Tag Archives: Glyndwr University

More talk than action with the bad scientist

Gillian McKeith in a white coat, Harold Shipman the mass murdrerer and Bruce Forsyth circa Play Your Cards Right. These are the characters who inhabit the world of Bad Science columnist Ben Goldacre.

I saw him speak last night at Glydwr University as part of the Wrexham Science Festival. The talk was being recorded for the Science Cafe programme on Radio Wales.

I like his column and often refer to it in my classes, especially to teach students about the importance of verifying their sources.

So I was hoping for some new insight on how we the media report on science. But, disappointingly, there was a lot of medicine and little on the changing nature of journalism.

Better reporting

The session ran over thanks to some poor interview management by host Adam Walton of Radio Wales.

We touched on reporting science only briefly in the truncated Q & A at the end. And the only advice he proffered was thus: “What popular science really requires is more editors and less writers.”

I think he means more subs. But it was his advice for reporting on science that really grated with me. “Make it about data not stories about people,” he said.

Data journalism is a fine area for students to develop but, ultimately, if you want to bring key scientific issues to the wider public, then giving them a human face is vital.

Playing up the human-interest angle is clearly a better way to engage readers than a phone-directory-sized report crammed full with baffling statistics.

Doing the rounds 

Ultimately I guess this was just another book-pushing session for Dr Goldacre.

I’d probably be trotting out the old faithful anecdotes by this point in the promo tour, too, if I knew they’d raise a moderate-sized titter from the crowd.

But, on this showing, I’m not moved to buy the book.

As Ben himself said, “There’s an element in all this of wanting to be a massive clever dick.”

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Filed under Glyndwr University, Journalism, Wales

What does Changing Media mean for You?

Cross-platform apps, the survival of linear TV and the where next for the 1bn+ global mobile users were amongst the key themes discussed at the Guardian Changing Media Summit 2011 today.

Hit the North took time out from a pressing deadline for Simonseks’ Lakes Expert project to report back from the event for Glyndwr University.

See images from the event at my Flickr photostream.

Serious soundbites

I’ll be posting more links over the days to come but, by way of a summary, try the following for size from the talking heads on the panel:

  • “People is the new content and influence is the new distribution.” Troy Young, SAY Media
  • “Quality will soon trump SEO.” Troy Young, SAY Media
  • “Vision without execution, is hallucination” Ralph Rivera, BBC
  • “The revolution will not be televised. It will be tweeted.” Ralph Rivera, BBC
  • “Nobody wants crap. Even if it’s free crap.” Stevie Spring, Future Publishing
  • “News is a commodity but journalism is an art – an art worth paying for.” Christian Hernandez, Facebook
  • “Mobile has to become the dominant channel. The shift is as big as shift from print to desktop.” Rob Grimshaw, FT.com.
  • “Fremium is such a stupid word. Should be fun enough to play, funner to pay.” Mattias Miksche, Stardoll Media
  • “To harness the technology in the right way, it’s all about the content.” Catherine Powell, Disney
  • “If companies don’t have a mobile strategy, they don’t have a future strategy.” Ian Carrington, Google
  • “Content is still king. Journalism still matters. An optimistic note to end on.” Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Technology Correspondent

In pictures

For a more graphic representation of the talking shop, try the this wordle.

<a href="http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/3352604/Soundbites_from_the_2011_Changing_Media_Summit"
          title="Wordle: Soundbites from the 2011 Changing Media Summit"><img
          alt="Wordle: Soundbites from the 2011 Changing Media Summit"
          style="padding:4px;border:1px solid #ddd"></a>
And this rough-cut video blog for a taste of the event.

Your shout

I’ll update this post with more links from the event organsiers. Meanwhile, tell me what you thought of the event and the key themes discussed.

Please paste your comments below.


Filed under Online writing