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Public Communication of Science and Technology


The investigation of communication elements in science news text in Taiwan

Sungtao LEE  

The purpose of this study is to investigate the communication element of science news text in Taiwan. Three most popular local newspaper (China times, United Daily News and the Liberty times) were the three text sources of science news analysis. A qualitative content analysis approach was adopted for analyzing communication element within these science news texts. After four months of weekly random data collection, 106 pieces of science news text were collected and analyzed accordingly. The inter-rater reliability were ranged from 0.77 to 0.85. The results revealed that there are three most reported issues can be categorized in these science news texts: (1) Food and health, (2) Disease prevention, and (3) Disease medicine. For the food and health issues, there existed four types of communication coverage which included treatment, influence, safety and effectiveness, and the effectiveness of diet habit was the most common dimension. For the disease prevention issues, the communication coverage consisted of risks, improvements, avoidance and hazards and the avoidance was the most common dimension. For the disease medicine issues, the major science news coverage included influence, examination, cure, infection and symptoms and the coverage frequencies of influence and cure were the highest. Furthermore, when the types of communication elements were taken into consideration, claims appeared to be the most often used element within these science news text presentation compared to other elements as representation, experiment, suggestion, causation, examples, misconceptions and definitions.

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