The prevalence of cigarette smoking among American adults is at an all-time low. Many media outlets decided to downplay or ignore this milestone public health achievement and instead scare people about vaping.
Over the past decade, Americans' trust in the news media has collapsed. However, it can be restored, if the media dedicates itself to accuracy and correcting its mistakes. As we are learning Americans care less about a media outlet's political slant than its dedication to the truth.
It was discovered that Ali Watkins, the newspaper's national security reporter, slept with a source who was an aide to the Senate Intelligence Committee. That source has now been arrested as part of an investigation into leaks of classified information. A breakdown in journalistic ethics, to say the least.
One of the biggest problems of our hyperpartisan culture is that everything has been turned into a morbid game show. Gone are the days when politicians and the media acted in the best interest of the American people. Instead, we have manufactured controversy and faux outrage over the most mundane of events. Instead of world news, we get 24/7 coverage of the President's Twitter feed. And instead of serious analysis, we get programming that resembles some horrifying merger of Family Feud, Hunger Games, and Real Housewives of New Jersey.
With 32 G.O.P lawmakers retiring it can be said that the media narrative about a "wave" of Republicans leaving Congress is wrong. Here are the stats behind that assessment.
These days having a conversation about politics and the state of our nation often devolves into an ideological pitched battle of wills. That's why this year my Christmas wish is for 24-hours of argument-free discourse.
When confronted with the truth, a prominent science journalist claimed that facts don't matter in op-eds. Science journalism is dead.
Facebook, a site from which a substantial number of people acquire their daily news, has decided that pages that post fake stories will be banned from advertising. That's a perfectly fine decision, but it raises a bigger and more profound question: Who decides which news is fake? Mark Zuckerberg?
To make our society better informed, we have to fight back against the Fear Industry. We can do so by publicly identifying those people who spread misinformation. And then we encourage people to never listen to them again.
To stay in business, media outlets need viewers. So they give readers what they want, which apparently consists largely of pointless political bickering, epic acts of stupidity and naked people.
Sometimes general assignment reporters are asked to cover complex science and health stories, which produces an entirely predictable product: Articles that are nothing more than rehashed press releases, topped with click-bait headlines based on misunderstandings of the original research. And here are some other ways it happens.
2016 was a year to forget. A rough-and-tumble election, partisan rhetoric and "fake news," and the loss of many beloved and talented people -- from Prince to Carrie Fisher -- made this calendar cycle a bit more difficult than most. Surely, 2017 must have something better in store. To ensure that it does, we all must resolve to make it so. And as a science journalist, I can do my part by adopting these four resolutions. I hope other journalists join me.