Mapping Media Responses to Research

My research is drawing to a close just in time for classes to start. My advisor, Professor Linneman, is helping me to formalize and flesh out a brief paper that I’ve written about my findings. In it, I describe the types of coverage that I found most commonly, which include
[Read more…]

“Why silent types get the girl”: Misadventures in Science Journalism

Progress on my case studies was much slower than I anticipated. I ended up spending about 3-4 hours on each of the twelve cases over the past six weeks. My methods consisted of reading and taking notes on each study to ensure that I understood the research thoroughly. After this, I would perform several Google searches to seek out related articles and videos, altering my search terms each time. I took notes on about 30 articles per case.

It quickly became frustrating.

[Read more…]

First Venture into the World of Science Journalism

As my intention this summer is to examine how scientific research is presented in media, I decided to start by researching science journalism. I purchased several books to better understand the relationship between scientists and journalists. I read three books: Taking Science to the People, A Scientist’s Guide to Talking with the Media, and A Field Guide for Science Writers. It was interesting to read the advice these books contain, but it was especially fascinating to detect how the attitudes of scientists and journalists weren’t always in sync.

[Read more…]

Case Studies of Media Responses to Research: Abstract

This summer I intend to examine how scientific studies are treated in various news outlets and other forms of media. If people are casual observers of news about scientific research, it seems that most of what they will learn will be sensationalized or in the form of sound bites. Scientific inquiry does tend to be full of intricate details and highly specific language, so summarizing original studies and presenting them for consumption by wider audiences is important. But being overly simplistic in secondary sources can fail to convey the truth of, or at worst, completely misrepresent the researcher’s original findings. By becoming familiar with the original methods and findings of different research projects, I will then be able to compare the truth of the studies with what is being presented in mainstream sources. After comparing original sources to articles, blog posts, and other secondary sources, I will reach out to the researchers themselves and ask them about their experience with the media.

[Read more…]