In the vein of Jon Henke’s “The Ultimate Metablog” with the satire of a good Monty Python skit (is there any other kind?), Martin Robbins lays out the definitive article for how scientific journalism is constructed. Here’s the heading:
This is a news website article about a scientific paper
In the standfirst I will make a fairly obvious pun about the subject matter before posing an inane question I have no intention of really answering: is this an important scientific finding?
My favorite bits:
In this paragraph I will state in which journal the research will be published. I won’t provide a link because either a) the concept of adding links to web pages is alien to the editors, b) I can’t be bothered, or c) the journal inexplicably set the embargo on the press release to expire before the paper was actually published.
This fragment will be put on its own line for no obvious reason.
This paragraph contained useful information or context, but was removed by the sub-editor to keep the article within an arbitrary word limit in case the internet runs out of space.
Be sure to read the comments as well, where most everyone plays along with the theme. But beware of the related links … you may be taken to a place you never, ever want to be.
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