Good News for Science News

Article written: 10 Nov , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

Here’s some refreshing news! In an era when mainstream media is cutting back on their science departments and science reporting, the Discovery Channel has just made an investment to step-up their science news with the re-launch of their new and improved news website, Discovery News. In the middle of it all is our very own Ian O’Neill, who is also the producer for Discovery News Space. The “new” part of Discovery News is that Ian’s work on the space side is now integrated into a higher profile, redesigned news site. Ian and I had a chance to talk today about this good news for science news.

“Discovery News was always the Discovery Channel website’s news source. It has been around for about 11 years,” Ian told me, “and people started coming to the Discovery Channel website specifically to read Discovery News, so it was always like a little news agency bubbling around in the background.”

About 18 months ago Discovery News put together three different “hubs” to focus on space, Earth and technology. Those three headings are now given top billing on the new site, integrating news and blogs together.

Ian and I talked about how Universe Today wears both hats as both a news site and a blog, and Discovery News is doing that as well, but in a bigger way with over 20 correspondents, producers and editors.

“We know we have to have both strong traditional reported items as well as opinion based pieces, and we now have a nice relationship between the two,” Ian said. “Blogging has become a major news source for a lot of people, as a lot of the blogs are now written by science professionals. There doesn’t seem to be that big distinction or chasm anymore between a reported item and what is opinion, and often the two fade in between.”

All the Discovery News contributors have professional backgrounds in their fields, and it’s great to see a “big” company investing in science-based journalism.

“They have created the opportunity for Discovery News to relaunch, and given us the resources to perhaps be a one-of-a kind science news site,” Ian said.

Check out Discovery News.



2 Responses

  1. Member

    Way to go Ian and Discovery News!

  2. Jon Hanford says

    Great news for the Discovery Channel website. Although their cable programming has gone pretty much ‘sensationalist’ (but hey, more people watch these shows), their online presence has much to offer wisdom seekers (Cosmic Variance, Bad Astronomy, Discovery News Space come to mind).

    And, hey, what about that 4.2 meter Discovery Channel Telescope( http://www.lowell.edu/dct/ ) under construction in Arizona! Can’t wait for first light there.

    I’m encouraged that some companies are willing to make an investment in science and how it gets presented to the public. Notice that Scientific American and Science News have joined resources and plan to keep their great teams of science writers employed. Great to see Discovery leverage some of their assets in science reporting, unlike other news organizations (CNN Science).

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