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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The press and debate

“The press has grown accustomed to amplifying debate but rarely initiates it.” — Ted Gup

Time is ever so short this week and so my posts will be short little bursts in between scads of writing for money.

Today’s Freedom Forum calendar quote above is by Ted Gup, a journalism prof at Case Western Reserve University. He’s a terrifically talented journalist and will be talking to SPJ on Saturday, Oct. 8 as we launch the second round of our Sharpen Your Skills workshop. It will be held from 9:30 to noon at the Middleburg Heights branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. Cost is $25 and bagels and beverages are provided. Call (440) 333-5362 or e-mail Tom Moore at to register.

Feeding into Gup’s quote, I read this interesting cover story in the September/October issue of Columbia Journalism Review. It’s a look at how news reports contribute to the misinformation in the intelligent design/evolution debate. Very interesting. Though I’m not sure I fully support the authors’ conclusion that journalists need advanced education in scientific topics to cover such a story. They simply need to do a better job of understanding their topic by engaging in a little bit of research and talking to experts. I mean, we all learned about natural selection in 10th-grade biology.

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