The media coverage of ‘moon man’ Ken Ring’s theories has been given the dubious honour of the Bent Spoon, the NZ Skeptics Society’s award for poor journalism.
Ken Ring’s theories that earthquakes could be predicted by lunar patterns, while completely unscientific, attracted a great deal of media attention.
Skeptics NZ media commentator Vicki Hyde said, “We believe that it is the business of the professional media to ask pertinent questions on behalf of the public when presenting material as factual,”
“Many, many media outlets and journalists failed the basic standards of their profession…they did us all a disservice.”
Regarding the moon man media circus, several news personalities were singled out by the society including: Mark Sainsbury (Close Up), John Campbell (Campbell Live), Marcus Lush (Radio Live), Chloe Johnson (Herald on Sunday) and Brian Edwards (Media Blog).
The Skeptics also commended several journalists for critical thinking with ‘Bravo’ awards. Bravos went to Janna Sherman (Greymouth Star) for critical coverage of Ken Ring and to Philip Matthews (Marlborough Express) for being direct about the science on 1080 poison.
You can read more about the Bent Spoon award – and it’s recipients – in the Skeptics NZ press release.
The award also received some coverage in the New Zealand Herald (Ken Ring coverage wins Skeptics’ Bent Spoon award) and Otago Daily Times (Award for gullible media over ‘Moon Man’) and was highlighted SciBlogger and SMC manager Peter Griffin (Bent spoons galore for coverage of “charlatan” Ring).