Evaluating science journalism – with a Matrix!
“I know why you’re here, Neo. I know what you’ve been doing… why you hardly sleep, why you live alone, and why night after night, you sit by your computer. You’re looking for him. I know because I was once looking for the same thing. And when he found me, he told me I wasn’t really looking for him. I was looking for an answer. It’s the question that drives us, Neo. It’s the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did.”
How do you get the public to learn science from the media?
The answer is out there, Neo, and it’s looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.
As another component of my independent study project, I’m looking at examples of science journalism from old media – sorry blogger-peeps – and judging them based on an evaluation matrix I made (I’d love any feedback on this thing).
The criteria for judging the articles is based on the journal articles I read for this project, which were mainly from the journal Science Communication and the journal Public Understanding of Science.
The reason I’m sticking to old media is because that’s the focus of my project – What is it we’ve been doing vs. What do science communication academics say we should be doing? I don’t think it’s possible to nail down what exactly the blogosphere is doing, and by the time anyone figures it out, it will probably change.
The articles I’m going to be looking at were those chosen for the 2009 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism awards, and articles which were self-selected by the people I interviewed.
I think this gives the biggest range of opinion; the opinion of a panel tied to the science industry, and people judging their own work.
Anyway, the winners of my little ranking scheme will be put in a “If you want more, read these too!” section at the end of my big feature. The idea is, if I somehow manage not to bore people to death with my story, they might get engaged and dig a little deeper.