And I think only a small fraction of the public are even interested. Findings have to compete in the media with wars, bad behaviour by movie stars and star athletes, and all that stuff.

The above is true. I get Discover magazine and it is chock full of information but you just don't hear about some things on the news anymore. I recall clipping and saving articles about breaking the sound barrier, astronomy, etc in the paper. Now you don't see anything like that nor on the news. Like you, we have to go out of our way by subscribing either to magazines or email updates for information. I am glad we are curious researchers.