The media as watchdog in the commercialisation of science : a case study of 6 publications

Valentine, Alexander J. (Alexander Joseph) (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2006-04)

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The role of the media as a watchdog for the social institution of science is viewed as part of the media’s role to protect society. In this regard, the role of media was studied in reporting the phenomenon of the commercialisation of academic research at universities. The current study was conducted by analysing articles in 2 scientific journals (Science and Nature) and 4 printed newspapers (The New York Times, London Times, Mail & Gaurdian, Business Day) for the year 2003. The methods of investigation for each publication included the number of articles covering the topic, the percentage coverage, headline analysis, summary of contents and analysis of the themes. The New York Times had more articles on the topic of the “commercialisation of science at universities” than the other publications. However, based on the number of issues per year, Science and Nature had a greater coverage of the topic than The New York Times. Based on the analyses of the articles, it is concluded that The New York Times had the most balanced and informed coverage of all the issues and stakeholders involved in the commercialisation of science at universities. This is attributed to the The New York Times’s position of standing outside the realm of science and its experience in covering broad issues.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die rol van die media as ‘n waghond vir die sosiale instelling van die wetenskap, word gesien as deel van die media se rol as die beskermer van die samelewing. In hierdie opsig is die media se rol in die verslaglewering van die kommersialisering van die wetenskap by universiteite ondersoek. Hierdie studie is uitgevoer deur artikels in 2 wetenskaplike vaktydskrifte (Science en Nature) en 4 koerante (The New York Times, London Times, Mail & Guardian, Business Day) vir die jaar 2003, te analiseer. Die metodes wat gebruik is om elke artikel te ontleed, het die aantal artikels, die persentasie van artikels in elke publikasie, hoofopskrif analise, opsomming van inhoud en ‘n analise van die artikel se tema, ingesluit. The New York Times het meer artikels omtrent die onderwerp, die “kommersialisering van die wetenskap by universiteite”, as die ander publikasies gehad. Gebaseer op die aantal uitgawes per jaar, het Science en Nature meer aandag geskenk aan die onderwerp as The New York Times. Volgens die analises van die artikels, word afgeleui dat The New York Times die mees gebalanseerde en ingeligte dekking gehad het oor die betrokke sake en partye in die “kommersialisering van die wetenskap by universiteite”. Dit word toegeskryf aan die The New York Times se posisie as buitestaander in die wetenskap en die koerant se ondervinding om ‘n wye veld te dek.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/17410
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