Let's compare the backgrounds of science writers for Fox and NPR


#1

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#2

Years ago a photojournalist friend of mine got me into the press area to witness the maiden spaceflight of SpaceShipOne, and we happened to be near the Fox News reporter covering the launch. After the initial takeoff and the requisite filming of soundbites the reporter looked to one of his attendants and said “what happens next?” When someone explained that the spacecraft would separate from the carrier plane, rocket to sub-orbital altitude, re-enter the atmosphere and land back on the runway he was dumbstruck. (“You mean it lands like a plane?”)

I couldn’t help but notice that if said reporter had briefly glanced down at the Scaled Composites-issued press pass he was wearing around his neck then he might have noticed that this entire flight sequence had been helpfully diagrammed in big, kid-friendly illustrations.


#3

Wouldn’t is make more sense to compare MSNBC or CNN to Fox and not NPR?

Seems like an odd comparison, given the goals and funding of each


#4

So what kind of goals does a person who joined 20 minutes ago have?


#5

No, it makes sense to compare “what the market wants” to “what the government provides”.

But some people don’t like that comparison…I have no idea why, though when you compare government-funded science and reporting on science to Fox, you might think Fox was a bit of a koch-up.

[edit- I understand NPR is not really government funded. I was actually thinking more of NASA, the NIH and so on in my comparison, and NPR as an organisation that reports on real, government funded science.]


#6

I don’t see what the problem is. I get all my science news from Fangoria.


#7

Going to happy hour with a bunch of right wing think tank boiler room interns?


#8

I’m so pleased that there is a term for this.


#9

Shouldn’t there be some quotes or such around the text/bullets? I mean, it’s a nice copy & paste, but even Reddit handles should get proper attribution, no?


#10

Shouldn’t prophecy be spelled correctly, while we’re nit picking? :smiley:


#11

With apologies to Jethro Tull I have decided that the slogan for Fox should be “We might make you feel but we can’t make you think.”


#12

Well who are you going to believe, a bunch of pointy-headed so-called…

…nope, I just can’t do it this time.


#13

The author submitted it to Boing Boing and said I could run it as a story on Boing Boing.


#14

when you compare government-funded science and reporting on science to Fox

I know this is essentially flogging a dead horse, but NPR is not directly funded by the government.

NPR member stations get around 5% of their funding from the government, and their dues make up about 40% of NPR’s operating budget. So indirectly, NPR is about 2% government-funded. I can’t imagine many large media operations that aren’t getting at least 2% of their gross expenditures in subsidies, etc.

They’re far more beholden to their corporate sponsors at this point, with 22% of their direct budget, plus another 8% or so coming upstream from the member stations, which get about 20% of their money from corporate sponsors.

All this assumes that NPR’s own page on its budgeting is accurate.

That being said, they are (nominally) non-profit, and radio to boot. Hardly a direct competitor to Fox.

But what really makes me sure that we’re all going to die is this: Neither CNN or MSNBC seem to have dedicated Science categories. CNN’s appears to have been deprecated in 2010, in favor of an iPhone-heavy “Tech” section.


#15

I was wondering why there wasn’t an author… but can’t you give him a byline like other guest contributors?


#16

The happy mutant who wrote it wishes to remain anonymous.


#17

To be fair, MSNBC’s daily budget is something like seven cents. CNN is the network pissing away millions of bucks.


#18

I can’t wait for Rupert fucking Murdoch to **fuck off and die. **

Maybe, by some miracle his empire will be turned against his memory by someone groovy like Elon Musk…


#19

So he’s saying that Joe Palca would make a lousy reporter for World Wrestling Entertainment?


#20