Recession pushes science journalism to blogging, survey shows 2009-03-19 19:02:51   Print

    LONDON, March 19 (Xinhua) -- The global recession is causing hard times for traditional science journalism, while science blogging is growing rapidly, according to a survey released by the journal Nature on Thursday.

    The survey interviewed 493 science journalists all over the world, most of them in Europe and North America. The results showed that their jobs are being lost, and the workloads of those who remain are on the rise, because science sections of newspapers do not make money.

    Of those working in the United States and Canada, one in three had seen staffing cuts at their organizations, the survey said.

    However, researcher-run blogs and websites are growing rapidly in both number and readership. The most successful sites are drawing thousands of visitors each month.

    Even traditional journalists are increasingly looking to such sites to find story ideas. Compared with five years ago, the percentage of journalists who have found stories on a scientist's blog has risen from 18 percent to 63 percent, and who regularly find stories on other blogs has risen from 4 percent to 33 percent.

    There are also some differing opinions about the change. Robert Lee Hotz, a science journalist for The Wall Street Journal, doubted blogs can fulfil the additional roles of watchdog and critic that the traditional media at their best do.

    Paul Myers, a biologist at the University of Minnesota in Morris, sees his blog as a valuable tool for talking to public audiences.

Editor: Zhang Xiang
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