Morris Jones, Ph.D., has qualifications in science and journalism. He has worked as a freelance journalist and advisor on scientific matters to the media for more than two decades. Dr. Jones is the author of five books on space exploration: Out of This World, The Adventure of Mars, The New Moon Race, When Men Walked on the Moon, and the children’s book Is There Life Beyond Earth? He has written more than 100 articles for the popular media on spaceflight. In addition to his interests in astrobiology and SETI, Dr. Jones is also known for his investigations into the Chinese astronaut program and spaceflight activity in Asia. He has appeared in broadcast sources such as Voice of America, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera (English), ABC Australia, Sky News Australia, CCTV China, Radio Television Hong Kong, and Phoenix TV Hong Kong.
The selection of content for SETI-related communications (sometimes known as CETI, for Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence) in deep space has been orchestrated largely by scientists and other academics. But human civilization largely chronicles its own activities through journalism and the mass media. The potential contributions of a journalistic perspective to SETI-related message composition are generally ignored. This paper examines how criteria of perception and reportage practiced by journalism could influence SETI-related communications.