E-volution of science journalism

At a recent Science Communicators of North Carolina meeting, journalist Cathy Clabby spoke on the status and future of science journalism. Clabby, now an editor with the American Scientist, was the last full-time science journalist in the Triangle-area of North Carolina before becoming a Knight Science Journalism Fellow in 2007.

Clabby is interested in new opportunities available for science journalism on the web. “I find myself looking up a little and not just seeing what we’re losing but I’m seeing more of what we’re gaining,” she said.

A sampler of sites provided a good example of where science journalism is heading. While the names are familiar, the formats have evolved for electronic media and are focused more on breaking news.

One of the newer elements of science journalism is the blog. Most of the traditional media and newspapers have incorporated blogs. One aspect that impresses Clabby is the diversity of subject matter and voices. Some blogs that were highlighted were:

On a local level, Clabby highlighted the Durham Museum of Life + Science that has created its own media outlet to take advantage of the wealth of resources in the region.

Other institutions, such as Duke University, are experimenting with new media to highlight their research to a larger audience.

The philanthropic sector is also encouraging new media. The Knight Foundation offers its News Challenge to support and fund new ideas in media.

How do you think reporting for new media changes the way science journalists do their job?