Image is from here
By: Michelle Watson
Earlier this week I tweeted a link to an article posted by CNN. It talked about the one thing no one (at least journalists) wants to talk about – climate change.
The article talks about how 2014 has been the hottest year on record to date. Moreover, the hottest month this year was October ringing in at 57.1 degrees Fahrenheit for the world.
I thought that this article was very informative, interesting and good for the average non-scientist to read. On top of that, the word climate change was only mentioned once in the whole article. After learning in class that climate change is a word that journalists ought to avoid if you want readers to keep reading, I thought the author, Shelby Lin Erdman did a good job at that.
I decided to go ahead a dive a little bit more into Erdman’s background because even though her post was short, it made a lot of sense. And for someone like myself who is interested in reporting about science and science journalism, I thought it would be good to connect with her. After reading many science blog posts that are hard to read, it was refreshing to actually have something that I could understand.
When I looked her up, I didn’t get what I wanted. The first thing to pop up was of course was all of the stories that she’s done at CNN. There was another website that had many of her stories all pulled onto one page. What really seemed to bother me was that she had no profile or main page on CNN. If you typed her name in on CNN.com you would find all the stories she’s written but if you tried to click on her name on any of the stories nothing would pop up. There was no twitter page for her either. It was aggravating.
I know of other news outlets that have a profile for every person on their staff – even if they’re freelance. Take for example Michelle Boorstein, a writer for the Washington Post who wrote a story about how religious beliefs affect how people view climate change. While her specialty is in reporting about religion, it was nice to see her write about something many journalists try to avoid – climate change. But that’s not what I’m getting at here.
For every writer on Washington Post, his/her name is highlighted as a link, his/her twitter page is listed so that you can tweet them about their stories, and there is a picture at the bottom with a description of what the writer specializes in. That’s what journalism today is all about – being able to connect with the writer and question or comment on their story. The fact that CNN did not have this bothered me. If anything you would think that a company that is based in television (founded in 1980) would be more up to date than a company that’s based in print journalism (founded in 1877).
The nature of journalism is changing and quite frankly, I wish some places would become more modern. I really liked Erdman’s post. That was the whole reason I even tweeted it – I wanted to give her credit but the lack thereof on CNN’s website to learn more about the writer made it difficult.