‘Cheerleader or watchdog?’, editorial in Nature
It isn’t only journalists that are affected by the changing media world. Even scientists are, according to this 2009 editorial piece in Nature.
Where scientists have often thought of journalists as annoying people who don’t really understand their work, there are now signs of a changing attitude.
Scientists have started to realise that they actually need journalists to let the world know about their breakthroughs. However, with recent financial cuts in the newsrooms, science journalism is endangered. Even scientists see that now.
So can scientists do something about this? Nature advocates for a more active approach, asking journalism students to engage in science journalism. But will that work, if there are fewer journalists available and fewer newsrooms interested in their stories?
Yes, it is important to have ‘science journalism’ as part of a journalism degree. But maybe scientists should have ‘journalism’ as part of their degree. Then we can meet in the middle.
Maike Winters is a Master of Global Communications student at La Trobe University.