Survey data are presented on opinions about agricultural biotechnology and its applications held by agricultural science faculty at highly ranked programs in the United States with and without personal involvement in biotechnology-oriented research. Respondents believed biotech holds much promise, but policy positions vary. These results underscore the relationship between opinion and stakeholder interests in this research, even among scientific experts. Media accounts are often seen as causes, rather than artifacts, of the existence of public controversy; European and now (...) U.S. opposition to food biotechnology is often explained away in terms of such a relationship. The authors argue that where even experts are divided, public opposition cannot reasonably be attributed to poor public understanding or sensationalistic media accounts. Ethical implications for communicating science are explored. (shrink)
We respond to Morgan and Feeley’s critique on our article “MassMedia in Organ Donation: Managing Conflicting Messages and Interests.” We noted that Morgan and Feeley agree with the position that the primary aims of media campaigns are: “to educate the general public about organ donation process” and “help individuals make informed decisions” about organ donation. For those reasons, the educational messages in media campaigns should not be restricted to “information from pilot work or focus groups” (...) but should include evidence-based facts resulting from a comprehensive literature research. We consider the controversial aspects about organ donation to be relevant, if not necessary, educational materials that must be disclosed in media campaigns to comply with the legal and moral requirements of informed consent. With that perspective in mind, we address the validity of Morgan and Feeley’s claim that media campaigns have no need for informing the public about the controversial nature of death determination in organ donation. Scientific evidence has proven that the criteria for death determination are inconsistent with the Uniform Determination of Death Act and therefore potentially harmful to donors. The decision by campaign designers to use the statutory definition of death without disclosing the current controversies surrounding that definition does not contribute to improved informed decision making. We argue that if Morgan and Feeley accept the important role of media campaigns to enhance informed decision making, then critical controversies should be disclosed. In support of that premise, we will outline: (1) the wide-spread scientific challenges to brain death as a concept of death; (2) the influence of the donor registry and team-huddling on the medical care of potential donors; (3) the use of authorization rather than informed consent for donor registration; (4) the contemporary religious controversy; and (5) the effects of training desk clerks as organ requestors at the Department of Motor Vehicles offices. We conclude that organ donation is a medical procedure subject to all the ethical obligations that the medical profession must uphold including that of transparency and truthfulness. (shrink)
A sample of 871 currently married urban Bangladeshi women was used to assess the impact of massmedia family planning programmes on current contraceptive use. The analyses suggested that radio had been playing a significant role in spreading family planning messages among eligible clients; 38% of women with access to a radio had heard of family planning messages while the figures for TV and newspaper were 18·5% and 8·5% respectively. Education, number of living children and current contraceptive use (...) were important predictors of exposure to any massmedia family planning messages. There was a negative relationship between breast-feeding and the current use of contraception indicating a low need for contraception among women who were breast-feeding. (shrink)
This paper analyses massmedia exposure and its effect on family planning in Bangladesh using data from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) 1993s place of residence, education, economic status, geographical region and number of living children appeared to be the most important variable determining massmedia exposure to family planning. Multivariate analysis shows that both radio and TV exposure to family planning messages and ownership of a radio and TV have a significant effect on (...) current use of family planning methods. These factors remain significant determinants of contraceptive use, even after controlling socioeconomic and demographic factors. The study reveals that both socioeconomic development policies and family planning programmes with a special emphasis on massmedia, especially radio, may have a significant effect on contraceptive use in Bangladesh. The principal policy challenge is to design communications strategies that will reach the less privileged, rural and illiterate people who are by far the majority in Bangladesh. (shrink)
The Grand Challenges were launched in 2003 by the Gates Foundation and other collaborators to address the health needs of developing countries. This paper outlines the current problem with health research and development in the context of inequality as conveyed by the 90/10 divide. The paper then looks at the focus and nature of press reporting of global health issues by analysing how press articles have portrayed the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative. Analysis of the massmedia (...) illustrates that the focus of reporting on the Grand Challenges tends to be on utilitarian themes, leaving issues related to justice and equity comparatively under-reported. (shrink)
This contribution provides theoretical insights into a planned dissertation project which discusses the massmedia as a stakeholder of a company, suggesting that a complex understanding of the massmedia, their public-sphere function and their mode of operation is crucial for analyzing the media’s role in conferring corporate legitimacy. Terms such as ‘corporate citizen’ or ‘stakeholder democracy’ or the notion of corporations as civil or political actors imply a link to the public sphere, which in (...) modern democracies is primarily constituted through the massmedia. However, up to now, there has been hardly any discussion about the role of the massmedia and the public sphere in the realm of stakeholder theory. (shrink)
(1996). Access without impact: The massmedia in postwar Japanese political culture. The European Legacy: Vol. 1, Fourth International Conference of the International Society for the study of European Ideas, pp. 786-790.
The close coupling between media and science becomes predominant in the context of public controversies over science during disasters like earthquakes. The paper discusses some crucial aspects of this dynamic by investigating the role of regional press in Kerala, India, in initiating and maintaining a public controversy over a series of micro earthquakes in 2001 amidst growing public skepticism over the competence of Earth Science to convincingly explain the phenomenon. The press employed various strategies to challenge (...) the official scientific explanation of the phenomenon and broke open the ground for a spectrum of alternative interpretations and critical interventions, affirming greater public participation in science. Most of the experts continued to downplay the concerns raised by the media, but closure was attained when a lesser-known team of experts convincingly interpreted the geological events while participating in the deliberations. The paper analyses how the media played a crucial role in revealing and enhancing the entanglement of science with diverse actors and institutions during the controversy. (shrink)
This article analyzes news coverage of mass murders in Time and Newsweek for the period 1984 to 1991 for evidence of disproportionate, perhaps politically motivated coverage of certain categories of mass murder. Discusses ethical problems related to news and entertainment attention to mass murder, and suggests methods of enhancing the public's understanding of the nature of murder.
How well do scientists communicate to members of the massmedia? A communication scholar reviews potential barriers to the essential dialogue necessary between those in the sciences and journalists who report science to the public. Suggestions for improving communication within this relationship, in spite of professional process differences, are offered, emphasizing adherence to shared ethical standards.
This article examines strands of an intellectual history in Media and Cultural Studies and Science and Technology Studies in both of which researchers were prompted to take up ethnography. Three historical phases of this process are identified. The move between phases was the result of particular displacements and contestations of perspective in the research procedures within each discipline. Thus concerns about appropriate contextualization led to the eventual embrace of anthropological ethnographic methods. The article traces the subsequent emergence of (...) a ‘crisis of context’ in the deployment of ethnography within these disciplines. The analysis of these historical changes is informed by a particular depiction of Euro-American knowledge conventions. The article suggests that the limits currently perceived for ethnography are a specific instance of the more general limits now recognized for these knowledge conventions. (shrink)
Concentration and lack of plurality of media control is significant and appears to be increasing. The potential danger to a democracy of a lack of plurality of media control is serious. There are opportunities for greater plurality and freedom of expression through professional employee decision making partcipation. There are practical precedents for professional employee management participation in the media. Therefore, professional media employee management participation deserves to be seriously considered. Limitations of the principle are also considered.
BackgroundThe global expansion of biobanks has led to a range of bioethical concerns related to consent, privacy, control, ownership, and disclosure. As an opportunity to engage broader audiences on these concerns, bioethicists have welcomed the commercial success of Rebecca Skloot’s 2010 bestselling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. To assess the impact of the book on discussion within the media and popular culture more generally, we systematically analyzed the ethics-related themes emphasized in reviews and articles about the book, (...) and in interviews and profiles of Skloot.MethodsWe conducted a content analysis of a population of relevant English-language articles and transcripts (n = 125) produced by news organizations and publications in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain/Ireland, and Australia/New Zealand. We scored each article for the emphasis and appearance of 9 ethics-related themes. These were informed consent, welfare of the vulnerable, compensation, scientific progress, control/access, accountability/oversight, privacy, public education, and advocacy.ResultsThe informed consent theme dominated media discussion, with almost 39.2 percent of articles/transcripts featuring the theme as a major focus and 44.8 percent emphasizing the theme as a minor focus. Other prominent themes and frames of reference focused on the welfare of the vulnerable (18.4 percent major emphasis; 36.0 percent minor emphasis), and donor compensation (19.2 percent major; 52.8 percent minor). Ethical themes that comprised a second tier of prominence included those of scientific progress, control/access, and accountability/oversight. The least prominent themes were privacy, public education, and advocacy.ConclusionsThe book has been praised as an opportunity to elevate media discussion of bioethics, but such claims should be re-considered. The relatively narrow focus on informed consent in the media discussion generated by Skloot’s book may limit the ability of ethicists and advocates to elevate attention to donor control, compensation, patenting, privacy, and other ethical issues. Still, ethicists should view the book and a pending major TV film translation as opportunities to highlight through media outreach, consultation exercises and public forums a broader range of bioethical concerns that would otherwise be under-emphasized in news coverage. Such efforts, however, need to be carefully planned and evaluated. (shrink)
Background: The global expansion of biobanks has led to a range of bioethical concerns related to consent, privacy, control, ownership, and disclosure. As an opportunity to engage broader audiences on these concerns, bioethicists have welcomed the commercial success of Rebecca Skloot’s 2010 bestselling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. To assess the impact of the book on discussion within the media and popular culture more generally, we systematically analyzed the ethics-related themes emphasized in reviews and articles about the (...) book, and in interviews and profiles of Skloot. Methods: We conducted a content analysis of a population of relevant English-language articles and transcripts (n = 125) produced by news organizations and publications in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain/Ireland, and Australia/New Zealand. We scored each article for the emphasis and appearance of 9 ethics-related themes. These were informed consent, welfare of the vulnerable, compensation, scientific progress, control/access, accountability/oversight, privacy, public education, and advocacy. Results: The informed consent theme dominated media discussion, with almost 39.2 percent of articles/transcripts featuring the theme as a major focus and 44.8 percent emphasizing the theme as a minor focus. Other prominent themes and frames of reference focused on the welfare of the vulnerable (18.4 percent major emphasis; 36.0 percent minor emphasis), and donor compensation (19.2 percent major; 52.8 percent minor). Ethical themes that comprised a second tier of prominence included those of scientific progress, control/access, and accountability/oversight. The least prominent themes were privacy, public education, and advocacy. Conclusions: The book has been praised as an opportunity to elevate media discussion of bioethics, but such claims should be re-considered. The relatively narrow focus on informed consent in the media discussion generated by Skloot’s book may limit the ability of ethicists and advocates to elevate attention to donor control, compensation, patenting, privacy, and other ethical issues. Still, ethicists should view the book and a pending major TV film translation as opportunities to highlight through media outreach, consultation exercises and public forums a broader range of bioethical concerns that would otherwise be under-emphasized in news coverage. Such efforts, however, need to be carefully planned and evaluated. (shrink)
In the Fall 1988 issue of Informal Logic, John McMurtry suggests that the current mass communication system "obstructs and deforms our thinking and our reasoning by a general system of deception" (p. 133). This essay suggests that McMurtry's view of the massmedia is inaccurate. The massmedia needs to make choices about what material it includes; McMurtry's description of the media could be explained by a rational theory of media agenda setting. Finally. (...) it is argued that critical thinkers need to go beyond the massmedia to make decisions; the massmedia should not be expected to provide all arguments and viewpoints. (shrink)
Media in Question sets the agenda for a revitalized debate on the hybrid communicative practices that constitute the postmodern media landscape: practices that cross the boundaries between fact and fiction, information and entertainment, public knowledge, and popular culture. In this challenging and provocative collection, the individual contributors rethink key issuesùthe meaning of the public interest, the quality of media performance, and deregulation. In the process they raise questions rarely addressed in normative media theories, for example, the (...) ethics of sports reporting, the moral reasoning in popular culture, and the required professional standards for infotainment genres such as reality television and gossip journalism. Accessible and wide-ranging, The Media in Question will be essential reading for students in mass communication and political communication studies. (shrink)
The majority of adults in Britain cite the massmedia as their main source of information about developments in science and technology. This alone makes it worth studying how the press covered the story of Dolly the cloned sheep. However, the media's reporting of Dolly revealed serious difficulties in the relationship of science to society. Although there were failures of journalistic accuracy and balance, these should not be allowed to obscure the deeper issues.
In this paper, which brings together aging research and media research, we will contribute to the mapping of the complicated cartography of anti-aging by analyzing the press coverage of anti-aging medicine. The massmedia decisively shape societal impacts of the expert scientific discourse on anti-aging. While sensitivity towards the heterogeneity of the field of anti-aging is increasing to some degree in the social-gerontological discussion, the role of the media in transmitting the various anti-aging messages to the (...) general public has so far not been systematically scrutinized. Current opinions on the press coverage of anti-aging medicine range from proponents’ complaints of a media witch-hunt against them to opponents’ reproaches about uncritical reporting of this complex topic. This paper discusses whether the media act accordingly to the ideal of the fourth estate, controlling the increased power of science in the 20th century. Our areas of investigation are two Western countries: the USA and Germany. Both countries have experienced an apparent increase in the average age of their populations, which has led to increasingly vigorous public debate since the late 20th century. The subjects of our study are three organizations that represent different approaches to anti-aging medicine: the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, the German Society of Anti-Aging Medicine, and the Methuselah Foundation. The article discusses the programs, goals, and media strategies of these organizations and compares them with the anti-aging messages that actually make their way to the reader in the media “interdiscourse.” The article asks whether transatlantic learning processes within the anti-aging medicine movement as well as in the media can be identified. The paper’s methods and sources are those of contemporary history and ethnography. The three approaches to anti-aging medicine are drawn from publications of spokespersons from the three presented anti-aging medicine organizations and from participant observation of anti-aging medicine conferences in Germany and Europe during the period from 2005 to 2008. The media analysis is based on the study of about 300 articles that appeared between 1990 and 2009 in US and German dailies and weeklies such as Newsweek, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, and Die Welt. Our analysis shows that, against the backdrop of pessimistic demographic apprehensions, the leitmotiv of both nations’ medical journalism between 1990 and 2009 was overwhelmingly pro anti-aging medicine. It is criticized that medical journalism on anti-aging medicine refrains from own investigations on potential risks. Scrutinizing activities of the media in terms of a fourth estate require stimulation from science itself. Hence, we argue for sensitization of medical journalism regarding ageism. (shrink)
This article discusses studies and politicalinitiatives concerned with enhancing publicinvolvement in major technological decisions.It argues that such decisions should include asignificant role for the massmedia, andrespect for the diverse relations betweenscience and governance. The notion of`regulated worlds' is proposed as a startingpoint in a discourse that brings together themass media, science management, anddeliberative democracy.
In the classic study Little science, big science (New York: Columbia University Press, 1963), Derek Price traces the historical shift from what he calls little science?exemplified by early?modern ?invisible colleges? of scientific amateurs and enthusiasts engaged in small?scale, informal interactions and personal correspondence?to 20th?century big science, dominated by professional scientists and wealthy institutions, where scientific information (primarily in print form and its analogues) was mass?produced, marketed and circulated on a global scale. This article considers whether (...) the growing use of more participatory, interactive ?Web 2.0? technologies and social media in science today (e.g. wikis, blogs, tagging and bookmarking, conferencing, etc.) may signal a revival of little science modes of communication that contrast with big science conventions that continue to dominate research policy, scientific institutions, and the publishing industry. A brief historical review of responses to the scientific ?information explosion? since the early 1900s is presented, with a particular focus on the idealization of large?scale, automated information systems and the privileging of formal (document?producing) over informal (interpersonal) modes of scientific communication. Alternative frameworks for scientific communication that incorporate both documents and interaction are used to examine contemporary examples of so?called Science 2.0 and citizen science projects to determine whether such projects indicate the emergence of new modes of communication in science that bridge the immediacy and involvement of invisible colleges and the rigor of peer?reviewed publishing. The implications for traditional documentary forms such as the journal article are also discussed. (shrink)
This paper presents a survey of the philosophy of science in Estonia. Topics covered include the historical background (science at the 17th century Academia Gustaviana, in the 19th century, during the Soviet period) and an overview of the current situation and main areas of research (the problem of demarcation, a critique of the traditional understandings of science, φ-science, classical and non-classical science, the philosophy of chemistry, the problem of induction, the sociology of scientific knowledge, semiotics (...) as a methodology). (shrink)
Insights from First Amendment considerations and from developmental psychology are utilized in suggesting that whatever value codes of ethics may hold for the massmedia, they represent serious difficulties in inculcating substantial ethical values in individual journalists and in the profession as a whole. Evidence from developmental psychology suggests that codes are probably of some limited value to the neophyte working in the media. Codes also help assure non?journalists that the industry really is concerned about ethics. However, (...) codes probably should be relegated to a framed wall hanging for any journalists who have advanced beyond their internships. Confusion reigns because codes are often founded on moralistic rather than moral?philosophical bases, and there is a blurring between general precepts and specific practices covered in codes. As individual professionals mature intellectually and ethically, they should transcend socially?approved conventions codified by ?regulators,?; and begin to become social catalysts in their own rights, according to this essay. (shrink)
The object of study of massmedia anthropology is the system of transmission of culture through massmedia. Massmedia anthropology is a field within the discipline dealing with the relationship beteween the massmedia and culture. The specific point of this relationship is how culture is transmitt..
This paper describes an attempt to introduce philosophy and history of science to pre-service science teachers. I argue briefly for the view that science in the schools cannot be taught without implicitly assuming a particular philosophy of science. Therefore, both philosophy and history of science are necessary components of undergraduate science education courses.
Among their uses, massmedia codes of ethics declare the values of groups of media practitioners. This paper uses Schwartz's social psychology typology to identify and compare 216 values stated or implied in 15 codes of ethics for associations of journalists, bloggers, advertising/marketing practitioners, and public relations practitioners. Despite differences in their communication goals, codes generally share many of the same general values types yet often use similar words to describe different values and loyalties.
This webliography has several functions: for teaching faculty to consult as a tool to aid in enhancing the media ethics curricula; contribute to the scholarly exchange of ideas; and perhaps cultivate a new awareness and direction for exploring secondary and tertiary nonprint sources involving ethics and massmedia.