Thursday, 23 September 2010

This is Science

(Should that be with or without a capital letter? Discuss.)

So in a change from what I may have previously brought you, this blog shall now divert weirdly into the socially questionable, and probably factually dubious, updates on science in the media, or perhaps something more - how it should be portrayed.

I'll set out from the start: I have only just started my course here in the MA Science Journalism at City University London, so possess no great claim to know what I will likely cover in any more detail than the sources from which I aggregate the information. Additionally, if you're looking for someone to offer something opinionated on the subject then I fancy those days are now behind me, in the quest to become a better, streamlined, more professional supplier of information.

And that's all I plan to do; give the science I see to the people who want to see it, without any further investigation unless it is absolutely warranted. Many may well discuss the irresponsibility of some media in which controversial topics become marred in simply that, but not necessarily covering the public's desire to read the stories. In the current culture it is apparent that doom and gloom, while perhaps not promising for the advancement of society, is what people depressingly care about reading. Cynicism is healthy, though many people actually feel empowered by not believing everything they read in the press - accordingly, if reporting can be managed without any immediately damaging or distressing side-effects, the patience (if afforded) by the consumer will benefit them.

I'm no academic but it'd be rich to suggest I know what people want to hear about. I'm more consumer than provider, and for a good while I'll be in front of the page rather than behind the story, but in time I hope this will change and I can bring my legions of follower to think similarly.

The aim - to acquire the skills to help me bring more of the truth to light in the public eye.

The fall-back option - get most of the skills and contacts and get into journalism, with the hope to one day start exerting any shred of influence.

The inevitability - pass shorthand, be okay with most of the technical stuff, try to get a job in a large production company and play the game, hoping to one day win the lottery or get picked up by someone's rich and well-connected parent.

This is Science, I think.


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