Journalistic priorities

I was talking to a journalist today concerning a volcano study; at one point he said, and I paraphrase only slightly, “Oh no – a ‘good news’ story! I can’t use that! We journalists are only interested when people are getting covered in lava.”

So if the news seems unremittingly gloomy, now you know why.


I gave a talk at the Festival of Science in Birmingham last week, largely reporting on the new Archive of Historical Earthquake Data (AHEAD) as a resource for studying past earthquakes. One of the relevances is that an earthquake that has occurred once (or twice) in the historical record can reasonably be expected to recur [...]