Saturday, December 8, 2012

CNN Science Time Capsule

I'm forever fascinated by popular media treatment of 'science' as a niche interest.

Don't believe me? This morning, I browsed on over to on a lark, and decided to count links. Starting below the toolbars, and counting until the pictures of talking heads at the bottom, I counted a total of 158 story links. For a general news aggregator, you'd expect coverage of politics, weather, and entertainment news, but you'd also hope for some medical, environmental, or (FSM forbid!) actual research news.

I counted 15 stories with actual scientific content of any kind (9.4%).

So, what do you get for your science coverage tithe? Here's the headlines I chose:
(all text likely c. CNN, look at that scary legal disclaimer!)

"Notorious B.I.G. autopsy finally out"
"Hi-tech blimp to track down Bigfoot"
"Florida's great python hunt is on"
"The Maya collapsed; could we?"
"NBA great battles blood cancer"
"Diesel-spewing big rigs go green"
"Arctic spawns massive ice islands"
"Don't wait for Syria to cross red line"
"Which milk is best for you?"
"Researchers test blood for autism"
"Pacific earthquake shakes Japan"
"Acute pregnancy sickness explained"
"A fish called Obama"
"Meteors to bombard Earth this month"
"Yes, you can recycle cigarette butts"

Mayans, Bigfoot, Meteors, celebrity autopsies, pythons, and the NBA. Wow. There you have it: your daily science blast for the 20,000,000 monthly viewers on CNN's homepage.