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date: 09 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Many citizens and decision-makers obtain information about science mainly, or even exclusively, from news and online media. Accordingly, social science has devoted considerable attention to the analysis of science news coverage. A review of this literature reveals a number of ongoing, substantial transformations: In line with the crisis of legacy media, the rise of online communication, and the extension of PR by many societal stakeholders, science communication is changing. Science journalism has come under pressure in publishing houses, and science journalists’ working conditions have worsened. The amount of science news coverage is stagnating, albeit after a rise that lasted several decades, and seems to navigate toward either a more controversial reporting about politicized issues such as gene editing or a less critical “churnalism” that is more strongly influenced by PR efforts than before. The implications of these changes for science communication and societal decisions regarding science communication are considered.

Keywords: science communication, science journalism, science news, legacy media, online communication, social media

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