If you regularly do a Twitter search for the words "science journalism," like I do, you'll be amazed, amused and sometimes shocked by the amount of bashing science journalism takes in the Twittersphere. It shows that not all science journalism is created equal, and it's a sign of the times, really: Not all journalists who write about science are actually science journalists. They're general journalists who were -- willingly or out of necessity -- given a science story to cover that day.
Newsrooms are under pressure. Revenues are down, budgets are being cut, and journalists are losing their jobs. Sadly, it's often the specialists whose jobs get axed, which is a bit puzzling. It's with specialized content, not with general news, that magazines and newspapers can compete for niche dominance. Yet in the face of cuts, some media resort to churnalism, where press releases from the ever-expanding PR departments of universities and research institutions are published unchecked. Others make the journalists who are left behind pick up the beats -- beats they've never specialized in before.