Rennie complained that because of the mad rush to report any new finding, a lot of the ensuing coverage is identically unimpressive. The antidote, he argued, is delaying coverage and sacrificing the “newness” for thoroughness and context, and while he did not explicitly say that help bring science out of the echo chamber, there is every reason to believe that it could. A week after penning his column for The Guardian, Rennie wrote a post at his PLoS blog, The Gleaming Retort, that highlighted reporting by Yong, which “keyed off a new paper on induced pluripotent stem cells,” but broke the “usual mold” by doing two things. First, Yong reissued an older story he’d written, updating it with information about the new paper:
Then, even more creatively, he used the online tools at Dipity.com to create an interactive timeline recapping the history of reprogrammed stem cell research. In fact, the timeline was noteworthy enough that Ed was instantly able to syndicate it to the Guardian.
In other words, Yong escaped the echo chamber with a little innovative storytelling (the Nieman Journalism Lab and the Knight Science Journalism Tracker also ran posts calling attention to the timeline). Such triumphs do not come easy, of course, but the proof is in the digital pudding. Struggling to pull science out of the media echo chamber will always be challenge, but a new (scientific) method is emerging online that will help writers of all stripes in that endeavor. And it should be clear by now that the emergence of new technologies is alleviating, rather than exacerbating, the ages-old “ghettoization” problem.