Scientific ignorance: Partially the fault of us journalists

Though I’d also blame the English department for foisting postmodernist crap on us:

Something has happened with the last generation of journalists, who have been taught the postmodern idea that there is no such thing as objective reality. But there is such a thing as objective reality – and we can measure it, and by measuring it we’ve doubled our lifespan, multiplied the productivity of our farms by 35 times, and totally changed the world. By not acknowledging that, reporters end up creating something called, “false balance,” essentially reporting on two sides of a story and letting the audience decide what they think is the objective truth or who is right. That’s really shirking their responsibility to dig and inform people what’s really going on.

via How Ignorance, Greed and Ideology Are Warping Science and Hurting Democracy | Julian Brookes | Rolling Stone.

2 thoughts on “Scientific ignorance: Partially the fault of us journalists

  1. The argument here is pretty lazy. The roots of journalistic objectivity are probably closer to postivism than postmodernism. The lack of advocacy in journalism is older than the development of most strains of postmodern theory, IIRC. And I’m not sure you can blame the english departments for writers who improperly apply a philosophical, artistic, or cultural critique to empirical science. It should be fairly obvious for anyone with a college education that the respective methodolgies are not necessarily applicable in different disciplines.


  2. I see your point, but I still think the relativism inherent in postmodernism has been a greater influence on today’s journalism than yesterday’s.

    Of course, another influence is the widespread notion of “right-wing” media that are exactly equivalent to mainstream media, redefined as “left wing,” but with a different point of view. CNN at one time was fairly well regarded by all political parties. Then Fox arose, and what it said was simply considered the right-wing alternative to what CNN said. Even if CNN actually, you know, REPORTED stuff while Fox just pontificated.

    So yeah, perhaps the English departments deserve less blame than I’m giving here. I was being too snarky. But the rest of the story is well worth reading.

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