SocraticGadfly: Science-journalism split gets lost in old-new media stereotypes

December 22, 2010

Science-journalism split gets lost in old-new media stereotypes

I like a lot of what Bora Z has to say, but ...

That magic "but" ...

While I'm not a blanket defender of "old media" in any way, I think he's a bit too ... PR-ish, shall we say, about the bright, shiny future of "new media."

Contra McLuhan, in this case, the medium is not necessarily the message; it's just a vehicle.

Latest cast in point? Bora's first extended blog on Scientific American.

First, not everyone's objection to the "mainstream media" was over, say, finding self-reinforcing quotable people for the story, as it was the particular self-reinforcing quotable people. (Yes, that happened, and still does, in the MSM.) I.e., the people who produce Faux News continue to do this, and the people who watch eat it up! That all goes hand in hand with some recent surveys about how Faux watchers are the most misinformed.

Beyond that, Bora seems to assume that the new media wouldn't do that. (Your silence gives free play to my assumption.) Bullcookies, sir.

Next, if blogs are partially replacing mainstream media, and actually writing news stories, not just brief blog posts, shouldn't we hold them to the same standards on correct spelling, which Bora seems to poo-poo a bit, not to mention correct grammar, which he doesn't even address.

Answer? Yes!

To be a bit snarky, yet serious, isn't this a bit of "soft bigotry of low expectations"? Arguably, yes.

If blogs are going to be "serious," Bora, that includes spelling, grammar, style consistency and other things.

1 comment:

Genomic Repairman said...

I don't think its going to be old vs new where we see science journalism as kind of with a black and white distinction but more of a greying. I too see the "old" media as dying but lets not forget it is not completely dead and there are many great lessons to take from it. I also see a fair portion of this "new" media functioning as a just another cog in the PR machine. My guess is that for a period of time the journalism field will be in a state of flux as we progress more from static content printed to physical media to a majority of news being only released in electronic form.

I see value to print media mainly because it has a sense of permanency that electronic media has. Once you put something to paper and release it for public consumption it will be out there forever. A bad news story posted online can be pulled from a site to minimize damage. But a printed one, can never be redacted. My thought is that this bred responsibility and accountability for your own work in the old style of media that seems to be fading away in the new style.