The nature of the relationship among medical scientists, journalists and public relations practitioners in delivering research results and health information to the public is an ongoing concern in journalistic and science communication practice. To what extent do press releases and the institutions and organisations that issue them, influence the daily coverage of medical science stories in Canadian newspaper and television news. Does the framing of the research and the representation of the scientist in the press release manifest itself in the framing of the news story? Are specialist reporters less inclined than general reporters to rely on the press release as a primary information source resulting in a single-sourced news story. A media analysis of both print and electronic news sources in Canada over a seven week period is measured against a representative survey of editors, reporters and public relations/information professional in this qualitative, descriptive study. Results will be available in early March 2008.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The role of the press release in medical science reporting

Kathryn O'Hara   Carleton University

The nature of the relationship among medical scientists, journalists and public relations practitioners in delivering research results and health information to the public is an ongoing concern in journalistic and science communication practice. To what extent do press releases and the institutions and organisations that issue them, influence the daily coverage of medical science stories in Canadian newspaper and television news. Does the framing of the research and the representation of the scientist in the press release manifest itself in the framing of the news story? Are specialist reporters less inclined than general reporters to rely on the press release as a primary information source resulting in a single-sourced news story. A media analysis of both print and electronic news sources in Canada over a seven week period is measured against a representative survey of editors, reporters and public relations/information professional in this qualitative, descriptive study. Results will be available in early March 2008.

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

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