In this study, science news in the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times within biennial periods from 1989-1995 is analyzed to explore seven research questions about science reporting, writing and news selection.

The study suggests an inconsistency between actual performance and qualitative criticisms of the science’s news media reporting, writing and news selection tendencies.

Among the findings are: the percentage of issue oriented stories in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times was higher than suggested within the literature. The percent of stories in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times that embedded educational-informative content was higher than suggested within the literature.

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Evaluating assertions about science writing, reporting and news selection
A content analysis of the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times

Robert A. Logan   School of Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia

Zengjun Peng   School of Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia

Nancy Fraser Wilson   School of Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia

In this study, science news in the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times within biennial periods from 1989-1995 is analyzed to explore seven research questions about science reporting, writing and news selection.

The study suggests an inconsistency between actual performance and qualitative criticisms of the science’s news media reporting, writing and news selection tendencies.

Among the findings are: the percentage of issue oriented stories in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times was higher than suggested within the literature. The percent of stories in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times that embedded educational-informative content was higher than suggested within the literature.

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