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"Our audience are not scientists, and the show needs to be more lively than a dry scientific discussion,' a spokesman for the show, Tim Sullivan, said in a statement."
Apparently Tim hasn't witnessed one of the oral peer reviews that are at the core of professional science.
This quote exemplifies the assumption held by some media decision-makers that can be summed up as "people aren't curious".
The interactions that I've had with the public well outside of my professional circles overwhelmingly indicate this this assumption to is false. People generally light up and have lots of questions when I tell them that I'm a career scientist. Even the little moments of inquiry I create in conversation with lay-people (recent topic, at 11pm with the supermarket checkout clerk: do you suppose my loyalty card number is beamed to a satellite in space as part of the validation process?) generate a very positive response indicating THE PUBLIC IS CURIOUS.
So, by taking action based on this assumption and making the experience more "lively", Tim isn't necessarily serving the best interests of his show. Granted, people will respond to spectacle and sensation -- that's simply our human nature. But Dr. Oz is not a lurid show. It's a show for disseminating health information. The viewers are here voluntarily because THE PUBLIC WANTS TO LEARN.
As a member of these new, social media I'm proactively seizing my role as a reporter and I AM REPORTING this attitude amongst our peers in the media at large to be counter-productive to our mission.
Our actions should be aimed at increasing the level of engagement between the public and the scientific community. Interests are aligned, and we have several motivations to take this line of action
First, it serves the consumer. Consumers have indicated demand for this type of service. Offering it increases the quality of service.
Second, it serves the investor. This service will lead to higher engagement with the consumer, leading to more, sustainable revenue. Learning is a self-reinforcing, positive behavior.
Third, it serves the brand. Any media outlet that offering this service creates a highly-promotable, unique selling proposition (especially in the current market with so few options).
Finally, it serves the public. This point could be collapsed into the first or third, but a distinction is warranted because of the importance of this point. In addition to the creation of content for public consumption we, the media, also create the environment in which those communications can occur. It's in everyone's interest that we maintain and develop the spaces and conduits through which our content flows.
If you're in agreement with my post, please help me to influence the public discourse by clicking "Share". Let's make this go viral and create a win for everyone. Thank you.http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/19/health/la-he-raspberry-ketone-20120519