Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A snapshot of U.S. networks' online science news

CNN was the first all-news network, the first 24-hour news source, and has a founder (Ted Turner) who's been prominent in environmentalist activities.  So it's a real disappointment to look at their online science coverage.  Space geeks know they fired the great Miles O'Brien and the rest of the science office in a stupid cost-cutting move.  Looking at their online offerings right now (24 June 2014), CNN's abandonment of science news is a shameful abdication of the responsibility to keep people abreast of what's happening on their planet and in their universe.  A scan of today's pages reveals there is ONE science story not related to heath/medicine or computers, and that one is a way-down-the-page link to a misleading headline of a NY Times article about the discovery of water deep beneath the Earth (like most headlines on this topic, it talks about an "underground ocean" when we're in fact talking about zillions of scattered molecules.)
A snapshot of the others as of 24June:
CBS ( = Front-page tab for SciTech (heavy on tech, but science is there)
Fox news = Front-page Science tab, with separate Health and Technology and a lot of content in specialty areas like paleontology
NBC news = separate Science, Tech, and Health tabs, plus they have the marvelous Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log
MSNBC = can't find anything at all besides consumer tech and health.
ABC news = natural science stories are hidden under the Tech tab.

So using ease of access to science stories as the only criterion, Fox, and NBC get As, CBS a B, ABC gets a C, and CNN and MSNBC get Fs.

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