My quotes

Appeared on the Bill and Wendy Show on WGN Radio on November 9th, 2017 to talk about weaponized mosquitoes.

In Digital News Project 2017, in February, on Quartz’s approach to news:

At a seminar at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Quartz reporter Akshat Rathi said the service has three guiding principles: ‘provide global business news, respect readers’ time and go where the readers are’

On the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, on November 7th 2016, on Quartz’s mobile-first approach:

Quartz was launched in 2012 with a clear strategy: to do business news with a mobile-first approach. Quartz says “mobile is king”. Quartz also sets their quality standards high: it wants to be “The Economist of the 21st century”, says Akshat Rathi, a London-based reporter for Quartz.

Rathi said Quartz has three principles: provide global business news, respect readers’ time and go where the readers are.

As Rathi said “force yourself to keep it short”. All the stories Quartz publishes are of course not short, as there are variations. The shortest stories are “things” which are sometimes only about a photo, a chart, or a surprising fact. The longer stories are features which tell “everything a reader must know” about a particular subject.

In The Watchers, on February 19th 2014, on energy efficiency of nuclear fusion.

During the process of fusion, writes Dr. Akshat Rathi, “smaller atoms fuse into larger ones, releasing huge amounts of energy.” In order to recreate this process on Earth, “scientists have to create conditions similar to those at the center of the Sun, which involves creating very high pressures and temperatures.”

Rathi notes that preparing for a typical fusion reaction takes weeks, but the reaction itself is completed in less than one-billionth of a second. In that mere moment, he says, at the core of the reaction, the pressure is 150 billion times atmospheric pressure. “The density and temperature of the plasma created is nearly three times that at the center of the Sun,” he writes.

Researchers have been attempting to develop nuclear fusion for more than half a century, but with little success. And although the National Ignition Facility was built to conduct classified government research, half of the institution’s laser time was devoted to fusion, with the goal of accelerating research, Rathi says.

In Washington Post, on February 13th 2014, on Indian women’s workforce participation.

India’s rise is being held back. Akshat Rathi, writing at Quartz, is not the first person to make this case, but he makes it well. “To a certain extent, men control women’s lives. And women have internalised this as the norm,” Preet Rustagi, joint director of Institute for Human Development in Delhi, tells Rathi. “In such situations, the little work they do is the result of compulsion, such as when the household income is not enough, rather than choice.”

In Crikey, on October 31st 2013, on how science journalists can be critical and why critical thinking is not just a science journalism problem.

Given the proliferation of pseudo-scientific websites catering to every possible conspiracy or “alternative” theory on the web, it’s easy to dismiss this desire to provoke debate and investigation as irresponsible. Dr Akshat Rathi, science and technology editor for The Conversation’s UK branch, suggests that while accuracy in science reporting is important, it’s difficult to achieve perfection within a deadline.

“While covering any piece of research, a journalist should strive to run the results of a study past one (or preferably two) independent experts in the field. A journalist should be even more critical if the science being reported is controversial, “paradigm-changing” or has direct/immediate relevance to the public [health/environment].”

Ultimately, as Rathi suggests, “the problem … is not just a science journalism problem. It’s a human problem. We aren’t wired to think critically. We need to intentionally rewire ourselves to live in the complex world we’ve created for ourselves.”

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