A bad day for science reporting in Australia

I just heard the sad news that Leigh Dayton’s job at The Australian has been made redundant. Leigh was one of the last remaining dedicated science writer’s in Australia’s mainstream media. Leigh is an award-winning writer who first got into science by working as a writer and producer on David Suzuki’s radio show in Canada. She has been working as a writer, reporter, producer and presenter for 20 years.

Leigh’s philosophy on writing science stories is “It’s important to write for readers, not scientists. Stories must be engaging, accessible and — critically — must answer a key question: why should I care?”

So does The Australian see no need for a science reporter (indicated by the fact Leigh’s job was made redundant)?

What does it mean for the future of science reporting in Australia?

I’m very interested to hear your thoughts.

2 Comments

  1. Tulio Campos
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Mainstream media is now controlled by huge corporations and influenced by the government. Unfortunately, the primary (and sometimes the only) objective is profit and economic growth. Education is the first area to suffer when a crisis knocks the door, which is the case now. In addition, thinkers don’t consume as much as media zombies. How about education as a profit engine? Follow the money and you will know!

  2. zoe
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    This is really sad to hear. What concerns me most is that if The Australian didn’t see the need for a science writer, what does this say about the readership’s interest in science?

    To echo Tulio’s comment about media zombies – why is it that some widespread, sick fascination with Kim Kardashian et al. keeps d-grade reporters in a job, but Leigh’s relevant and engaging science writing isn’t valued?

    I hope Leigh finds work with a media outlet that is actually dedicated to sharing important news, not generating profit by pandering to lazy writing and pop culture.