The science blogger Joe Hanson has uploaded a video on ‘how to read science news’. I definitely recommend watching it.
His first two points pertain to aspects of journalism that very few people get – print journalists do not choose their headlines or even their bylines. I’d also argue that we scientists ask for press releases because we want to communicate our science, rather than free advertising. And he’s clearly never submitted a paper to some of the conferences I’ve been at, where peer review is more rigorous than some journals I know, but apart from all that it’s still a very interesting watch. Take it as a guide.
And maybe in the future we can cut out the middle man – come to the scientists for your science news. If they’re like me, they might even be blogging about it!