British newspapers privilege health and medicine topics over other science news
Weitkamp, E. print (2003) British newspapers privilege health and medicine topics over other science news. Public Relations Review, 29 (3). pp. 321-333. ISSN 0363-8111
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0363-8111(03)00041-9
This study examines coverage of science, health and medicine in five UK national newspapers: three broadsheets, a mid-sheet and a tabloid. The content analysis is compared with a quantitative survey of members of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW). The study confirms earlier reports that medicine and health topics are privileged over science in newspaper reporting. Unlike studies of medical research news, which have found medical journals to be the main source of news stories, this study found that general science and medical news is drawn from a wide range of sources. Although respondents were generally positive about press materials, targeting and news value were highlighted as areas for improvement. Briefing scientists to use less jargon and training scientists to better understand the needs of journalists were also highlighted by respondents as areas to improve.
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