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Archive for October, 2009

Why does science matter? Do you think it does? Do you think about it much, at all?

What happened in one innocent man’s brain to make him drive 23 kilometers in his sleep and murder his parents in law?

Do we have to grow old and die?

If we could grow our own limbs, would you want to?

If you had to go out into the rainforest and find a molecule to cure breast cancer, how would you make a start?

Do you know how remarkable it is you were even born?

In a world where the diversification of humanity has lead to a myriad of cultures, religions and corresponding beliefs, the one common pulse for us all, the universal currency we can all relate to and prove, the only thing truly known, is science.

What is the future of science? This is a question that cannot, and should not, be answered by scientists alone. The ethical and moral dimensions of new biological advances must be considered by us all, as they will undoubtedly effect us all.

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The Internet Manifesto discusses the present role of the internet in journalism in 17 points, and essentially how it strengthens the journalist’s plight:

http://www.internet-manifesto.org/

It states a media that ignores the strengths of the internet does so at its own peril in terms of the opportunity the internet allows to develop the ‘best possible form of journalism based on the available technology’. This is true, especially when considering the way many new technological tools may supplement the communication of a story, bringing it to life and thus relaying its message more clearly.

The internet may well be a ‘pocket-sized media empire’, but that does not necessarily make it a valid, trustworthy one. While being cured of its ‘gate-keeping function’, the internet also cures so-called journalists of the need to be affiliated to a trustworthy source; it is easier to publish and access so-called journalism, which surely makes the quality of the information from these sources questionable.

Of course the freedom of information afforded by going online slips hand in hand with a true democracy. However, it can lead to a surplus of unrelated information which more traditional forms of media, i.e. journals, can filter out, making them a more efficient choice for methods of research.

The most alarming part of the manifesto came when blurring the lines between journalists and non-journalists to good versus bad journalism. In a sense therefore, everyone is a journalist. It is difficult to escape the nagging sense that journalism is being devalued. Unless the distinction between journalist and non journalist is kept black and white, as a profession it will begin to mean nothing.

Alison Gow reacts:

http://headlinesanddedlines.blogspot.com/2009/09/five-phrases-to-outlaw-in-newsrooms.html

She includes five issues that news editors must consider in order to keep afloat in these times of convergence. Essentially, she highlights the fact the Manifesto was available on the internet in itself made it inaccessible to those it sought to address. Apparently the problem is much worse than the authors dare anticipate, and news editors are still to be informed of the basic merits of multimedia journalism.

Equally alarming and surprising, it is difficult to believe this discussion still rages on. Are the benefits of the convergence of platforms not crystal clear? Improbable some are still in need of convincing, a thought I cannot help but be convinced by.

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