Getting cancer research into the news: A communication case study centered on one U.S. comprehensive cancer center

Katherine Clegg Smith, Rachel Friedman Singer, Elizabeth Edsall Kromm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Public dissemination of research findings via the news media has become an important part of the scientific process. The dissemination of complex topics such as cancer has proven somewhat problematic in that news coverage is often judged as compounding, rather than alleviating, communication difficulties. This case study centers around one comprehensive cancer center (CCC) and examines communication stakeholders' objectives in producing news coverage of cancer issues. The authors' analysis adopts a constructionist perspective of news making, emphasizing actors' power to shape news coverage rather than conceptualizing news as a public record of objectively newsworthy events. The authors' data suggest widespread support for media communication of scientific findings but little articulation of definitive communication goals. It is concluded that without clear articulation of shared goals, communication efforts cannot effectively enhance public empowerment or effectively promote cancer prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-231
Number of pages30
JournalScience Communication
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Dissemination
  • News media
  • Public empowerment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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