[NAFEX] quality of reporting studies (was California tree crops)

Road's End Farm organic87 at frontiernet.net
Sun Jul 26 13:02:16 EDT 2009


On Jul 26, 2009, at 12:15 AM, Betty Mayfield wrote:

> Richard,
>
> As a newspaper reporter I have on occasion had to interview people who 
> talked in a specific science jargon, but when they threw out something 
> like "regression analysis" I would stop and dig until they could 
> define it in plain English. If newspapers print unedited press 
> releases, only the readers familiar with one area of study will 
> understand them. This does not mean simplifying the material, only 
> translating it into words that everyone will understand.
>
> Betty Mayfield

This is true.

The problem is that the knowledge, skill, and willingness to take time, 
all of which are required for proper translation, are uncommon. The 
people doing the translating often seem to either not understand, or 
not care, whether or not the translation is any good. Therefore the 
story as it comes out to the public is often greatly misleading. A 
desire for a startling headline is also undoubtedly sometimes part of 
this problem. -- Betty, thanks for doing it right.

The lack of money currently available to pay a sufficient number of 
high-quality news reporters is only going to make this problem worse.

--Rivka
Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 mostly
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