The bad, avoidable and useless forms of journalism

Bad journalism: A Hindustan Times report on March 2 claims a high-schooler from West Bengal won a “prestigious” scholarship sponsored by NASA to study at Oxford University, having been selected on the back of a theory she had developed on blackholes. The piece was one-sided.

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Avoidable journalism: The report – one among a dozen others, all on the same lines – turned out to have many holes. One of the first giveaways as usual was the language used to describe the science. Huffington Post India was (among) the first to publish NASA’s clarification, that such a scholarship as the student had claimed didn’t exist. I wrote about it in The Wire.

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Useless journalism: On March 4, Hindustan Times reported that the high-schooler’s claims were a hoax, writing “her claims [had] been widely published in the Indian media, including [on] TV channels and reality shows.” It conveniently overlooked that Hindustan Times itself had published the report as well. So, what should’ve been a retraction ended up being another article – as if its March 2 report had been a bit of news.

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About Me

I’m a science editor and writer in India, interested in high-energy and condensed-matter physics, research misconduct, pseudoscience, science’s relationship with society, epic fantasy, open source/access/knowledge systems, H.R. Giger’s art, Goundamani’s comedy, Factorio, and most things that require a lot of time to get the hang of.