Science Reporters and Their Editors Judge "Sensationalism"

Glynn, Carroll J.
March 1985
Newspaper Research Journal;Spring1985, Vol. 6 Issue 3, p69
Academic Journal
The article focuses on science reporters and their editors judge sensationalism. The research concerning news coverage of science issues consistently indicates that scientists expect reporters to write news objectively and to provide readers with fair and accurate coverage of essential information. The journalists assigned to cover science issues may have backgrounds in science, government or simply general assignment reporting. Such diverse orientations can foster a compartmentalized rather than a comprehensive approach to coverage of science issues. According to the author science reporters must also overcome political and economic pressures that accompany certain disputes, the biases of public agencies and private experts as sources, and their own biases. Yet, they are still expected to write news objectively. The public, and particularly scientists, often criticize mass media for inaccuracies in reporting scientific issues. One of the main problems cited by these critics is the tendency for reporters to "sensationalize."


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