Problems with British Broadcasting – Not Just the BBC

There are serious problems with broadcast news in the UK, reflecting trends in public communication across other nations, that merit far more discussion and more systematic research. In many respects, the coverage of ‘partygate’ and new developments around the BBC License Fee highlight these issues, but could also narrow the discussion if focused only on … Continue reading Problems with British Broadcasting – Not Just the BBC

The New News Strategy? How the Panic Over Fake News Could Undermine the News

There seems to be a pattern evolving around concerns over fake news – one that runs counter to more conventional expectations. Most people expect that raising concerns over fake news might actually lead to improvements in search, platforms, regulation, or consumer behavior that improves the quality and diversity of news. However, the opposite might be … Continue reading The New News Strategy? How the Panic Over Fake News Could Undermine the News

The 21st Century Science Challenge: Communication with the Public

On my last trip to China, I was meeting with a former social science colleague at Tsinghua University, Professor JIN Jianbin, who received a new research grant to study public perspectives on science, such as around research on genetically modified crops. Our conversation about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) quickly touched on a variety of other … Continue reading The 21st Century Science Challenge: Communication with the Public

Fake and More Categories of Bad News

There is the ideal and reality of high quality news and journalism, and then there are many categories of news that undermine the quality of information available in print or online. Much has been said lately about ‘fake news’ – a popular but increasingly broad – overly broad – concept. But ‘fake news’ fails to … Continue reading Fake and More Categories of Bad News

Are Newspapers Surrendering News Coverage? The Big Impact of Online News

Today’s New York Times provided a clear illustration of an impact of the rise of online news and associated cable and satellite news coverage around the clock. Could it be true that newspapers have given up on trying to report breaking news? Maybe this was a bad news day, but the front page of today’s … Continue reading Are Newspapers Surrendering News Coverage? The Big Impact of Online News

Simplify and Then Exaggerate, Big League

I was taken back years ago when the editor of a major news magazine told me that she told her editors to 'simplify and then exaggerate'. That was the secret formula for writing a good news story. To me it is increasingly clear that all the news media have moved in this direction, and to … Continue reading Simplify and Then Exaggerate, Big League

Don’t Panic over Fake News

Fake News is a Wonderful Headline but Not a Reason to Panic I feel guilty for not jumping on the ‘fake news’ bandwagon. It is one of the new new things in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential election. And because purposively misleading news stories, like the Pope endorsing Donald Trump, engage so many people, … Continue reading Don’t Panic over Fake News

Surrogate News: The End of Journalism?

Surrogate News: The End of Journalism? News coverage of the 2016 US presidential election vividly illustrated a worrying trend. It goes well beyond the decline of the newspaper to the decline of quality journalistic reporting in favor of entertaining news commentary. Perhaps I have a romantic view of the past. Perhaps journalism may be better … Continue reading Surrogate News: The End of Journalism?