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Science Journalism

Holger Wormer

Subject Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies
Media Production and Content » Journalism

Key-Topics science

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


In a classic sense science journalism deals with results, institutions, and processes in science, technology, and medicine. Its main occasions have been publications in journals, lectures at conferences, and prizes (such as the Nobel Prize). Science reporting is not necessarily prompted by the science system. The occasion may also arise from interesting phenomena in daily life or from general news (such as the scientific explanations behind a tsunami). Under this broader definition, many journalists working outside the science sections of the media do not recognize that they do science journalism when reporting on health, environment, or consumer affairs ( Russ-Mohl 1987 ). Research results from the social sciences and humanities fit less in the category of science journalism, because those disciplines have places in other sections of the media (such as the feuilleton , culture, or political section). For many authors this separation also mirrors the notion of two cultures , the scientific on one side, the literary on the other ( Snow 1964 ). Compared to other forms of journalism, science journalism is a relatively new ( Friedman et al. 1986 ) or “delayed” addition to the news ( Hömberg 1990 ). Even in industrial countries, it emerged in several waves in the second half of the twentieth century especially. Technical developments and medical problems during the world wars were ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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