Science journalism in the age of crowd: interviews

The purpose of this commentary is extending and enriching the discussion raised in the “Science Journalism and Power in the 21st Century” workshop, held last month in the context of MAPPE project at SISSA, Trieste. We collected three interviews of authors expert in communication and media on different fields strongly influenced by participatory communication practices: Anabela Carvalho (global warming and climate change), Pieter Maeseele (technological risks) and Denise Silber (‘eHealth’ and ‘Health 2.0’). The interviews therefore analyze three different perspectives of a more general issue: How is the ecosystem of scientific information changing by means of a new concept of ‘public’? Which are the new ways in which citizens produce and manage scientific information? What could be a new role for science journalism? These three interviews aim to delve, from a theoretical point of view, into the sociological framework of an ecosystem of information driven by active public participation in the communicative practices. Emphasis will be put on the way in which scientific knowledge is reconstructed and negotiated in the Web 2.0 arena: democracy in the knowledge society intrinsically depends on a fair outcome of this process. Nevertheless, the crisis of traditional media and journalist’s figure is threatening the democratization of science. In this sense, the social function of journalism is still – and will be – unescapable. The re-distribution of social power by means of Web 2.0 is a key issue, and new sensible communication practices and professionals are needed.