Saturday, September 12, 2009

What happened to science in the papers?

On a recent scan of my local paper, the Oregonian, I attempted in vain to find the "science" section of the paper. I found to my chagrin that while Business, Education, the environment, politics and weather were well represented I was hard pressed to find a science heading. Where to go from here? I looked under 'more news' figuring that was perhaps where I might find the science section I remember from childhood. No luck there either. It comes close however, represented in this section is the associated press technology section as well as the associated press health section and even a heading for the obituaries. Nothing however to lead a reader to the general science area. How is a science minded person like myself to come across what I thought would be a common area of interest? No hints from the Oregonian website that is certain. I did a search for 'science news' figuring that would bring up something. I didn't get a single hit. Curious now I went to USA Today's website figuring perhaps the Oregonian was too small. After all it is only a statewide paper while the USA Today is a national broadsheet.

Finally, after digging in the site map I find the Science and Space news section. As grateful as I am for this I wonder about the Oregonian. Is my local newspaper doing so poorly that the only science based news they can provide is a reader forum? Even the news on health is done by the associated press, not my local paper. Where are all of the Oregonian science writers? I find myself curious. Surely all of Oregon's science news can't be found under the headings of Technology or Health. What about the news of the NASA Shuttle landing? Or the rocket tests in Utah? Unless you already knew about these news items you have little chance of finding these on the Oregonian website.

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