This isn’t news to anyone else in Communication, but I just wanted to state for the record that the American tradition of providing “balanced” reporting does more harm than good. Say I am doing a story on global warming. Say 98% of reputable scientists agree that global warming is a serious concern. However, as a journalist I have to provide a “balanced” view. So I drag out some crackpot petroleum-funded scientitian to give the “other side”, which represents about 2% of the actual debate, but 50% of the coverage. So an issue that is for all intents and purposes settled becomes a debate. This happens all the time. Don’t get me started that “sources” are like 75% of the time people in government, politics, or law enforcement, when there are plenty of issues that regular people are concerned about that most people in government, politics, or law enforcement are not going to talk about on television or in the newspaper.
- Fantastic post from realclimate.org about public discourse around evolution & global warming: similarities and differences.
- The very well-written decision in the Dover Panda Trial. (It gets really interesting around section E1.)
- New Yorker Q&A on the Dover Trial. They did a really great and comprehensive piece on the trial a few months ago, but it’s not available online.