an article on CNN.com on Sarah Palin's latest attack on Barack Obama (Palin blasts Obama for ties to Palestinian professor) the following graf appears:
  • Palin accused the [Los Angeles] Times of being Obama’s “pet newspaper” and said the
    paper would win a Pulitzer Prize for “excelling in cow-towing.”

I didn't know that one could win a Pulitzer for pulling a bovine behind a vehicle.

The correct spelling is "kowtow."  It means to kneel and touch the forehead to the ground. It is an English version of a Chinese term to supplicate yourself before the emporer.

So who made the mistake?
CNN or the Palin team?

October 29, 2008

Students talk about the election

CNN.com has an intersesting piece on the election.

It looks at what students think are important in the election and who they are supporting: Students weigh economics, ethics

Just an idea of what student journalists should/could be doing.


October 28, 2008

Outsourcing Newspapers? (From Ted Pease, THE WORD)

Hell, why not? A California paper already pays for a guy in India to look over a California city's web pages to glean news and then write it up.

memories of dead newspapers will do nothing for our communities. . .
. One thing we're exploring is having one news desk for all of our
newspapers in MediaNews ... maybe even offshore." 

--Dean Singleton,
CEO of MediaNews Group (54 dailies, including the Denver Post, the
Detroit News and the Salt Lake Tribune) and chairman of the board of
the Associated Press, told the Southern Newspaper Publishers Assn. last
week that newspapers might have to send news operations overseas to
survive, 10/20/08 (See http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2008-10-20-singleton_N.htm)

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at http://tedsword.blogspot.com.
Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. As
Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "There are no false opinions."

Consumer Confidence v. Student Confidence

Below is a news release from The Conference Board on the drop in consumer confidence.
A decent research/story project for your students could be to look at this data and then conduct interviews on campus looking at how confident GMU students are about their present and future.

Yes, such "student on the street" interviews would not be scientific but it will give the students the experience of researching (getting the hard data) and then trying to match it up with interviews.

News Release


Further information:

Lynn Franco (212) 339-0344

Lynn.Franco@conference-board.org       Release #5278


The Conference
Board Consumer Confidence Index

to an All-Time Low

28, 2008
…The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index
which had improved moderately in September, fell to an all-time low
in October. The Index now stands at 38.0 (1985=100), down from 61.4
in September. The Present Situation Index decreased to 41.9 from 61.1
last month. The Expectations Index declined to 35.5 from 61.5 in September.

Consumer Confidence Survey
TM is based on a representative sample
of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference
Board by TNS.  TNS is the world’s largest custom research company.
The cutoff date for October’s preliminary results was
October 21st.

Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center:
“The impact of the financial crisis over the last several weeks has
clearly taken a toll on consumers’ confidence. The decline in the
Index (-23.4 points) is the third largest in the history of the series,
and the lowest reading on record. In assessing current conditions, consumers
rated the labor market and business conditions much less favorably,
suggesting that the fourth quarter is off to a weaker start than the
third quarter.  Looking ahead, consumers are extremely pessimistic,
and a significantly larger proportion than last month foresees business
and labor market conditions worsening. Their earnings outlook, as well
as inflation outlook, is also more pessimistic, and this news does not
bode well for retailers who are already bracing for what is shaping
up to be a very challenging holiday season.”

appraisal of current conditions deteriorated sharply in October. Those
saying business conditions are “bad” increased to 38.3 percent from
33.4 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “good”
declined to 9.2 percent from 12.8 percent. Consumers’ assessment of
the labor market was also much more negative. The percentage of consumers
saying jobs are “hard to get” rose to 37.2 percent from 32.2 percent
in September, while those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased
to 8.9 percent from 12.6 percent. 

short-term outlook turned significantly more pessimistic. Those expecting
business conditions to worsen over the next six months surged to 36.6
percent from 21.0 percent, while those anticipating conditions to improve
fell to 9.9 percent from 13.4 percent. The outlook for the job market
was also less favorable. The percent of consumers expecting fewer jobs
in the months ahead surged to 41.5 percent from 26.9 percent, while
those anticipating more jobs decreased to 7.4 percent from 11.9 percent. 
The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase fell
to 10.8 percent from 15.1 percent.  


Your browser may not support display of this image.

Source: October
2008 Consumer Confidence Survey

The Conference

October 24, 2008

Instant messaging Etiquette

More and more of us are using instant messaging to either set up or conduct interviews. (Let's hear it for SKYPE.) The problem is that some people are not as savvy or considerate as many of us in the use of IM.

I ran across a great article that explains some of the basic rules of the road when using instant messaging in wikiHOW. Thought it might be useful: How to Practice IM Etiquette.

October 22, 2008

Tracking Fed spending and making it local.

Thanks to Al Tompkins at Poynter for his Morning Meeting tip today about tracking federal spending.

Using the URL for the Federal Procurement Database I looked at how much money George Mason University gets from the feds for non-student loan programs.

Here is the URL for the contracts GMU got from the federal government.

There is no judgment on the contracts. I mean contracts from the National Transportation Safety Board and Geological Survey are not like the ones Michigan State got 40 years ago to train the South Vietnamese police.

But wouldn't it make a good set of stories for the students to look at what the contracts are about and why Mason won the contracts. (Obviously GMU is the best and cheapest but why did Mason even enter the race to get the contracts?)

And wouldn't it be nice if more info about what Fairfax County/NoVa companies also won contracts?

Are blogs now old hat?

A friend from Mexico, Ramón Pedrosa-López (email@ramonpedrosa.com) wrote:

Have blogs REALLY gone out of fashion?

In this "Wired" article (http://www.wired.com/entertainment/theweb/magazine/16-11/st_essay), Paul Boutin says that blogs have gone REALL out of fashion.

More than that, he asserts that "Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004", and that the best thing we can do is basically close all our blogs and move over to the next decade.

What do you think? Are blogs something of the past?

Should we close them and move to the next frontiers?

Guidance. Please. And thanks.

Ramón (whose blog is on www.ramonpedrosa.info)

And I add, not saying yea or naye on this issue but let's look at what has happened in the last few years.
  • Mainstream media are on the financial ropes.
  • Blogs create "unfiltered" access to opinion.
  • Laid-off MSM journalists turn to blogs
  • Many bloggers do actual research before writing -- albiet the piece is still slanted.
  • Blog pieces are short -- usually less than 500 words.
  • MSM outlets turn to blogs for more and more information about the campaigns.
  • Suddenly everyone startsTwirttering and the resulting "stories" are becoming shorter and less gramatically correct.
  • And the MSM continue to fail financially.

October 21, 2008

Sports writers looking for more data?

From the Census Bureau

The Tampa Bay Rays will play the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2008 World Series beginning Wednesday, Oct. 22, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

This will be the 104th edition of major league baseball’s best-of-seven championship series, marking the first World Series appearance for the American League champion Rays since entering the league in 1998.

The National League champion Phillies make their sixth appearance, with their only victory coming in 1980 over the Kansas City Royals.

To commemorate this occasion, the Census Bureau has compiled a collection of statistics relating to the metropolitan areas — Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., and Philadelphia — represented by the teams in this year’s Fall Classic. Unless otherwise indicated, the data come from the 2007 American Community Survey.

Our National Pastime

30 million

The estimated number of hot dogs consumed at major league ballparks in 2008.

Source: National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

$46 million

Retail sales of hot dogs in Philadelphia in 2007, the fourth largest total in the nation. Only New York, Los Angeles and Washington/Baltimore spent more on hot dogs.

Source: Information Statistics Inc.


The year when the song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was written by Jack Norworth and composed by Albert Von Tilzer. Cracker Jack — a blend of peanuts, popcorn and caramel — is immortalized with the third line, “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack.”

Source: Cracker Jack


Price for a 21-ounce draft beer at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. This price is the cheapest in the major leagues, according to Team Marketing Report. At Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, $5 gets you 16 ounces of beer.

Source: 2008 Team Marketing Report

Tampa Bay (Rays)


Where Tampa Bay (Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.) ranked on the list of the nation’s most populous metropolitan areas. This area’s estimated population on July 1, 2007, was 2.7 million.

Source: Population estimates


Percentage of Tampa Bay’s residents age 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2007; 87 percent had at least graduated from high school.


In 2007, the proportion of Tampa Bay’s residents age 5 and older who spoke a language other than English at home.

25.6 minutes

Average amount of time it took Tampa Bay’s residents to get to work in 2007. Eighty-one percent of the metro area’s workers drove to work alone, 9 percent carpooled and 1 percent took public transportation.


Median household income in 2007 for Tampa Bay. The national median income was $50,740.


The median value for owner-occupied housing units in Tampa Bay in 2007. The national median value was $194,300.


Tampa Bay’s poverty rate in 2007. The national poverty rate was 13 percent.

Philadelphia (Phillies)


Where the Philadelphia metro area (Philadelphia-Camden, N.J.-Wilmington, Del.) ranked on the list of the nation’s most populous metropolitan areas.

This area’s estimated population on July 1, 2007, was 5.8 million. Source: Population estimates


Percentage of the Philadelphia metro area’s residents ages 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2007; 87 percent had at least graduated from high school.


In 2007, the proportion of the Philadelphia metro area’s residents age 5 and older who spoke a language other than English at home.

28.2 minutes

Average amount of time it took Philadelphia metro area residents to get to work. Seventy-four percent of the area’s workers drove to work alone, 9 percent carpooled and 9 percent took public transportation.


Median household income in 2007 for the Philadelphia metro area.


The median value for owner-occupied housing units in the Philadelphia metro area in 2007.


The Philadelphia metro area’s poverty rate in 2007.

October 20, 2008

Future of newspapers/Social networks

A colleague once of Hong Kong now in Mexico posed the following question at his LinkedIn site: How will newspapers look in the future.

Some interesting comments.

You might want to look and add to the conversation.

On another point, how much do you or your students use social networks such as LinkedIn or Facebook for stories or job searches?

Foreign coverage of election

Here is an interesting look at the election through the lens of Al Jazeera.

What I find interesting is not the misguided responses people are giving (Obama is a Muslim and a terrorist) but the fact that the questions were asked in a straight forward manner and the responses are coming without prompting.

Compare that to many of the leading questions one hears from other journalists.

And, I wonder, if Al Jazeera could get these quotes in Ohio, why aren't U.S. media outlets also getting them? If they are, why aren't they reporting them?

Is there self-censorship going on when it comes to discussing race, ethnic divisions and basically uniformed opinion?

Maybe the comments in this piece are not mainstream or truly representative of the McCain supporters who show up. But I have seen too many independent pieces from different places in the country that echo many of the comments here.

Maybe a story from the US media about how the foreign media is covering the race might be in order. Maybe even some enterprising students could step up and do the story.

Lots of foreign news bureaus with offices just 20 miles east of Mason. And, given the diversity in Mason, I bet some students could even check the Internet to see how the media "back home" are handling the race.

TBH, I have not seen much other than a few "man on the street" interviews in Europe about this race.

Well there is this one tongue in cheek piece done by a friend of mine in Hong Kong: What Palin Means to Asians

October 19, 2008

Science on reporting and journalism ethics.

I was just catching up on my Science Friday podcasts.

Ira Flatow had a great discussion with Harry Collins, Distinguished Professor at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University in Wales about how scientists are viewed by the public.

The talk was around why people don't believe scientists.

Collins made an interesting point that should be discussed more in journalism circles. With the Internet providing people with a lot of information that disagrees with the scientific community, real consequences to health and safety.

WE can see much of this in the way the U.S. government has treated science. When the Republicans took control of the Congress one of the first things they did was disband the Office of Technology Assessment. The replacement for the non-partisan body designed to advise Congress on scientific matters was a set of scientists whose research that was paid for by the tobacco or oil industries. Many of these were not involved in mainstream scientific research.

What happened is that suddenly science became "democratic" with people wanting to believe what they want and discard what they don't agree with. And they use the term "believe" instead of "accept."

And let's not forget a lot of the stuff put forward is trash science. Especially the whole intelligent design or creationism versus evolutionary science.

Over and over again evolution has been proven as a scientific fact -- testable and verifiable. While ID and creationism depends on "and suddenly a miracle happens." Hardly science.

And you can even go to people accepting the word of movie stars about what is good for your health over scientists.

A caller to the show wondered why journalists give equal weight in their reporting to the trash science and real scientists who follow the scientific method.

And this is there the problem is for journalists. We are trained to be fair to as many sides of a story as possible. Yet when it is clear in scientific issues -- think creationism v. evolution -- there are clear rights and wrongs. There can be debate about how the experiments were conducted and can they be replicated -- think of the cold fusion fakery of a few years ago -- but none when anything begins to involve non-testable methods.

So what is the responsibility of journalists when reporting controversial scientific issues? Do we have to give equal weight to spiritual or anecdotal sources when discussing scientific issues?

For my money, and for the sake of the future of society, any objections to a scientific theory based on spirituality should be mentioned as just that in one graf and then get the story back to explaining the theory and the debate WITHIN the scientific community.


Media industry on 'brink of carnage', says Guardian digital chief

Passed around by Steve K.


The western media is on the brink of 'two years of carnage', the Guardian's digital director has said.

Speaking at the opening Digital Leadership Dialogue event at POLIS on Tuesday, Emily Bell predicted an apocalyptic period for mainstream traditional media.

In the UK media, Bell said she could see five national newspapers going out of business, 'the regional press heading for complete market failure' and no commercial UK-owned broadcaster operating outside of the BBC.

"We are standing at the brink of what will be two years of carnage for western media. Nobody in my business has got a grip of it yet," said Bell.

"We are at the meeting point now of a systematic down turn and a cyclical collapse.

"Even the surviving brands will have to undergo a long period of what's essentially an unprofitable existence," said Bell, adding that publishers faced an 'institutional challenge' in getting the success of traditional, offline revenues to move online.

The traditional news media are failing to produce 'differentiated' content online amongst a 'hurricane of knowledge and publishing' caused by the growth self-publishing online, such as blogging, she added.

To address this outlets should move away from the editorial models of the 'age of representation', where news organisations published what they thought readers should know, she said, to an age of participation and a better understanding of who the audience is.

The Guardian made this shift following the events of September 11 2001, as the paper's website attracted a substantial audience from the US, explained Bell.

"We suddenly had a global audience we weren't creating journalism for. We thought we were creating international journalism for a UK audience.

"That's something which has accelerated in the last seven years and has reached terminal velocity."

Journalists should be actively encouraged to see news as a conversation, and the relationship with readers, such as that of BBC business editor Robert Peston, should be promoted, she added.

October 11, 2008

Know your audience

Got the letter at the bottom of this feed in my capacity as the international correspondent for a subscription-based newsletter that covers the fertilizer industry.

This flak sent me a note soliciting an interview with someone who wants to revive the concept of thrift.

Now this is nice feature writing stuff. But hardly something the guys and gals in the fertilizer industry need to read.

Which now gets me to my point...

For the PR students, pay attention to your audience. Remember that you are pitching your idea to an editor or reporter to reach a larger audience. That means you should a.) know the correct name and title of the editor/reporter, b.) know the beat of the reporter, and c.) know and understand AP style and the concept of the inverted pyramid.

Why are all these important?

If my name is spelled wrong or my title is wrong I have no faith in the material being presented. The person sending it to me did not do enough to even make sure the easiest of verifiable facts were correct? Forget about it.

Why am I as a fertilizer/commodity reporter getting material for a fluff piece on developing a concept of thrift?

And -- now here comes the old drumbeat -- AP style is what journalists know and trust. It is a form of direct and clear writing. The rules are complicated -- as is proper writing -- but not so convoluted as to be difficult. You want my attention? Write to me in a manner I understand and can deal with. Declarative sentences with action verbs win out over long-winded passive sentences any day.

And just so people don't think I only complain about flaks. The errors this PR person made are the same ones journalists need to avoid.

  • Is the name right?
  • Is the title right?
  • Is this the right person I should be talking to for this story?
  • Is there someone else better I should talk to?

So now, here is the pitch about a subject my publication WILL NEVER cover.


Dear Mr. Kubiske:

If the readers of Green Markets are like many Americans, they are probably tired of hearing the increasingly dire news about the looming financial crisis; however, readers may well be hungry for information on how best to weather the recent financial downturn. David Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values, has been calling for a revival of thrift and has written the definitive report on the topic which David Brooks called “one of the most important think-tank reports you’ll read this year.”

David has also just published Thrift: A Cyclopedia which presents a fascinating pictorial history of our nation’s thrift campaigns of the past 200 years. Drawing on a range of historical documents, Blankenhorn illustrates how our nation has pulled together in the past to revive the core value of thrift. These documents give us not only a look into the history of thrift but they also give us insights into how we might reintroduce a core value at this critical time.

David also makes for a great interview – he’s very engaging, very articulate, and he’s full of fresh new ideas about American culture and our economy.

Just let me know if you’d like to get in touch with him or see a review copy of his new book, Thrift: A Cyclopedia – it just came out this month and I’ll attach a press release for it below.

I hope to hear from you,

Sharon Kelly

Publicity Coordinator

Templeton Foundation Press


Phone: 484.531.8380

October 7, 2008

A thumb drive the computer lab never wants to see

Just what students need: A thumb-drive and a brewski.

This gives a whole new meaning to drink and drive.

See the story.

Story Ideas: Election Year Issues

From the Pew Trust Surveys, some story ideas on religion and immigration

Politics and Religion

Americans Wary of Church Involvement in Partisan Politics

Oct 01, 2008

On Sunday, Sept. 28, more than two dozen pastors challenged a provision in the tax code that restricts the political activities of houses of worship and other tax-exempt organizations. Arguing that they have a constitutional right to speak out on political issues, the pastors discussed the 2008 presidential candidates from the pulpit and, in some cases, endorsed a particular candidate.

On Sept. 29, the church-state watchdog group Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed complaints with the Internal Revenue Service based on the political content of six of these sermons. The Alliance Defense Fund, the conservative legal-advocacy group that organized “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” has said that if the IRS tries to penalize the houses of worship for their pastors’ political advocacy, it will bring a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of these penalties.

Whatever the legal merits of the ADF’s protest and Americans United’s complaints, and regardless of the eventual outcome, many Americans clearly are uncomfortable with churches participating in partisan politics. While a strong majority of Americans support religion’s role in public life, a solid majority also expresses opposition to churches coming out in favor of particular political candidates.


Trends in Unauthorized Immigration: Undocumented Inflow Now Trails Legal Inflow

Oct 02, 2008

There were 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in March 2008, according to new Pew Hispanic Center estimates. The size of the unauthorized population appears to have declined since 2007, but this finding is inconclusive because of the margin of error in these estimates.

However, it is clear from the estimates that the unauthorized immigrant population grew more slowly in the period from 2005 to 2008 than it did earlier in the decade.

It also is clear that from 2005 to 2008, the inflow of immigrants who are undocumented fell below that of immigrants who are legal permanent residents. That reverses a trend that began a decade ago. The turnaround appears to have occurred in 2007.

Bill of Rights Word Cloud

To help put the Bill of Rights in perspective I ran it through Wordle.

Interesting is it not, that what we often think of as the most important part of the first 10 amendments -- "rights" -- is about equal in frequency with "people," "law" and "States." And "shall" is the really often used word. (Of course we need to remember that "shall not" is the key phrase -- as in "Congress shall not..." -- in many of the amendments.

Word Cloud analysis of bailout bill

One of the things I enjoy most about technology is its use to better explain complicated issues and events.

Long ago someone came up with the pie chart and bar graph. I remember back in the old days of computing -- 1982-85 -- I used a dot-matrix printer to force out several line graphs for budget and program expenditures. (I still recall the 'dot-dot-dot" sound of that printer.)

Of course the whole purpose of any chart or graph is to quickly convey information to the reader. (Pie charts are always good. People like pies and the information is kept to the simplest form.)

New graphing software can allows news organizations to help readers better under not only numbers and raw data but to see what is important -- or at least what the sources think are important.

One of my favorite displays has been the Word Cloud. This is a program that adjusts the size of the words used in a document in relationship to the number of times those words are used. (Just think how big "maverick" would be in the Word Cloud of the VP debate.)

Here is a word cloud from the 120-page bailout bill:

Notice how big "shall" is? Leaves little room to argue about the meaning. And "oversight" has a pretty big presence as well.

This chart is courtesy of the Sunlight Foundation.

Now here is a group that understands how to communicate.

How about our news organizations?

Er, how about J profs too

Media Release
October 07, 2008

On World Day for Decent Work, IFJ Calls for Action to Improve Quality of Media Jobs

As the global financial crisis has thrown companies into turmoil, it is workers who are bearing the heaviest burden of instability and recession, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said today as it marked the World Day for Decent Work.

Tens of thousands of workers in the financial services sector and millions more across the global economy face unemployment and a bleak future and in journalism and media the story is equally chilling.

In journalism employment conditions have been in decline for years as media owners have cut deep into labour rights and security of employment in order to protect high profit margins in a changing market. Thousands of journalists around the world have been thrust into forced freelance work as jobs in journalism have become increasingly precarious, says the IFJ.

"Even before the financial market collapse, the global media industry was in trouble and we have seen again and again a lowering of workplace standards in media causing insecurity and collapsing standards of journalism, said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. "The threat to journalists' jobs is not just about personal circumstances for workers and their families; it is also about protecting the quality of democracy we enjoy which is why we are supporting the World Day for Decent Work."

The World Day for Decent Work, October 7, is a day of action supported by the worldwide Global Union movement and involves unions in more than 100 countries around the globe from Fiji to Alaska. Unions are demanding urgent changes in the world economy.

The IFJ fears the world financial crisis will only lead to more forced freelances and job cuts at newsrooms as a focus on the bottom line and shareholder value has replaced the tradition public service values of media companies.

"We believe that the answers to these problems are not a wholesale race to the bottom on working conditions but in just the opposite," White said. "By improving working conditions for journalists, media companies can improve their products and use that to drive revenue growth. Only by working with journalists and treating them fairly will the owners climb out of the hole in which the industry finds itself."

For more information on the World Day for Decent Work go to www.wddw.org

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide

October 4, 2008

Journalism, news development and ethics

The Washington Post story of Oct. 3 that the Pentagon is once again ready to issue a contract to a private company to develop good news stories in Iraq should be a way to get into the discussion of the ethics of news placement.

Here is the link to the basics of the story.

The issue is not the development of pro-US forces press releases. The issue is the development and placement of these releases as if they are news stories. This gets into the whole issue of U.S. media outlets using video news releases as if the stories were locally produced.

It's amazing how many times issues come up that can be learning experiences for journalism integrity and ethical behavior.

October 2, 2008

Story ideas: NASA at 50 and Science in America

So how has 50 years of official U.S. space exploration helped or hurt our society?

October 1 is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the NASA headquarters.

To be sure the U.S. was doing rocket research before 1958 but it was the launching of Sputnik and the fear of a Red Moon that finally got the U.S. government off its backside and get serious about science and space.

And this takes us to the general question of science in our society and science reporting.

Now, according to more and more surveys, the lack of serious science education in schools is hurting America. Even as the rest of the world still admires our scientific research. (Or at least the freedom to engage in that research.)
  • What do college students say about the space program?
  • How about the standing of the U.S. in science development?
  • What do the professors in the science departments in our universities think about the past 8 years?
  • About the future?
  • How do students, business leaders, professors react to the challenges posed by growing science investments in other countries while the U.S. government investment -- in real dollars -- is falling?
  • Is there a fear of science among the public?
  • Is a new religion-science war brewing? Or has it already hit? (Think stem-cells, evolution -- see Pew survey of 2006 on right -- or global warming.)
  • Why do so many good general reporters just fail to grasp some of the concepts of basic science, and thus misrepresent scientific breakthroughs to the public?
  • Why is America unique in rejecting
It would be nice to see more reporting on science that explains the scientific process. Maybe training sessions with scientists who know how to speak English (instead of scientific jargon) to help reporters better understand the scientific community and why science -- not superstition or political ideology -- is important to understand.

It would be nice to see more science in the regular pages of our newspapers and in our news broadcasts rather than just one section once a week. (At least the New York Times still has a science section. How many other papers can say that?)

Look at the popularity of Science Friday on NPR -- one of the most listened to shows. There is a hunger and a thirst for good science reporting. Why aren't we giving it?