[ASC-list] Interesting article by Melissa Sweet Croakey blogger

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com.au
Fri Mar 1 00:32:35 UTC 2013

The article is by founding ASC member Leigh Dayton, former science writer at the SMH then the Australian. 

And yes we all know that the business model for newspapers is broken - Google and others stole the advertising. 

But there's a danger if we think that our own blogging, tweeting and facebooking is going to fill the gap. 

Firstly there's an urgent need for good, skilled investigative journalism of the kind that Leigh has done many times over the years.

Secondly platforms that are often touted as an alternative, such as The Conversation, are not for the most part independent reporting. The Conversation has done a brilliant job of getting scientists to comment and editorialise. But that's not journalism. It's important but different. 

And finally, while we blog, tweet and facebook to the converted, old school media are still reaching millions. Channel Seven News on Sundays after the footie reaches over 700,000 in Melbourne alone. The Herald Sun and the Telegraph jointly reach well over a million people every day. Fairfax probably has about half that reach - but still a decent half a million or so. These are the kinds of numbers that we are nowhere near achieving in new media yet. And radio audiences continue to grow through broadcast and online. 

ASC was founded by journalists and communicators and I think we need to explore ways of reengaging with 'old-school science and medical reporters'.


Niall Byrne

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Science in Public
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-----Original Message-----
From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au [mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On Behalf Of Susan Kirk
Sent: Friday, 1 March 2013 9:55 AM
To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: [ASC-list] Interesting article by Melissa Sweet Croakey blogger


Surely, while we may be losing some of the reporting in mainstream media, we are all madly blogging, tweeting, facebooking (for want of a better word) and staging events, etc etc. Is it really news that the mainstream media is becoming 'not so' mainstream?  Social media and the internet (apps, websites
etc) is advancing.

ASC should be seen as addressing these sorts of comments and articles and at the same time highlighting what our members are doing?  Can I suggest a reply on the ASC website?

As a member, I can start.  I blog.  I tweet. I have a facebook page and a facebook group  I also write for Fairfax Media for titles that used to be owned by Rural Press.  However, Fairfax, in its wisdom, have deleted a few of these mastheads and the couple it has kept are focussing heavily on the internet/tablet model to deliver news.

I would also argue that the internet is a better medium than print for complex science stories via the addition of audio, hyperlinks, images and video.  Also freelancers are playing a big role in delivering some of the complex science that takes many man/woman hours to get right.  Some of these stories are, by necessity, long and they are not going to see the light of day in newspapers for that reason.  Newspapers are fast becoming extinct, not the journalists.


Susan Kirk   B.comm  freelance Journalist
Member and Queensland Web Editor -  Australian Science Communicators (ASC) Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA)

tel: +61 7 5478 6761 | mobile: 0423342867 | email: susan at susankirk.com.au www.susankirk.com.au |  Skype: susanakirk | Tweet: susanakirk

³If you don¹t ask the right questions you won¹t get the right answers.²

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