Science accounts for only 1% of news in Basque newspapers

2004/07/05 Roa Zubia, Guillermo - Elhuyar Zientzia | Kortabitarte Egiguren, Irati - Elhuyar Zientzia

According to a study by the Elhuyar Foundation, the scientific news published in the newspapers Gara, Berria, El Diario Vasco, Deia and El Correo Español received between November 2003 and April 2004 1% of what was published.

Throughout this period, published scientific and technological news have been collected, classified according to the journalistic genre, grouped by topics, analyzed sources of information and whether it is community or external news. We wanted to measure the presence and importance of scientific and technological issues in the daily written media.

During this period, 1,252 articles have been published in these five Basque newspapers.

In the case of Berria, Gara and El Correo Español, most articles on science and technology are written by specific authors. However, newspapers do not reinforce scientific training (the figure of the scientific journalist is not usual). There is a great tendency to publish unsigned articles.

Few opinion articles, only 18. Therefore, although the space given to it is increasing, the importance that science acquires in the field of opinion is small. This means that newspapers do not give the treatment they give to other areas, such as politicians, administrations, economics or sports. In addition, we have seen in the opinion articles that the opinions of researchers have little weight.

However, after collecting data from this research, the newspaper Berria has launched an opinion column on scientific issues. This column was built for years in Egunkaria and is now wanted to be recovered in the new publication. The column is being published since 6 May, once a week, considering that the data collection for this research ended on 30 April.

On the other hand, the inclusion or not of scientific news depends on the force that is given to it abroad, that is, if the media is ‘ambitious’ respond. In general, newspapers do not make an assessment of the importance from the scientific point of view, but this assessment is given from the outside. This work is done by agencies, authorities, specialized magazines and participants in congresses or conferences, among others. Press offices and information services are also responsible for this, since when there are media respond better.

During these six months, several lines of research of great relevance or impact have also been found in the newspapers, such as research on Mars or avian influenza. Overall, research on Mars has had a major impact on the five newspapers. As for the news of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, it is worth mentioning the presence in the newspapers of the Science Week and the Basque Research Awards.

This project has been funded by the Policy Directorate of the Department of Education of the Basque Government.

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Gai honi buruzko eduki gehiago

Elhuyarrek garatutako teknologia