Also in the inaugural issue is an essay by journalism scholar Phil Meyer titled, “Giving Objectivity a Bad Name.” Fed up with stories that give equal space to both mainstream and fringe climate scientists in order to achieve “balance,” a number of journalists, bloggers, and pundits are calling for an end to the strictures of “traditional” journalism:
In the age of the Internet, mere transmission no longer adds value to information. The way to add value to the surplus of data is to process it to help the reader select it and make sense of it … All that needs to be abandoned is the primitive belief that interpretation-free reporting of what ‘both sides’ say is objectivity.
Difficult considerations such as this are the forum’s raison d’être. When it comes to global warming and climate change, “the science and journalism on solutions is going to be just as controversial as the science and journalism on the causes,” Ward told me.
Contributions so far have come exclusively from journalists and students, but Ward hopes to get pieces from leading climate scientists down the road. This variety is the Yale Forum’s strength. It needs pieces that are a bit more unique and timely in the coming issues, but Ward and his small staff are off to a good start.