Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Newsonomics: 10 headlines we may see this fall about the future of news
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Sept. 12, 2011, 1:35 a.m.

Some scientists want to check research stories pre-publication

Three British scientists say should be allowed to review stories about their work before publication.

Overall, since press credibility relies on both accuracy and independence, and since the question of allowing sources to check articles (or parts of them) raises a tension between these pillars, the burning question is: where should the balance be struck?

We believe that public trust in science, and in science reporting, is harmed far more by inaccuracy than by non-independence. Contrary to Bhattacharya’s claim that “the reader is not a scientist’s first concern,” public understanding is our overriding concern when communicating with journalists.

Ananyo Bhattacharya, the chief online editor of the journal Nature, argued last month:

Science hacks wouldn’t dream of sending a remotely controversial story out to their sources. But scientists have a vested interest in the way their work is portrayed in the media. Practically any story has the potential to be “controversial”, for example by having an impact on a scientist’s reputation or their next grant application. A journalist, on the other hand, must try to be independent — and seen to be so — if they are to be credible.

In September, Chicago Tribune science and medical writer Trine Tsouderos debated with scientists about the idea of reading back quotes to sources for the purposes of fact-checking.

POSTED     Sept. 12, 2011, 1:35 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Newsonomics: 10 headlines we may see this fall about the future of news
From pipes to platforms, overseas to over-the-top, the shifts we’ll see in the remainder of 2015 will set the stage for 2016 and beyond.
FOIA site MuckRock launches new efforts to let users track projects and contribute to reporting costs
MuckRock is also debuting project pages that will highlight groups of FOIA requests and let users follow specific stories.
Do article tags matter? Maybe not for traffic, but publishers are using them to glean insights
Analytics company Parse.ly found that sites are expanding their use of article tags to track sponsored content and control paywall access.
What to read next
2577
tweets
The New York Times built a Slack bot to help decide which stories to post to social media
The bot, named Blossom, helps predict how stories will do on social and also suggests which stories editors should promote.
1310Jo Ellen Green Kaiser: Do independent news outlets have a blind spot when it comes to ethnic media?
The head of the Media Consortium argues that, by defining themselves in opposition to mainstream media, independent progressive outlets miss out on the power of ethnic and community journalism.
1029Newsonomics: 10 numbers on The New York Times’ 1 million digital-subscriber milestone
Digital subscribers are proving to be the bedrock of the Times’ business model going forward. How much more room is there for growth — and at what price points?
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Apple
West Seattle Blog
NPR
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Groupon
Ars Technica
Los Angeles Times
The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News
The Sunlight Foundation
Wikipedia
The Batavian
Global Voices