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Media Communication of Scientific and Environmental Information - Essay Example

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Name Professor Module Date Media Communication of Scientific and Environmental Information Information is vital for the running of day-to-day lives as it forms the basis to all reasonable decision making. Media is the main channel for communication to the public, decision makers and other stakeholders…
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Media Communication of Scientific and Environmental Information
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Media Communication of Scientific and Environmental Information

This does not auger well with society needs, as there is nothing like general audience. News reporting should enable decision makers to do their job effectively and at the same time, it should make sense to experts in the field. Thesis Statement. The objective of this review paper is to discuss how unethical partial or wrong reporting of scientific information is. In this context, I will illustrate how partial reporting of scientific views ends up harming the exact masses the media aims to protect. EFFECTS OF SCIENCE AND MEDIA IN DAILY LIFE Economic Ramifications. Scientific claims are usually beneficial to the society in curbing or at least reducing the adverse effect of natural or artificial phenomena to the environment and human life. For instance, the US government had spent millions of dollars to remove asbestos roofing to avoid its effects on human health. In this case, the general population received suppressed information and scientific views that had opposed it ignored. Later, scientists figured out that the process of removing asbestos produced toxic gases that were more harmful than letting them be (“New View” 1993; cited in Roll-Hansen 104). The media played a key role in suppressing the information from one side since it had biased opinions towards supporting the government project. This is grossly unethical and goes against the requirement that the media be impartial in their reporting. More research needed to take placed if they had reported the findings of those scientists thereby conserving resources. Finally, there is the need for a good relationship between the media and scientists to ensure that reporting of findings is as accurate and timely as possible. Norwegian Tree Deaths. In Norway, tree death was intense at the beginning of 1980s. This situation was not unique to Norway since it also existed in Germany among other countries and it affected many tree species. Reports focussed on fir and spruce since their deaths were more dramatic with needle loss and thinning of tree crown before death (Roll-Hansen 105). Though there were many causes of tree death, the most reported cause was acid rain probably because the rest of the causes were boring scientific explanations that would not adequately serve the media’s main profiteering agenda. For the media to make it in the highly competitive environment, the headlines have to be sensational and eye catching. Scientists maintained that the situation was not as damaging as portrayed by the media and the government. They advanced that there should not be a comparison with Germany since the two countries had different dynamics in respect to pollutants and ways of handling it (Roll-Hansen 104). During this time, the Norwegian institute of forest reserve (NISK) organized a conference on the matter. The media was quite disappointed that there was nothing to report showing that the media only had interest in reporting one side of the story and not the other. This was another way of saying that scientific conferences are not sensational or newsworthy enough to generate enough sales in the highly competitive environment. The media criticized the NISK for denying the role of acid in tree death and at the same time ignoring the other causes of tree death proposed by the NISK (Roll-Hansen 106). Though the media criticized scientists for their attitude on the acid rain and forest death, they agreed with scientific reports that acid rain was the ... Read More
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