Friday, 3 July 2009

Big week at World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ)

I haven't had much time for blogging of late and had a very busy week, spending most days at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Westminster, London. The conference obviously focused mainly on science writing, the state of journalism in the online age and the future of this fairly new (under 100 years old) journalism field.
One of the gratifying points to note was that many of the journalists and PR people alike that I spoke to are no longer afraid of what the internet will do to their professions but are embracing it as a normal part of their working day. A lot of those people were past the point of sneering at 'citizen journalists' with no professional training, to the extent they are using these people on the street as credible information sources and contacting them via blogs, Twitter, Facebook and many other formats.
Krishna Bharat, Principle Scientist and Founder of Google News, gave an interesting explanation of how the Google News system works and the way rankings are dictated. While there are complaints to be made about the rankings Google gives certain news outlets when doing simple keyword searches, Krishna reminded everyone that his service is the main source for news searches worldwide.
Many bloggers have already written their views on the conference, some of my favourites so far include Ed Yong's piece on Not Exactly Rocket Science, a nice summary of the week from Jacob Aron and some good tweets from colleagues.


  1. I agree with your view that there is a distiction between true jouralism and just putting down a comment. Trained Js have the wherewithall to structure a 'piece' whereas Bloggers, commenters just put their thoughts down in any fashion thats seems to represent their current thoughts/feelings.

  2. A lot of bloggers would disagree on that and I think journalism in some areas is changing because of the influence of blog-speak. There's such as huge variety of blogging styles out there - from celebrity stalkers with a poor grasp of writing to science/political communicators who are more informative and interesting than their hard journalist colleagues