There has been a lot of talk about science journalism this week. When I read Martin Robbins article on The Lay Scientist a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised by the attention the article received. In a world of churnalism, science reporters can be some of the worst offenders. Lack of time, and in some instances just for the ease, press releases are simply cut and pasted directly into a news article. The emphasis being on speed. It’s nothing we haven’t heard before.
But here’s where we need to get specific. Martin Robbins was writing about science reporting and the boring template that is regurgitated again and again by reporters who have no time to defy the inverted pyramid. Science journalism is a whole different kettle of fish. Good feature articles written by excellent science journalists continues to be the case online, in print and even occasionally in television.
So, I see where Martin Robbins is coming from and I agree that the inverted pyramid is predictable and boring. However, churnalism isn’t about to change, and science reporting isn’t the only place it happens, and maybe it’s just me, but I can deal with getting my news stories in a way that is efficient for a reporter, as long as I can read an interesting feature about it the next day.