In Germany only big newspapers and public radio- and TV-stations can afford their own sciencedepartments. The bulk of local newspapers and virtually all private radio- and television-stations depend on agency-news if they want to report about scientific topics.
     

In a one month period (October 6 to November 7,1997) I collected all science-news of the three most influential news agencies in Germany: AP, dpa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur [German press-agency]) and Reuters.
     

In a second step, I examined these items in a content-analysis. This examination pursued the question, whether the type of news differs when different agencies report the same event. Particular attention was placed on the representation of sensations and exaggerations.
     

Using a valency-chart, I came to the conclusion that the science-news of the agencies AP and Reuters tended to be written more sensationalised than those of dpa.
     

In a third step I determined the printing-quote (=number of news items from an agency published on a certain day in a certain newspaper) of sciencearticles in seven local German newspapers as well as in a national daily in this period of time. It showed that the science-news of dpa are more frequently printed than those from AP and Reuters. I will discuss, whether this is because of the more serious reputation of dpa or due to a stronger relationship to the German agency.
 

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science by news agencies

Philipp Kunisch  

In Germany only big newspapers and public radio- and TV-stations can afford their own sciencedepartments. The bulk of local newspapers and virtually all private radio- and television-stations depend on agency-news if they want to report about scientific topics.
     

In a one month period (October 6 to November 7,1997) I collected all science-news of the three most influential news agencies in Germany: AP, dpa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur [German press-agency]) and Reuters.
     

In a second step, I examined these items in a content-analysis. This examination pursued the question, whether the type of news differs when different agencies report the same event. Particular attention was placed on the representation of sensations and exaggerations.
     

Using a valency-chart, I came to the conclusion that the science-news of the agencies AP and Reuters tended to be written more sensationalised than those of dpa.
     

In a third step I determined the printing-quote (=number of news items from an agency published on a certain day in a certain newspaper) of sciencearticles in seven local German newspapers as well as in a national daily in this period of time. It showed that the science-news of dpa are more frequently printed than those from AP and Reuters. I will discuss, whether this is because of the more serious reputation of dpa or due to a stronger relationship to the German agency.
 

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

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