October 17, 2019 9:30 pm

Friday, Explore the Relationship Between Science and Journalism

As someone who has a degree in broadcast journalism, it took me longer than I’d expect to realize how similar the method of writing a story is to the scientific method. Maybe I realized it when I started writing for a science podcast…yeah, that makes the most sense. But like the scientific method, a story starts out with an idea. Then you test the strength of that idea by gathering all the facts you can. And once you gather all the facts and analyze the information, you present your findings.

Brandon Royal’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Christiane Amanpour.

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Christiane Amanpour. Credit: Brandon Royal.

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson investigates the intersectionality of science and journalism with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. In-studio, Neil is joined by comic co-host Eugene Mirman and investigative reporter Azmat Khan. Find out how math and science influences Christiane’s approach to reporting. You’ll learn how she relies on order to guide her through a world full of chaos.

Discover more about the relationship between investigative reporters and scientific inquiry. We explore the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and why genuine questioning is different from ideological taunting. Christiane explains why good journalism must always have humanity. She also explains why you must find the facts in any situation.

We ponder if the risks are still the same for journalists as they were 40 years ago. You’ll learn how the current political landscape has taken journalists from being caught in the crossfires of stories to being deliberately targeted and threatened. Azmat tells us how she immerses herself when reporting in dangerous areas in order to be safe and secure. Conflict Journalism Expert Judith Matloff drops in to help us understand how the rise of freelance journalists, mobile and digital communications, and social media are reshaping the journalism world.

We play a game to find out how you can tell when reporting is biased and untrustworthy, and of course, we answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on the science of reporting. Christiane tells us how she convinced a member of the Taliban to sit down for an interview. Lastly, Bill Nye checks in to extoll the importance of journalists. All that, plus Neil caps off the night with an examination of the different truths we find in the world.

Please join us tomorrow night for Science and Journalism, with Christiane Amanpour at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re a StarTalk+ Patron or an All-Access subscriber, you can listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
-Ian Mullen

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