The Sciences

Time to Embrace Shallow Journalism?

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorMar 8, 2011 6:30 PM


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Those who pine for an idealized form (and era) of journalism that never existed (and never will), which would transform a nation of Snooki fans into a rationalist, scientifically literate citizenry, are going to looove this new article by James Fallows in the April issue of the Atlantic. At his media blog, Romenesko captures one of the money quotes from Fallows:

I now think it's worth facing the inevitability of the shift to infotainment and seeing how we can make the best of it. To show why, let's visit Gawker.

The entire piece by Fallows is a must read. And for those in the climate concerned community who are legitimately open to new ideas about how to communicate their message, here's something to chew on from the owner of Gawker:

"Liberals love to talk about the erosion of logic and the scientific method," Nick Denton said. One example he discussed: Al Gore's book about irrationality in public life, called The Assault on Reason, with passages like this: "The German philosopher Jürgen Habermas describes what has happened as the "˜refeudalization of the public sphere.'" "But what if the answer to a false narrative isn't fact?," Denton says. "Or Habermas? Maybe the answer to a flawed narrative is a different narrative. You change the story." Which is what, he said, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have done. They don't "fact-check" Fox News, or try to rebut it directly, or fight on its own terms. They change the story not by distorting reality"”their strength is their reliance on fact"”or creating a fictitious narrative, but by presenting the facts in a way that makes them register in a way they hadn't before.

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