Science Journalists Online: Shifting Roles and Emerging Practices
Science journalists in the US and UK face unique pressures adapting to the social and participatory nature of online news, to economic conditions that force them to fill a diversity of roles in the newsroom, and to the many hats they must wear if they are to survive as freelancers.
As a consequence, science journalists in writing for online media have shifted away from their traditional role as privileged conveyors of scientific findings to a diversity of roles as curators, conveners, public intellectuals and civic educators, roles that are underwritten by the essential skills of criticism, synthesis and analysis.
These online science journalists have a more collaborative relationship with their audiences and sources and are generally adopting a more critical and interpretative stance towards the scientific community, industry, and policy-oriented organizations.
Those are just a few of the key conclusions from a new peer-reviewed study published this month at Journalism: Theory, Criticism and Practice. Co-authored with my American University colleague Declan Fahy, we based our analysis on a systematic review of recent studies and reports and on interviews that we conducted with nationally prominent science journalists and writers in the US and UK.
Fahy writes about the study in an article appearing later this morning at the Columbia Journalism Review. In a blog post at the Climate Shift Project web site, l discuss how we conducted our research and summarize key findings and conclusions. A PDF of the study is also available at the site.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
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Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
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- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.
- The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
- Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
- As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
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