Insights on the future of science journalism


With this commentary JCOM continues its analysis of the transformations of science journalism in the new media ecology. The purpose of the papers we present here is enriching the discussion raised in past issues and giving the Science communication community new insights on the role of digital media in shaping the way science is communicated, distributed and discussed by new actors and with new publics. What is the future of science journalism in the new ecosystem? In “Has blogging changed science writing?” Alice Bell discusses blogs' impact on science journalism, arguing that in some areas the changes related to the emergence of the web are overstated. Rather than crystal ball gazing into the future, we should realize it is up for debate. In “Web 2.0: netizen empowerment vs. unpaid labor” Carlo Formenti goes further, casting doubts on the utopian fantasies of knowledge democratization and urging us to focus on the new forms of power concentration and exploitation that are emerging within the system of science communication. Finally, in “The future of science journalism in Ghana” Bernard Appiah and colleagues argue in favour of the potential of the web as a tool to increase the quality and quantity of African science journalism. Yet they warn us: issues of access to both information and resources are still in place and threaten the promises of digital media.


16 March 2012



Rather than crystal ball gazing into the future of science journalism, this essay invites critical discussion over how much, if at all, has the web changed the way science is discussed in public?


Scientific information looks to Web 2.0 models as an opportunity for shedding the constraints of traditional scientific publishing (high costs, slow processing, domination by elites).


Despite the boom in science journalism in developing countries, little is known about the views of reporters in Sub-Saharan Africa on the future of science journalism.