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Science and technology topics not given great importance as TV news items

When published: 22/06/10 | Category: Research | Subjects: #General subjects #Social Sciences #Technology
 Itziar Nogeras, managing director at Elhuyar Foundation, Andoni Eizagirre, researcher, and Fernando Cossío, president of Ikerbasque

According to research undertaken by the Elhuyar Foundation, news about science and technology is not given exceptional priority in TV news bulletins. This is the main conclusion of the report of research carried out by Mr Andoni Eizagirre, Science and Technology on Television News. The Elhuyar Foundation, with the sponsorship of the Department of Education of the Basque Government, analysed the treatment of science and technology topics in the news bulletins broadcast by ETB1, ETB2 (Basque Country channels) and TVE and La2 (Madrid-based channels) over a period of six months. A total of 69 bulletins, broadcast on different and randomly chosen days, were analysed. The aim of the research was to observe the treatment of science and technology topics given in TV news bulletins.

One of the principal conclusions of the research is that, in these news bulletins, information about science and technology does not have any special priority and news about other topics are favoured. The degree of importance of the items were measured, taking into account when they were broadcast and their slot in the bulletin, the time given to the items and the importance given to the sound and image accompanying the news. Thus, only 4% of news about science and technology appeared as headlines and, in the summary headlines, these items appeared in 25% of the bulletins analysed; 58% of the items analysed were of longer duration, 16% were of medium length and 26% were short items.

As regards subject matter, they were divided into four thematic blocks: science and technology, implications for science, scientific policies and scientific system; news catalogued in the implications for science block, i.e. those related to the implication of science and technology in society, were the most numerous: 58%.

As regards sources of information in the news bulletins, they are normally outsourced, given that TV channels do not normally prepare their own science and technology news items. As regards the genre of news, reports and features are few and far between; news items are usually recorded and the style is usually a news report one. In analysing personages, few items broadcast different points of view of the same story, and their origins are often from different authoritative sources and their slots usually coincide with the manner with which these news items are treated. Finally, the items are classified according to the treatment by the four different channels analysed within the Basque Country: ETB1 and ETB2 pay more attention to news about science and technology happening in the Basque Country and, in fact, news originating in this territory is greater than the rest of the news about science and technology.

English translation by: WORDLAN wordlan2012@gmail.com; 615740862.

Additional information

  • Itziar Nogeras, managing director at Elhuyar Foundation, Andoni Eizagirre, researcher, and Fernando Cossío, president of Ikerbasque, Elhuyar Fundazioa
  • icono_documento
    Press release, spanish, Elhuyar Fundazioa
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    Press release, basque, Elhuyar Fundazioa
Basque Research

Author: Basque Research (Elhuyar Fundazioa)

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