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The Green Life: CNN Cuts Back Science Coverage

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December 10, 2008

CNN Cuts Back Science Coverage

TV_static Though traditional news outlets have been in trouble for a while, climate change and other environmental issues have until now seemed to be too important to cut back coverage. But in a potentially disastrous blow to science journalism, CNN has decided to eliminate its science unit, in an effort to “fold” science into its regular coverage teams. CNN’s lone remaining science-related segment will be Planet in Peril.

The whole assemblage of interested parties, including Wired, Mediabistro, and Science News were astir last week about the cutbacks' terrifying implications, but Andrew Revkin, the NYT's award-winning science reporter, notes out that he was laid off from a science post at the L.A. Times in the 1980s:

“It turns out that the Los Angeles Times’s move back then was just an early-stages hint of the shrinkage of science journalism to come, in all markets and media. My sense is that while it’s easy to blame pencil-pushing accountants for all of this, it’s also worth examining how we teach science and engineering (and new generations of media consumers).”

So what do you think? Can CNN’s Planet in Peril pick up the slack? Or will science and environmental reporting fall by the wayside?

-- Mario Aguilar

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