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Perpetual Journalism - CERN in the news

  1. Mar 31, 2010 #1
    Dateline March 31, 2010
    Once again, the popular press serves up a pig's breakfast:

    From Reuters:

    CERN goes back to the beginning [headline]
    Physicists smashed subatomic particles into each other with record energy yesterday, creating thousands of mini-Big Bangs like the primeval explosion that gave birth to the universe 13.7 billion years ago. [italics mine] CERN scientists say colorful images reflect what happened a fraction of a second after the Big Bang as matter and energy was spewed out, [italics mine again] leading to the formation of galaxies stars and planets, and eventually the appearance of life.


    However my hometown paper, the New York Post did me proud as usual. The headline on the relevant article [byline Alexander Higgins] therein declared:

    Big Bang machine fires & WORLD DOESN'T END!

    The article that followed was actually fairly accurate, descriptive and sober.
    No mention of the event on 'Page Six'.

    respectfully submitted,
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2010 #2
    I do not quite get why you are so proud. There is nothing much wrong with Reuters' quotation, except that they report "Big Bang machine" which is also what your newspaper report. This is not very accurate, and I keep thinking "what are we going to tell the press when we have a higher energy machine ?". At LHC, we probe the electroweak breaking, which happens to be early in the Universe. But there is earlier, and the point is not "to go early", the point is precisely "to investigate the electroweak breaking". From this point of view, both papers are "poor", but I do not blame them, since they did not come up with the idea on their own : CERN basically began this "Big Bang machine" advertising.

    Anyway, I am much more upset by a paper titling "the world does not end". First, this is obviously no news, second there was never any doubt before turning the machine on. If you are a journalist, you do not even need to pick up your phone, you can just check out the published, very pedagogical answers. From this point of view, this is not poor, this is bad.

    Maybe you can elaborate why your newspaper is better than Reuters ?
  4. Mar 31, 2010 #3
    Perhaps the reference is a bit too local..... The New York Post is somewhat known for their snarky and a bit sarcastic headlines, often broadcast at high volume. (Remember HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR ?) I think that this was a case of them having a little bit of self referential fun at the expense of the doomsday set, whom they often hold up to a bit of ridicule.... especially given the fairly straightforward article that followed.

    My objection to the Reuters piece was it's perpetuation of the popular inaccuracy that the Big Bang a) was a cosmogenic model, and b) expressed it as an explosion of mass and energy into space.


  5. Mar 31, 2010 #4
    I thought it was funny. With all the scares of "the world will end!!!!!!212387918274"
  6. Mar 31, 2010 #5
    Thanks for the clarification diogenesNY.
  7. Mar 31, 2010 #6


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    Anytime the media reports the world doesn't end it's obviously being sarcastic. We all know the world did end
  8. Mar 31, 2010 #7
    It does not help when Michio Kaku calls it a "Genesis machine."

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iFngOTfNSw21ce_26N1EzfTAXwRQD9EP74HO0 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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