The bottom line, of course, is the need to find a new way (or ways) to finance journalism, which isn’t particular to the science beat. These cannot all be “labors of love,” as Schaffer described a few projects. Indeed, as we reported here on Wednesday, Slate V just shelved its three-month-old weekly science roundup, Grand Unified Weekly, because of cost. Going straight to the heart of the panel’s largest concern, the idea behind the program was to cater to those who have only a few “spare minutes” to keep up with science news. Such is the state of journalism.

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