Biology

Mainstream, nonscientific news outlets frequently publish articles about current scientific news that either completely misinterpret the research being discussed or simplify it into inaccuracy. As a science communicator, do you feel it is worth your time (or the time of others) to attempt to correct these mistakes?

Yes. I still feel very strongly that accurate journalism is exceptionally important. I’m a little more sympathetic to outlets that do poor/mediocre science journalism now, as I’ve learned that it’s really difficult to include all the nuance of science in a headline, and overworked/underpaid writers struggle with their editors to decide on something that is both accurate and clickable. It’s really hard to write a good, original article on a topic you know little about in two or three hours!

But truth is important enough that we shouldn’t really tolerate misleading or chronically bad journalism. People make important decisions based on little more than headlines all the time, and writing needs to be trustworthy and accurate. 

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