Follow-up on links and citations to primary literature in legacy media

Yesterday, we wrote and all discussed PalMD's pet peeve about mass media outlets not using journal citations when reporting new science, health, and medicine stories. A lively comment thread ensued here and there.

But, as usual, I am reminded that blogfather, Bora Zivkovic, discussed this issue several times in the past at A Blog Around the Clock:

  • Ethic of the Link (13 June 2009)
  • Why it is important for media articles to link to scientific papers (3 March 2010)
  • Why is some coverage of scientific news in the media very poor? (3 June 2010)
  • Of these three, I would strongly encourage those in legacy media to read the second post because Bora writes it from the standpoint of his role as Online Discussion Expert for PLoS, the open-access journal collection of Public Library of Science. A point not made in previous discussions is that some journals like PLoS want to know and thank journalists who cover publications from their journals.

    The first post contains a video of NYU journalism professor and blogger, Jay Rosen, speaking about the ethics of the link at a Carnegie Council panel on 3 April 2008. Bora later linked to Prof. Rosen's broader post on online ethics. Rosen is about as forward-thinking as they come in journalism and mass media communication and education. He wrote "Bloggers vs. Journalists is Over" - in in 2005!

    But if you have time, read Bora's third post where he dissects where poor media coverage of science and medicine originates by studying citations of PLoS papers by organizations from pseudoscience/anti-science blogs to The Guardian and The New York Times. I really like this post because Bora's strong conclusions draw a combination of concurrence and objections from both science bloggers and author/journalists like Ed Yong, Brian Switek, and Blake Stacey as well as science journalists like Karl Leif Bates, now a Director of Research Communications for Duke University. I won't summarize here but rather suggest - if you have the time - to read the post and comment thread.

    Many thanks to Bora for the heads-up and to Twitter friend and RealJournalist, Andria Krewson, for directing me toward the term "legacy media."

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