I have to thank Seed Media Group. In the month or so since Pepsipocalypse fractured the ScienceBlogs network, there has been a surge of writing on science blogging and science journalism (much of it by Bora Zivkovic, but also quite a lot in in other venues, such as here, here, here, and infamously here). Science writing continues to diversify, with some networks (such as this one) being “bottom up”, independent, and non-commercial, and others (such as Discover and ScienceBlogs) being tied to traditional media, or at least traditional media models. Discover has used this well, concentrating on supporting a small stable of excellent writers, while others have attracted a diverse group of scientists, writers, and others who simply enjoy writing about science.
I (and others) have complained about the spotty quality of mainstream science journalism, but the real picture is, of course, more complex. There are many traditional journalists who recognize the potential synergy between science journalists and bloggers, and who are looking to improve both sorts of media. There are some data that support the idea that when scientists blog about science, they use a more diverse set of sources. Rarely will the usual suspects in science blogging simply re-hash a press release, something all to common in science journalism (although many science journos are bravely fighting this trend of endumbificaiton).
The fracture of ScienceBlogs has helped to both focus and diversify the discussion of how to best write about science. This is not a bad thing.