This study is based on a representative survey carried out by a standardised written questioning of male and female science journalists throughout Germany. The respondents were drawn from address catalogues coordinated with address compilations of the science journalism section of the Free University of Berlin.Regarded as "elements" of the basic stock and thus as "science journalists" were all those with staff contracts and mainly occupied freelances reporting predominantly or partially in local and supra regional daily newspapers,weekly and Sunday newspapers, general readership publications, news agencies, public broadcasters andcommercial broadcasters on scientific themes in the following categories: natural sciences, technology,astronomy and space exploration, medicine (including psychology and pharmacy), nature and biology,humanities and social sciences, ecology and environmental protection, research and tertiary education policy.
 
The sample comprised 350 persons and was compiled by stratified random sampling. The survey period encompassed the six weeks from 22 February to 31 March 1995 and included a second reminder letter again containing the questionnaire. This yielded 199 questionnaires to work with. After the sample had been cleared of flawed addresses and persons who, for example, no longer worked as science journalists, were retired or ill, the return rate was 64% which can be regarded as very satisfactory for written questionings.
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The research methods of German science journalists
Findings of a representative survey

Ursula Stamm  

This study is based on a representative survey carried out by a standardised written questioning of male and female science journalists throughout Germany. The respondents were drawn from address catalogues coordinated with address compilations of the science journalism section of the Free University of Berlin.Regarded as "elements" of the basic stock and thus as "science journalists" were all those with staff contracts and mainly occupied freelances reporting predominantly or partially in local and supra regional daily newspapers,weekly and Sunday newspapers, general readership publications, news agencies, public broadcasters andcommercial broadcasters on scientific themes in the following categories: natural sciences, technology,astronomy and space exploration, medicine (including psychology and pharmacy), nature and biology,humanities and social sciences, ecology and environmental protection, research and tertiary education policy.
 
The sample comprised 350 persons and was compiled by stratified random sampling. The survey period encompassed the six weeks from 22 February to 31 March 1995 and included a second reminder letter again containing the questionnaire. This yielded 199 questionnaires to work with. After the sample had been cleared of flawed addresses and persons who, for example, no longer worked as science journalists, were retired or ill, the return rate was 64% which can be regarded as very satisfactory for written questionings.

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