In the end, the more interesting and important question may not be whether the publicity blitz lead to hype, but rather if it led to the kind of traction promoters expected. [Update, May 22: I wrote to soon. In retrospect, the most important question does, in fact, seem to be the extent to which publicity campaigns lead to overstatement and/or inhibit science journalists’ ability to be critical and do their work effectively.] While it is imperative to engage the “hard to reach” audiences that Nisbet writes about, stories get “big” because they have meat, not because they are accompanied by flashy advertising campaigns. Ida may be the most complete fossil primate ever, but at this point, scientists are still picking over the bones.
03:31 PM - May 19, 2009
“The Mediacene Age”
Ancient primate fossil inspires an unusual press blitz, but will it work?
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“Like the US drone program itself, this deceitful media practice continues unabated”
Francesca Borri on reporting from a razed city
Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.