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Mainstream media’s coverage of evolution and ID is slowly improving

The New York Times editorial page aside, the coverage of the debate over evolution and intelligent design is improving (see (Sunday’s and Monday’s front page stories). Discovery president Bruce Chapman has an insightful analysis of the weekend’s major coverage by the nation’s paper of record.

Writes Chapman:

“But I think journalistic professionalism trumped bias in both these individuals to some extent as they got to know us. To Jodi Wilgoren’s credit, she made clear, as most reporters will not, that Discovery’s ID program is a research project and that our education program is to teach the evidence for and against Darwin’s theory, not to impose instruction of ID. (We wish the editorial page writers would note this reality the next time they write on the subject.) She even illustrated my frustration with ignorant, if enthusiastic, folk at some local districts, such as Dover, PA, who want to require intelligent design to be announced, at least, in classrooms.”

He has some concerns about the articles as well.

“But the most regrettable offense was describing “most” of our fellows, excepting David Berlinski, as “fundamentalist Christians.” It just isn’t true. Surely, Jodi Wilgoren and her editors know better. “Fundamentalist” refers to someone who is a biblical literalist. We have nothing against such people, but to describe the Discovery fellows that way is ludicrous. … None of the leading lights of the ID movement affiliated with Discovery—among them Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc.– is a fundamentalist.”

In addition to improved coverage at the Times, last week saw an excellent bit of reporting from Michael Powell at the Washington Post on the attacks on Dr. Richard Sternberg’s academic freedoms at the Smithsonian. And, USA Today last week ran an op-ed by Dr. Stephen Meyer and Dr. John Angus Campbell making the case for why it is good for science education to make sure students learn about both the evidence that supports Darwin’s theory as well as that which challenges it. Indeed, inroads are being made with the mainstream media, and slowly they are beginning to improve and balance their reporting.

Robert Crowther, II

Robert Crowther holds a BA in Journalism with an emphasis in public affairs and 20 years experience as a journalist, publisher, and brand marketing and media relations specialist. From 1994-2000 he was the Director of Public and Media Relations for Discovery Institute overseeing most aspects of communications for each of the Institute's major programs. In addition to handling public and media relations he managed the Institute's first three books to press, Justice Matters by Roberta Katz, Speaking of George Gilder edited by Frank Gregorsky, and The End of Money by Richard Rahn.