Science, Technology And The Nightly News Essay

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Science, Technology and the Nightly News
It’s not uncommon for a news audience to run across stories or headlines about science that seem too good to be true. Headlines such as, “Scientist Say Smelling Farts Might Prevent Cancer,” (Stampler, 2014) or “Bananas as good as drugs for treating HIV, say scientists.” (Arkless Gray, 2010) Not only are these headlines flashy enough to get the attention of a wide audience, but they go beyond distributing the facts to wade into the waters of Yellow Journalism. In fact, much of the news distributed today might be considered such milky fare even by passive audience members. A 2013 Pew Research Center study found that 31 percent of U.S. adults have left a news outlet that no longer meets their needs. The reason for the exodus? More than 60 percent say the stories are less complete while another 23.5 percent claim there are fewer stories provided by these news outlets. One might wonder how such claims could be made in these times of 24-hour news cycles and breaking news distributed across the web through social media at warp speed. A closer look at the same Pew study reveals a startling fact about factual news content on cable news channels. Of the big three cable news channels (CNN, Fox News and MSNBC) only one provides more than 50 percent of factual news content. The others go beyond the half-way mark in providing commentary or opinion. MSNBC was found to provide a whopping 85 percent of commentary/option content

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