Science communication in Croatia is still immersed in the deficit perspective and the media are in the view of scientists to be blamed for it. They are discontent with the quantity of media coverage of science, with what media perceive as a science story and the way in which they present it. Media science is, they usually complain, simplified and the information is not precise and complete, particularly information about scientific method. But is it really the case? How and what kind of science is published in the Croatian media? Is science an interesting media topic at all? Is the media coverage of science in the declining phase? Is the coverage of S&T sensational, biased and non-objective? Even when it is a topic of scientific discussion or conference, media coverage of science in Croatia is often based on anecdotal impressions. To answer those questions properly we usually lack systematic experimental evidence and approach.

In the attempt to analyze the current media coverage of science, I will use the results of a study of five main Croatian daily newspapers and their coverage of science over the period of two years, from 2009 until 2010. In order to understand the context and the nature of the daily newspaper’s coverage of science in Croatia, I will present the main characteristic of the media landscape, with particular regard to the transition in the media ownership after the political changes in 1990-ties until nowadays. Methods of content analysis, comparative analysis, case study and descriptive statistics will be used.

Some of the conclusions are the following: the media coverage of science is slightly intensified and the number of published science stories is increasing in the analyzed period. Sensationalism is not so often present (in terms of a mismatch between title, subtitle and pictures and the content), but media use hype in their coverage of science in order to achieve better prominence of the story or attract the readers’ attention. Science is mainly perceived as important per se or as entertainment, and the majority of science stories are published within respective pages or sections (e.g. “Science”, “University”, “Life”, “Entertainment”, etc.). There is an overall positive attitude towards science and technology nevertheless they are still treated as expenditures and not as a long-term investments. Their social value of S&T is undermined.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Lost in transition?
Science in the croatian newspaper

Blanka Jergović   Croatian Radio and University of Zagreb

Science communication in Croatia is still immersed in the deficit perspective and the media are in the view of scientists to be blamed for it. They are discontent with the quantity of media coverage of science, with what media perceive as a science story and the way in which they present it. Media science is, they usually complain, simplified and the information is not precise and complete, particularly information about scientific method. But is it really the case? How and what kind of science is published in the Croatian media? Is science an interesting media topic at all? Is the media coverage of science in the declining phase? Is the coverage of S&T sensational, biased and non-objective? Even when it is a topic of scientific discussion or conference, media coverage of science in Croatia is often based on anecdotal impressions. To answer those questions properly we usually lack systematic experimental evidence and approach.

In the attempt to analyze the current media coverage of science, I will use the results of a study of five main Croatian daily newspapers and their coverage of science over the period of two years, from 2009 until 2010. In order to understand the context and the nature of the daily newspaper’s coverage of science in Croatia, I will present the main characteristic of the media landscape, with particular regard to the transition in the media ownership after the political changes in 1990-ties until nowadays. Methods of content analysis, comparative analysis, case study and descriptive statistics will be used.

Some of the conclusions are the following: the media coverage of science is slightly intensified and the number of published science stories is increasing in the analyzed period. Sensationalism is not so often present (in terms of a mismatch between title, subtitle and pictures and the content), but media use hype in their coverage of science in order to achieve better prominence of the story or attract the readers’ attention. Science is mainly perceived as important per se or as entertainment, and the majority of science stories are published within respective pages or sections (e.g. “Science”, “University”, “Life”, “Entertainment”, etc.). There is an overall positive attitude towards science and technology nevertheless they are still treated as expenditures and not as a long-term investments. Their social value of S&T is undermined.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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