ScienceWriters excerpts

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  • Most journalists who cover health or education struggle to obtain government records and data that are vital to our stories and have compelling public interest. While some agencies are reasonably accommodating, others exploit every loophole or gray area in the law to deny public records requests.

  • How are computer scientists building their army of virtual fact-checkers? What are their models of truth? And how close are we to entrusting their algorithms to cull fake news? Popular Science tried out an automated fact-checker, using a piece of fake news, and compare its process to a human fact-checker.

  • Writers will soon be facing the deadline of IRS 1040 forms, an annual chore that is one of the few constants in our continually changing society. In recognition of that shared ordeal, here are some quotations (invariably negative; seldom positive) about America's tax system that bring to vibrant life a dry subject that has long been the source of fierce political contention.

  • When the Zika outbreak swept Brazil in 2015, Brazilian journalists were the first to cover the event. But it can be a challenge for them to place stories like that in U.S. and European publications. Editors and freelance writers were asked about the challenges writers face in working across international boundaries.

  • The current media landscape is a confusing swirl of reality, misinformation, and so-called fake news. How can science communicators navigate a political climate that's increasingly hostile to both science and journalism? Experts from several related disciplines addressed the situation at a day-long conference hosted by the Rockefeller University.