chapter  9
Media representations of psychology: denigration and popularization, or worthy dissemination of knowledge?
ByJane Ussher
Pages 15

Consorting with the media should carry a government health warning. Any academic who embarks upon the media circus is treading a perilous tightrope. On the one hand, the media men (sic)—initially flattering, almost seductive, but ultimately scathing and dismissive, desirous of expertise to fill column inches, to fill radio or TV minutes, whilst ultimately despising and deriding. On the other, learned colleagues-questioning the very notion of ‘media simplification’, ever ready to give examples of the (ex) colleague who had a ‘worthy’ research record, but spoilt it all (and any chance of the elusive professorial chair) through the cheap peddling of mass-market knowledge, selling their discipline for a handful of silver. To be described as a ‘media psychologist’ is one of the lowest forms of insult Sexy simplification may sell newspapers or spice up an otherwise dull Radio 4 documentary, but it is the death knell for a serious academic career. And quite right too we might say-or is it?