I have major trust issues with the science blog community.
This weekend I saw Jonathan S. Landay who spoke in great lengths about journalism’s demise and how technology is the greatest cause of this phenomenon. This is not the first time that I have heard about this, in my media class we often hear about how newspapers are losing their readership and their qualities are decreasing as people become less interested in reading them. Many people are turning to free news offered on the internet rather than buying newspapers. The problem with this is that, while the internet has a plethora of information, it also has a plethora of sources and it is often difficult to figure out which sources are credible and which are not. I know that other people have already posted on this issue (refer to Scientific blogging: Good or bad?), but I found that the timing of this lecture I heard from Landay to coincide nicely with this blog and class.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that there’s so much information available to the public. However, after reading both Scientists, Journalists, and the Meaning of Uncertainty and Perspectives on the Nature of Science, it has been made clear to me that many scientific theories cannot be trusted and many scientific journals may not be completely accurate or true to the science behind it. With so many options of articles to read online, it makes sense that some science blogs can be inaccurate as to attract publicity. I read a blog about the Dr. Oz show and how he was giving information that was so dumbed down for his audience that it was irritatingly (at least to this blogger) wrong. I wonder how often this happens?
Another interesting point that Landay brought up was that when people go online to obtain information, they go to websites that will give them the information that they want. This is mostly in regard to political news, but I could also see how it is problematic in the science news industry. If I wanted to get information online about a current science even, I would probably go to a blog rather than an in-depth news article that I wouldn’t understand. Am I still getting the same information? Probably not.
What do you think about this issue of online blogging vs. in-depth, well researched news articles? Do they do the same thing or is one better? Also, do you predict that in the future blogging and internet information will be our only source of information?