Love the show, and... (a message to NPR's 'On The Media')

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Love the show, and... (a message to NPR's 'On The Media')

Postby Kevin » Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:07 pm

Dear On The Media,

I love your show, and it is one of the top media appointments I keep each week - because it makes me think. Your show is really a great service to the worlds of both media makers and media receivers. That's especially significant in a time when when more and more people are both.

Of course these issues are so important, and at times so intricate and conflicted, that I'm often wishing you'd be both a bit more perspicacious and a bit more precise in your coverage.

In your interview this week with the head of CEI, the question-comment about CEI benefiting from the 'balance-distortion' effect of indiscriminate equalizing coverage by journalists was beautifully on point.

On the other hand I was pretty disappointed with the Blinded with Science segment. The "framing" that effective scientific communication - persuasion - is the responsibility of scientists, is extremely dubious, yet the questioning and editing in this segment seemed to take that assumption as a given.

The discussion seemed to revolve around how scientists should persuade, very much from the limited perspective of Matt Nisbet, without seeming to acknowledge the deeper question of whose responsibility scientific persuasion is and should be in society.

How ironic, given that an obvious alternative assignee for responsibility in scientific persuasion would be "the media", your own subject of expertise, rather than scientists, who we rely on for research more than persuasion.

I do hope you appreciate that always wanting your best is a mark for how valuable your audience finds your work to be. In fact, your show is a rare treasure.

Best wishes,

Kevin Matthews
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