US: Top universities launch science news service

Concerned that journalism's economic problems are reducing Americans' understanding of science, medicine and other research, 35 of the nation's top universities - including Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley - last week announced that they will feed their own accounts of discoveries directly to top news sites on the internet, writes Paul Rogers for the Mercury News.

Under the plan, the universities have formed what is essentially their own non-profit wire service, called Futurity, to provide articles to popular websites such as Yahoo News and Google News, along with MySpace and Twitter.

"We've been really concerned. Our preference would be to have the level of coverage of science and research that we enjoyed for decades," said Lisa Lapin, Assistant Vice President for university communications at Stanford. "But the major news organisations haven't had the resources to provide that independent, objective look at what we are doing. It's been declining."
Full report on the Mercury News site