PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Global or Local?
A Qualitative Comparison of Science Journalists’ Selection Criteria in Argentina, France, and Germany

Cecilia Rosen  

Science journalists cannot cover all the scientific information available on a given day; to choose what to cover, they follow professional selection criteria. In general journalism theory, Gatekeeping is a well-established theoretical approach to study journalistic selection criteria. Given that there are differences in journalistic beats, the present study applies Gatekeeping Theory and identifies the selection criteria of science writers from Argentina, France, and Germany in qualitative interviews (n = 16). Data have been re-analyzed to classify similarities (= global selection criteria) and dissimilarities (= local selection criteria) professionals from these countries stated. The results show that there are a lot of differences among the countries (e.g., news factors, organizational influences, audience perceptions), but also similarities (e.g., use of sources, differences between daily newspapers and magazines). The findings illustrate the relevance of further research on local and global selection criteria in science journalism.

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