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ERIC Number: ED083622
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Aug
Pages: 39
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Problem Areas in Science News Reporting, Writing, and Editing.
Ryan, Michael; Tankard, James W., Jr.
Several potential "problem areas" in the science news coverage process were identified through analysis of comments written by 193 scientists who were asked to assess the accuracy of science news stories in which they were cited as the major source. The analysis led to a number of recommendations for improving the objective reporting of science news. To verify their stories, reporters should not rely solely on interviews with scientists or on publicity handouts but should also use journal articles and published reports. In writing their stories, reporters should attempt to find the angle of the stofy, avoid oversimplifying or exaggerating the lead sentence to attract reader interest, quote accurately and in context, use language and terminology accurately, and interpret technical conclusions properly. A special problem in science news coverage which must be overcome by reporters is sensationalizing information. The words "cure" and "breakthrough" should not be used unless the scientist himself approves the words in describing his work. Information sources might also be given an opportunity to review articles for accuracy before publication. Finally, it is important for editors to realize that the practice of cutting news stories from the bottom to fit available space may not apply to science stories, which often need to be reported completely to make sense. (EE)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A