Genetics and biotechnologies in Italian mass media

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Abstract: 

Several researchers operating in the sociological field have recently theorised that genetics and biotechnologies are at the core of the public perception of science. The present study aims at verifying empirically whether or not this is mirrored in Italian mass media, as well as at analysing the topics most frequently present in Italian newspapers and the economic and editorial reasons behind the results of editorial choices. Besides, it provides statistics about the major Italian newspapers published in the last third of 2002. This period has been chosen because some important news was published in December: it consequently offered the chance to carry out a long-term analysis as well as a study of the most important differences - in content and editorial lay-out - between scientific articles which are published in the appropriate sections inside the newspaper and those which make the front page. Ours are going to be purely quantitative considerations; but, from the point of view of the content, the data are sufficient to identify various narrative currents. These currents could be the object of further research on the frames used to contextualize the news and the reasons (anthropological, socio-cultural and editorial) for the way they are used by editorial staffs.

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21 September 2005