Know how Science is Reported in Different Media and for Different Audiences

Know how Science is Reported in Different Media and for Different Audiences

Understanding Science Communication

Different Media Types

  • Traditional mass media outlets like newspapers and TV usually present scientific findings to a general audience. Key findings are often summarised and simplified.

  • Internet and social media platforms provide a wide range of science content, from popular science blogs to academic articles. Information on these platforms is usually more accessible and immediate.

  • Academic journals report science in the most detailed and technical manner. They are suited for a scientific audience who can comprehend the jargon and complex concepts.

  • Science magazines and documentaries present science in a more engaging, story-like manner. They might include anecdotes or analogies to simplify complex information.

Audience Appropriateness

  • The complexity of information, jargon used, and depth of explanation will depend on the intended audience’s knowledge of science.

  • For example, a general public audience requires science to be communicated in a digestible and engaging manner, free from scientific jargon.

  • In contrast, scientific communities and experts prefer details, data, and technical language, which give them a comprehensive understanding of the research.

Assessing Credibility

  • Always consider the source of the information. Trusted news outlets, academic journals, and authoritative science websites are usually credible sources.

  • Look for mentions of peer-reviewed research. This means the research has been scrutinised by other experts in the field.

  • Be aware that scientific reports in the media can sometimes be sensationalised or misinterpreted. Cross-referencing with other sources can help verify the information.

In any form of science communication, the key is accuracy, clarity, and audience appropriateness. Miscommunication can lead to misunderstanding or misinformation, which could have negative connotations for scientific research and its societal acceptance.