Bora Zivkovic, a native of Serbia, settled in Raleigh in 1991. He received a master’s in zoology at N.C. State, and in 2006 started “A Blog Around the Clock” ( http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/a-blog-around-the-clock), which covers science, politics, the biology of sleep and social media. Zivkovic, who now lives in Pittsboro, is also blog editor at Scientific American. Follow him on Twitter @boraz.
Q: When and why did you first start blogging?
I started during the 2003 Democratic primaries on John Edwards’ campaign blog. I was fascinated by the political process, and being from Yugoslavia I provided a different perspective and new angle. I was an outsider looking in. I eventually started three different blogs, which I finally fused into one, A Blog Around the Clock.
It’s a very eclectic blog and difficult to categorize because it covers so much.
Q: What topics are you currently blogging about?
Like every writer, I have changing interests. At first I blogged about politics, and then circadian rhythms and sleep. Sometimes I review scientific literature and research, and the way it’s presented in the media.
These days I write a lot about the changing media environment, journalism, science writing and social media – what I call new media ecosystems.
Q: How has blogging changed the way science is communicated?
It has given a voice to more experts.
They can translate the jargon to normal English language with an accuracy that old-style journalists cannot do without a lot of research and interviews.
Q: Are there any drawbacks to all the new media ecosystems?
It’s a great time for science journalism – but not science journalists, because there are so many of them. There’s a bigger competition for a smaller number of jobs. So doing it professionally is becoming a lot harder.
It’s also harder to be a good generalist. People are looking for a specific expertise.
Generalists are becoming rare because very few people are capable of providing good coverage of a wide range of topics, from astronomy to zoology and everything in between.
It’s a tall order.
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