Re: Public Relations (and telomeres)

Damien Broderick (
Thu, 15 Jan 1998 09:58:08 +0000

At 11:39 AM 1/14/98 -0500, Brian Atkins wrote:

>Also we should keep working on our local media to cover these
>issues better. Here in Atlanta today the local major paper
>buried the telomerase story way back in D6! Personally I
>think it should have been front page news (which they did
>with cloning BTW) and I dropped them a note to say so.

Here in Melbourne, Australia, it gets a small box this morning at the
bottom of the front page of The Age, one of the nation's major metropolitan
newspapers. (The op-ed page has two contrasting pieces on the vileness vs
the worth of cloning human cells.)

The telomere story featured on the news of the two non-commercial TV
channels last night, but in about fourth or five place, following stories
about drug testing of swimmers, the funeral of a murdered baby, and other
earth-shaking stuff. Still, this was quite good by usual standards.
Hi-tech science breakthroughs and space events normally get the closing
slot, after the weather and financial details, usually with a quizzical
smile from the announcer (`What *will* those amusing and irrelevant nerds
get up to next?').

What did *I* do about it? I e-rushed The Age a 900 word story [freelance
submission] called `The last mortal generation', culled from material on
telomeres in THE SPIKE and using the hottest info I could find on the Web
(and thanks to everyone who posted the news here on this list). It will be
interesting to see if they run the story tomorrow or Saturday. Go thou and
do likewise if thou hast the verbal prowess.

Damien Broderick