It frustrates me, too. What I'm curious about is how much of it is due to a general apathy and lack of interest in science among the populace, and how much of that apathy is inherent versus how much has been trained or ingrained through years of biased coverage choices among editors and publishers. What is the nature and nurture of the general lack of interest?
That would would be an interesting study to do. I think that the training or ingraining of it over the years is the biggest cause. I think lack of interest would play a smaller part. But that is my opinion. From what I've seen, most people I know are interested in genuine science, they just do not know where to go for reliable science news or cannot find reliable science news wrote in laymen terms.
This kind of media coverage, with Science and pseudoscience sharing the same space does, in the minds of the undiscerning, grant pseudoscience an equal status to actual Science.
Exactly! By seeing the two side by side all the time, they think that both are equal. I think that is why some of the crackpot theories (AAH, Flat Earth, Atlantis, etc) still persist so strongly.
One thing that I find particularly frustrating is the lack of interest for Science among the general public - there is a kind of 'catch 22' situation going on, because the ability to fully appreciate the beauty and wonder of Nature, requires a certain level of education, but in order to invest time and effort in that education the public understandably ask for a reason/motivation first.
I agree that a lack of education is a major contributor to the lack of interest for science. However, I think if there were more reliable sources of good science news that had everything explained in laymen terms, then I think we would see an increase in interest. In ways this has started to happen, ie: the Facebook page and website I Fucking Love Science has 18 million fans, whether you love or hate this page is besides the point. It provides bite sized bits of mostly scientific news wrote in ways that everyone can comprehend. The rate at which IFLS has grown shows that people are still interested in science, they just want it convenient and easy to read/watch.
Now there is a movement in the US (and other parts of the world but the US is the worst I think) that is very anti-science, led by Christian fundamentalists, otherwise known as Creationists. They not only encourage the lack of interest in science but the condemnation of it. This is the really worrisome group for me, seeing as how they seem to be increasing in numbers.