March 2nd, 2009

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Are Reporters Reporting Climatology Well?

Maybe, maybe not. It depends on what you mean by "well." What's taught in journalism classes is objectivity; it's rarely obtained, but it's presented as the ideal. I don't think it's fair to do that, and then complain that reporters aren't taking sides but are just presenting what each side is saying. If you want interpretive reporting, you should be teaching and encouraging that. It's a different approach. Anyhow, this is the article...

Is the Press Misreporting the Environment Story?
It was difficult enough for reporters, even scientifically literate ones, to dig through dense studies and accurately gauge the state of climatology. Now the big questions facing environmental reporters are not so much scientific as economic, as the country comes to grip with the true cost of fighting climate change. And national politics enter the equation as well — the difference between what science demands and what electoral politics might allow can be vast. It's not an easy beat to cover by any means, and the media may be falling down on the job. "This is the great political test, and the great story, of our time," writes Pooley. "But news organizations have not been treating it that way."
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Writing is the first topic to crest 400 posts. Wow! That's a lot of writing! No change in order of topics this time.