6 thoughts on “Is science media just about selling us stuff?

  1. Peter Broks

    It’s such an old (and cherished) quote amongst journalists so why is it so rarely applied to science journalism? “News is what someone somewhere doesn’t want you to print. All the rest is advertising.”

  2. andyextance

    Commerce is the means by which scientific discovery has its impact on the vast majority of people. It seems unsurprising and rather appropriate therefore to me that commercial interests drive a lot of scientific coverage. And I’d point out that the business press does a good job of covering and questioning those who commercialise science. For example, the dispute between American Superconductor and Sinovel in the wind power industry is one topic that’s come up in my work that was all over the business press earlier this year. But surely the question whether there should be a debate about the commercial nature of science is actually a question about whether commercialism is itself desirable? In that case, we’re entering economic and political ground that many scientific media outlets would find difficult, or even want to avoid altogether. I’m sure some academics would love to lead society in a debate about the pros and cons of commercialism. I’m just not sure science media is about to start it off.

    1. alice Post author

      Think you may have missed the point. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

      Being about commerce is different from commercial interests having a say over content. Totally agree there is some great coverage of sci and tech in the business press. Often, I’d say, because such journos are good at spotting PR puff.

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