Dr. Lawrence Krauss recently delivered an excellent lecture at the American Enterprise Institute about scientific literacy.
In the lecture, Krauss addressed the fact that journalism has an inherent tension built into it that makes it very difficult to cover science. Journalists are trained to look for two sides to every issue, and they can usually find a PhD who is willing to support any sort of nonsense. For the journalist, this approach leads to the appearance of controversy and a more compelling story. Unfortunately, journalists have difficulty accepting that, in most disagreements concerning science, one side is just plain wrong. Krauss identifies this difference between science and other intellectual endeavors as a crucial distinction that allows for scientific progress.
You can watch the lecture at the C-SPAN website.