The Science Grapevine: Influence of blog information on the online media coverage of the 2010 arsenic-based life study

Gunver Lystbæk Vestergård

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Informal chatter has always been part of the scientific community, but with the emergence of online blogs these casual debates have become public. Here, I present a case study of how blog information influenced the online news frames during the December 2010 coverage of the arsenic-based life study. The results show how media frames were homogeneous and transformed abruptly from a positive 'Gee Whiz' frame towards a critical frame and lastly to a meta media frame over the course of a few days. From beginning to end, the blogosphere heavily influenced the news content, use of sources and spread of information between news outlets. Such rapid and uncontrollable influence of blogosphere information on online news coverage can be explained theoretically as an example of science grapevine communication.

Original languageDanish
Pages (from-to)626-644
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2016


  • Arsenic-based life
  • framing analysis
  • grapevine communication
  • science blogs
  • science communication
  • science journalism
  • science news

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