Tuesday, November 18, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: Tuesday, Nov. 18---Columbia Journalism Review

A dirty little secret of journalism has always been the degree to which some reporters rely on press releases and public relations offices as sources for stories. But recent newsroom cutbacks and increased pressure to churn out online news have given publicity operations even greater prominence in science coverage. Cristine Russsell reports in The Observatory, science desk of CJR.org, the Web site of the Columbia Journalism Review.

Meanwhile, the health care discussion of the past year has been remarkable for the narrow range of ideas and opinions that have floated down to the man on the street. As a potential corrective, our Trudy Lieberman is introducing a series of interviews with a wide range of people and perspectives on the subject, by way of urging the press to follow suit. Here is the first, an interview with Yale professor Theodore Marmor, a health care expert and the co-author of a recent op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer. The headline, "Health-care plans familiar; Obama and McCain fall into old traps when it comes to financing,"

We hope you find them both illuminating.
The editors

The Observatory — November 14,
Science Reporting By Press Release
An old problem grows worse in the digital age
By Cristine Russell

Excluded Voices
An interview with Theodore Marmor
By Trudy Lieberman

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