Infographic: The Best And Worst Science News Sites

Mar 15, 2017

By Alex Berezow

A common question I hear again and again is, “How do I know if a news story is fake?” There is no easy answer1. It helps to be well informed, and it requires a conscious suspension of credulity combined with a gut instinct honed over years of experience.

If journalism as a whole is bad (and it is), science journalism is even worse. Not only is it susceptible to the same sorts of biases that afflict regular journalism, but it is uniquely vulnerable to outrageous sensationalism. Every week, it seems, an everyday food is either going to cure cancer or kill us all.

One thing experience has taught us is that some news outlets are better than others. Some journalists really do care about reporting the news as it is rather than the way they would like it to be. So, in an effort to promote good science news sources while castigating the bad, we teamed up with RealClearScience to create an infographic.

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

13 comments on “Infographic: The Best And Worst Science News Sites

  • I think this is almost entirely as I would place things.

    Huff Po is a disgraceful science dessert with not the least available capacity to understand science and generate interesting articles.

    American Scientist is dull and too often slavishly centerist in its scaredy cat politics, when the evidence clearly points to politically unsettling implications.

    Proud of New Scientist, which I have been reading since I was fourteen and is the other reason I’m a nerd.

    The BBC continues to be diligent and engaging. I’m proud that after the Brexit fiasco it judged that its younger journalists had insufficient understanding of statistics and failed to be definitive enough about the strength of the various positions, tending rather to balance them. Facts and evidence not “balance”. I hope this is being implemented. The Open University partners with the BBC on some programs which I think does lift the rigour somewhat.

    MIT Technology Review worthy, dull material, though improving.

    Opinion, too often, compromises the Guardian.

    Fox News….respec! Mostly empty but beating Huff Po

    npr, deeply shaming given its essential role of an accessible impartial voice.

    Daily Mail, Newspaper of the Year, I kid you not!…Arsewipe of the Year. (I used to move with the Times.)

    American newspapers are pretty shabby.

    Love The Atlantic. Its exciting, engaging content. Always worth following the link

    I think this shows that Huff Po and npr and plenty of others could really use content sourced from universities, to their mutual benefit and ours.

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  • I see National Geographic etc. are listed, but there are many membership-subscription specialist science publications with smaller circulations – some of which are available via news agents or mail order!

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  • Australian Shiraz? Yep, just as it must be a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

    As a technologist there are many trade papers, some rather good, with good science . Compound Semiconductor, Electro-Optics, Power Conversion & Intelligent Motion, but my favourite was Plastics and Rubber Weekly. (I used to claim it was for the crossword, but really it was for the pullout leisure section…

    I would though feel quite a sad bastard reading these things. What if it were a copy of Brown Conformal Coating International (Chocolate enrobement and beyond)?

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  • I understand it’s Shiraz only in Australia and in all other countries the same grape is known as Syrah, hence Australian Scientist (though I could very well be wrong on this point). But yes, NZ does makes a mean sauv blanc.

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  • If journalism as a whole is bad (and it is) …

    Speaking of which, I hope all British visitors to this site are backing Media Matters’ campaign regarding 20C Fox and contacting the Secretary of State.

    Apologies to all non-Brits, normal service will now resume.

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  • Stephen #7

    ?? I google and fail. Did you mean Fox News? Not the GCHQ thing?

    Steven 007

    Well you set a challenge and I took it up. At my three local pubs I bought, South African, Chilean and Argentinian “Shiraz”. I suppose I could have googled it, but as you can see that’s not been working out for me.

    “Shiraz” is a great re-branding exercise, with even California jumping on Australia’s bandwagon, though the grape absolutely works best in Australia. The Omar Khayyam type association makes it perfect for Atheists.

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  • @phil (#8)

    Indeed you’re right and I should have known, at least with South Africa (they make a mean Shiraz). Doing my own quick research however I noted the following from the wiki:

    It is called Syrah in its country of origin, France, as well as in the
    rest of Europe, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, New Zealand and South
    Africa.[citation needed] The name Shiraz became popular for this grape
    variety in Australia, where it has long been established as the most
    grown dark-skinned variety.

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  • Fiddy

    Trump’s cutbacks are going to seriously hit the ChemTrail program, that’s for sure. Cutting back on the mass Lithium project in particular

    is just going to allow the mass psychoses of the electorate after that LSD fiasco to let rip and make sure it is a landslide for him next time next time.

    Nah, chemtrails, clearly bunk. Its alien lizards…and the water.

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