Admittedly, for all those glimmers of hope, the outlook for science journalism remains bleak. But it’s important to count the goods with the bads at any rate. Mooney, Kirshenbaum, and Zimmer are themselves good examples of the modern reporter—writing independently, freelancing for a variety of media platforms, and supplementing their incomes with teaching and talking whenever they can. With the loss of so many staff jobs, that entrepreneurial spirit is the only way that science journalism stands a chance.

Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.