COMMENTS on mass media's portrayal/coverage of Gen. Engin.?

x92chan3 at gw.wmich.edu x92chan3 at gw.wmich.edu
Thu Nov 11 09:50:04 EST 1993


        I was originally assigned to write a feature on some aspect of
genetic engineering. My research turned up numerous newspaper/
periodical articles and television programs on the subject. I came to
the conclusion that media coverage was somewhat slanted toward the
NEGATIVE aspects of genetic engineering (among them, the creation of
monsters, resurrection of dinosaurs, mass production of humans.) Well,
last night I threw everything out the window and decided to cover an
entirely new angle - the media's portrayal and coverage of genetic
engineering. For this, I will need input from experts in this field.
So I would be most grateful if anyone could reply to all or some of
the following questions:

1) What do you think about the mass media's portrayal and coverage of
genetic engineering?

1) Can you point out instances where the media has been inaccurate or
erroneous about genetic engineering? (Including but not limited to,
misconstrution of facts, reporting suspect research or unproven
theories, or even blatant errors) And why were they inaccurate/
erroneous?

2) What, if any, aspects of genetic engineering has the media left out,
either accidentally or intentionally? i.e. What other aspects/issues
should the general public know about?

3) Genetic engineering/research appears to be a long continuum; at one
end are the people who say that all genetic research should be stopped
(nobody should play god, etc) while at the other end, they say it
should be allowed to continue completely unfettered (with no
regulations or intervention) What is the happy medium? Is there even a
happy medium?

4) What is your opinion on the U.S. supreme court decision to allow
the patenting of lifeforms?

If you reply, I would much appreciate if you could include your name,
position (or alternatively, your qualifications), and if possible, a
short description of your job or any research you have done. PLEASE
NOTE: you should treat this as a personal interview, with the view
that words may be quoted in an article for possible publication. If
you do not agree to this, then do not reply to me.

Regards,
Lee M. Chan



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