Rare Breed

Grandmother believes MMR vaccine brought on grandson’s autism

By Kevin Canessa Jr.Observer Editor

Debbie Wertalik is confident about a lot of things in her life. Perhaps the most stark and surreal notion she’s confident in surrounds a time in her young grandson Tyler’s life

 

Bodybuilding Myth Debunked: Growth-Promoting Hormones Don’t Stimulate Strength

ScienceDaily (June 14, 2012) — New research from scientists at McMaster University reveals exercise-related testosterone and growth hormone do not play an influential role in building muscle after weightlifting, despite conventional wisdom suggesting otherwise.

The following are just some stories with debunked science information. If not properly communicated, these information would cause anxiety to people.

Even if we would admit it or not, there is really a gap between the scientist and the journalists. Scientists are busy digging into new information for the advancement of the systematized body of knowledge. While journalists, on hand, are more interested in looking for a crisp, juicy issue to be covered. Truly, it seems that the goals of the two would not meet half way. 

Bad Science in the Headlines unfolds the challenges faced by a science journalist. It tackled the effects of sensationalizing science topics. Since mass media is very powerful and influential to the society, it really makes an impact if it would report wrong information. 

The bargain to accurate reporting is popularity.   We are quite aware about the elements of news, right? Of course, you are familiar. Maybe, you’re not aware of what to call it. But in our everyday lives, whenever we read newspaper, browse articles online, etc., we see those bunch of news elements. But then, let me give you some examples. A man bitten by a dog would not appeal to the public that much. But when a man bites a dog, then, that’s news. Oddity, Conflict, Romance, Adventure, Emotion, Nearness, Drama, Animals, Prominence, Progress, Immediacy, Significance, and Proximity– these spell NEWS. If a story is not fit in one of those, then there’s a risk that your story would never see the light of day (evil laugh; creepy)

Well, don’t feel bad, that’s reality. That’s how we do it in journalism. We know that as journalists, we are bound to our mandate, which is to make the people informed of something, and somehow, make this information influence their behaviors. Aside from that, we still value the packaging of the story. And besides, media is business.

As what Sean Falconer, a known journalist and media officer of WWF (World Wildlfe Fund) said, “journalist who can strike the balance with technical correctness and readability is a rare breed.” It is really a challenge to a journalist to find an interesting angle in a seemingly “boring” topic. But then, since you choose that path, then you are accountable of your actions.
 
Take note, what we hold in our hands, the information in our reach, is very powerful. And if we carelessly deal it, then this could cause anxiety to people. This article is actually a call for responsible science writing– being able to balance accuracy with “sexy” writing.
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