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British newspapers priviledge health and medicine topics over other science news

Weitkamp, Emma


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Emma Weitkamp
Professor of Science Communication


This study examines coverage of science, health and medicine in five UK national newspapers: three broadsheets, a mid-sheet and a tabloid. The content analysis is compared with a quantitative survey of members of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW). The study confirms earlier reports that medicine and health topics are privileged over science in newspaper reporting. Unlike studies of medical research news, which have found medical journals to be the main source of news stories, this study found that general science and medical news is drawn from a wide range of sources. Although respondents were generally positive about press materials, targeting and news value were highlighted as areas for improvement. Briefing scientists to use less jargon and training scientists to better understand the needs of journalists were also highlighted by respondents as areas to improve. © 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Weitkamp, E. (2003). British newspapers priviledge health and medicine topics over other science news. Public Relations Review, 29(3), 321-333.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2003
Journal Public Relations Review
Print ISSN 0363-8111
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 3
Pages 321-333
Keywords public relations, science, media, journalism, science writer
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