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The media and public opinion on genetics and biotechnology: mirrors, windows, or walls?

[journal article]

Eyck, Toby A. Ten

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Abstract Arguments regarding the relationship between media discourse and public opinion have raged for decades, if not centuries. Comparing media coverage of biotechnology between 1992 and 2001 in two national newspapers with national survey data collected in early 2003, an argument is made that a general one-dimensional media effect is not occurring within the US public regarding media discourse. Given the multivalent characteristics of the media and the interpretive filters used by audiences—including ignoring information—even strong slants by the presumed opinion-leading press (the New York Times and the Washington Post) do not predict public opinion on a nascent issue such as biotechnology. While some reflections do appear between the media and public opinion, closer observations show these mirrors to be ephemeral.
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 305-316
Journal Public Understanding of Science, 14 (2005) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)