Thursday, 17 September 2009

Email to BBC News Education Re: Tech Addiction "Harms Learning"

Dear BBC

I was disappointed when I read
this article as I
could immediately see that the research was likely not to be of good quality.
But I was more concerned that you had managed to construct a sensationalist
title to go along with it. A cross-sectional study could never establish the
kind of causative relationship that your title infers.

I paid $24.99 to download the full report and my suspicions of poor
standards in research were supported. Did the author of this article actually
read the report or simply base their story on a press release from Cranfield

Since this report is not freely available to the public, I think that the
BBC, a publicly funded body, has an even greater onus to ensue high
quality reporting of such 'research'.

Here is my

Yours faithfully,

Anne Marie Cunningham


So how do we go about starting a campaign for decent science journalism on the BBC?


  1. Honestly? Try to get @bengoldacre on it.

    You might also try to cheekily claim the $25 back from the BBC, since their erroneous reporting caused you to incur this cost.

    You may not get the money.

  2. It's a shame that a pedantic blogger has to part with $25 to make clear that the BBC's story was flaky to say the least. I suspect that the lazy journo in question did exactly as you said and relied on the PR that promoted the article. Not good enough BBC. Must try harder!

  3. Above all we rely on the BBC to give us quality reporting and broadcasting especially since you are a license payer!

    I truly am behind the idea that you write to the BBC and make it known that you wish your money to be refunded.


I am reintroducing word verification to cut back on spam posts. I'm sorry if you find it frustrating,