News: AAAS 2009 Annual Meeting News
U.S. Science Journalism--in Decline?
Reporters and bloggers from U.S. online publications are a growing presence at the AAAS Annual Meeting, which typically attracts hundreds of reporters from all over the globe for its five-day festival of science news. But according to a new story in the influential Columbia Journalism Review, this year's meeting was striking for the number of mainline U.S. newspapers and broadcast outlets that had little or no presence in Chicago.
Author Cristine Russell, who attended the meeting,
noted that the Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence-Press France
there as usual, as was a large contingent of reporters from the U.K.,
Australia, and other international publications. Indeed, Russell noted a
strong sense of optimism about science coverage in Europe and
developing regions overseas.
But, she wrote: "The rapidly failing fortunes of the American print media, and
specialty science reporting in particular, provided an underlying sense
of gloom and doom [among reporters] at the annual science gathering." It's an important story not just for science journalists, but for anyone who cares about the status of science and engineering in American culture.
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