Between the university economics class I’m taking and the various stuff people are actually trying to pay me to do, I’ve been too busy to pay proper writerly attention here to a number of important events and discussions. Let me just dump a few things quickly, and let you click through to read what smarter people than I have to say.
On the Seattle P-I’s demise, Chuck Taylor talks about what form Web alternatives might take, especially with regard to some of the efforts being discussed by former P-I staff:
I think the more voices in town, the better, but I’ve warned the P-I staffers that they need to differentiate their work from routine news coverage in The Seattle Times and, to a lesser extent, on SeattlePI.com and other news Web sites in town. They can’t simply continue to write beat reports and feature stories as they did at the print P-I. They need to make a compelling case for people to visit yet another Web site.
Chuck’s also got some nice discussion of the potential for relationship between the formerly inkstained crowd and various public broadcasters.
Michael Tobis has a great, if inconclusive, discussion of the typology of science communicators:
Journalists give even coverage to each team. Advocates root for one team or the other. Most people are far more familiar with these types of discourse and find scientists’ way of reasoning very peculiar.
If I had the necessary clarity in my own thinking, I’d say something smart and (I hope) helpful to Michael about deconstructing his argument and rebuilding it from the audience up rather from the communicator down, a sort of typology of audiences that might lead to some useful set of distinctions regarding types of science communicators that (might) bear different labels. But I don’t feel terribly smart tonight, so I’ll leave this as an exercise for the reader.
As a bridge between the musings on Seattle’s new journalism future and Michael’s attempt to think through science communication, I offer this final note, from Dave Ross at KIRO in Seattle on what readers say they want, versus what they actually want:
People SAY they want objective information but what they really want is vindication for their point of view.