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Science related information in European television: a study of prime-time news

[journal article]

León, Bienvenido

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Abstract According to the few studies carried out on this subject, in spite of its importance and interest for the audience, science has been a marginal topic in television news, and has presented several problems of quality. This article presents the main results of a comparative research on science in European television, focusing on the main prime-time news programs of the leading public and the leading commercial channel, in the five largest countries. A sample of two weeks (2676 stories) was analyzed, with an outcome of 218 science related stories, which were coded (topic, length, explicit news values, contextual information and scientific explanation). Results indicate that the number and airtime of science related stories have increased, compared to a decade ago, but still do not seem to match the interest that citizens declare to have in science. The quality of the information broadcast seems relatively acceptable, although it still needs to be improved in some aspects, for which new formats of news programs would be helpful.
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 443-460
Journal Public Understanding of Science, 17 (2008) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)