Fluffing the science

Bora Zivkovic on a heavily-trod topic (“Why is some coverage of scientific news in the media very poor?”) describes some of his work sifting through press coverage of PLoS papers. It’s been a while since I linked a good blogging navel-gazing post, and Bora has some interesting ideas as usual. A sample:

So, a brief article contains a lot of unnecessary stuff [Bora mentions "journalism tricks" like human interest, lede, inverted pyramid], while it leaves out the most important pieces: the details of methodology and the context. Those most important pieces are also most interesting, even to a lay reader - they situate the new study into a bigger whole and will often prompt the reader to search for more information (for which links would be really useful).

I wouldn’t go so far as to generalize. Good writing is hard to find.