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The Rise of Web Supremacy in Newspaper Coverage of Science

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskning

  • Gunver Lystbæk Vestergård, Danmark
Quantitative study of science news in Danish national Newspapers 1999 and 2012.

This paper demonstrates how the Internet media has altered newspaper coverage of science in terms of quantity, origin and distribution. Although an overall rise in science coverage is observed, content analysis discloses how original writing is increasingly being replaced by copy-paste-journalism as novel online resources distribute intelligible science press material. This trend is visible in all journalistic fields but more explicit in the source-driven science journalism.

The online abundant availability of science news material has also shifted the balance in distribution. Coverage in broadsheet print newspapers is decreasing whereas online and tabloid newspapers are steadily embracing science news. This transfer causes new target groups who have not been previously reachable to be included in science communication.

The paper includes 693 articles from Danish national newspapers between 1999 and 2012 collected from random weeks. As Danish Internet newspapers only gained popularity after 2000 they were only included in the 2012 sample. All journalistic processed articles with a main focus on any field of science were included.

The methodology follows quantitative studies of Danish news weeks carried out in 1999 and 2008 based on data collection from all Danish news outlets. As in this paper, the coding scheme focused on origin and sources to expose the news food chain. A follow-up study on a complete news week in 2012 is currently underway which will broaden the perspective of this paper’s conclusions.

Previous longitudinal studies of science news coverage have not included Internet media even though the literature speaks of a recent “medialization” of science. Within this debate scholars have perceived the web both as a blessing and a curse. The critical argument is that online services spoon-feed science news to journalists leaving little space for critical science journalism.

The preliminary results from this study confirm how Internet resources (e.g. livescience.com, Videnskab.dk and EurekAlert!) have become an increasing origin of science news on print and online, especially in tabloid newspapers. It is concluded that the availability of lucid science material online has made up for the cutback in science coverage on print and exposed science to social groups predominantly reading Internet and tabloid newspapers.
Udgivelsesår7 maj 2014
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 7 maj 2014
Begivenhed13th International Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference - Salvador, Brasilien
Varighed: 5 maj 20148 maj 2014


Konference13th International Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference

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