Skip to main content

Maryland Journalism Professor Faults ABC News and "Loose Nukes"

The bad reviews keep coming for "Loose Nukes" and ABC News. Here's what a journalism professor from the University of Maryland had to tell their campus paper, The Diamondback:
University journalism professor Chris Hanson viewed the report yesterday and discussed it with his graduate journalism ethics class.

He said he would not have trusted reporters with a graduate student’s level of experience to gather the footage by themselves, and that the network should ideally have sent a nuclear expert and news producer to the reactor sites with the students.

“I think they should have had the experts on security do more than just look at the tape,” Hanson said. “I’d like to feel more comfortable that the information was accurate ... You don’t know whether the footage shows what they say it shows. I think the problem is more of a general one — do we know the researchers know enough?”
Sounds a lot like the sort of points we've been making for more than a few weeks now.

POSTSCRIPT: Later in the article, the author, Maryland student Kate Campbell, had an interesting exchange with Jeffrey Schneider, Vice President of Public Relations at ABC:
Jacques Gansler, vice president for research at this university, said the report failed to highlight the multi-layered security system the school employs to protect the reactor, including several locked and alarmed doors, thick concrete and a surveillance camera monitored constantly by University Police.

When asked why the ABC report did not mention Maryland’s security measures, Schneider said, “It seems you’ve had a lot of time to talk to a lot of people who have a vested interest in this.”
I bet. Too bad ABC News didn't bother to give those people a real say in their report.

For other stories from The Diamondback, click here and here. Thanks to Joseph Talnagi from Ohio State for a pointer to the info.

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Comments

Solomon2 said…
I bet that's the same Jacques Gansler who used to be Undersecretary of Defense for Research at the Pentagon. He authored the book "The Defense Industry" in the early 80s. Do we put our trust in him, or in ABC?

Popular posts from this blog

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…