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Filter by author: Luisa Massarani

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Mar 21, 2013 Commentary
Developing world and science communication research

by Luisa Massarani

This paper brings some reflections on JCOM and, in general on a science communication journal, from the perspective of the developing world. It is highlighted the following top aspects of JCOM: open access; the language, that is, the fact that authors can write in their own languages and the article is translated into English; and the fact that JCOM welcomes contributions from every part of the world. The author considers JCOM a unique journal, which approaches science communication in a rich way and keeping a welcome intellectual diversity.

Volume 12 • Issue 01 • 2013

Jun 21, 2012 Article
From the laboratory to prime time: science coverage in the main Brazilian TV newscast

by Marina Ramalho, Carmelo Polino and Luisa Massarani

We analyse the science and technology news reports covered by the Jornal Nacional, the Brazilian newscast with the largest audience, which is broadcast at prime time on a free-to-air channel. The constructed week methodology was used to compose a sample of 72 newscasts, representative of an entire year (from April 2009 to March 2010): 77 science and technology news reports were thus identified, occupying an average of 7.3% of the newscast's daily broadcasting time, and therefore giving evidence that such matters belong on the JN's agenda. Content analysis has enabled us to observe the following: most reports were focused on announcing research results; the main fields dealt with were medical science and health; the coverage of national research projects ranked highest; researchers and scientific institutes represented the main sources of the news items; scientists were mostly shown in their offices, and as far as interviews are concerned female scientists were a minority. The approach to science was more positive than negative and controversial aspects were scarcely explored.

Volume 11 • Issue 02 • 2012

Sep 21, 2010 Article
Pandemic on the air: a case study on the coverage of new influenza A/H1N1 by Brazilian prime time TV news

by Flavia Natércia da Silva Medeiros and Luisa Massarani

In this paper we analyze the coverage of the pandemic influenza caused by the A (H1N1) virus by the main Brazilian TV news. Jornal Nacional (JN) – which can be roughly translated with National News – reaches an average of 25 million people throughout the country daily. We have observed that the attention cycle given to the new flu by JN lasted approximately five months with significant space given to the disease. Most of the news highlighted the number of illness cases and the health measures to control the infection. Only a small amount of news dealt with issues related to research and scientific development, and included scientists as interviewees or as information sources. We believe that the coverage made by JN may have contributed to the dissemination of what some authors refer to as a "pandemic of panic".

Volume 9 • Issue 03 • 2010

Dec 19, 2008 Commentary
Trained to interact: echoes from the Workshop Sul-Americano de Mediação em Museus e Centros de Ciência

by Luisa Massarani, Paola Rodari and Matteo Merzagora

The initiatives focusing the professional development of explainers are multiplying around the world, building an informal network of researchers, museums managers and directors, explainers, and regional/continental networks, as THE group, the Thematic Human Interface and Explainers group of Ecsite.The Workshop Sul-Americano de Mediação em Museus e Centros de Ciência e Escola de Mediação em Museus e Centros de Ciência, which took place in Rio de Janeiro in September 2008, was a further important step along this path. We believe it is worthwhile to offer to Jcom readers some of the workshop contributions concerning the training of explainers, to which we added an overview of the general problem presented by Lynn Uyen Tran (Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley).

Volume 7 • Issue 04 • 2008

Mar 21, 2008 Article
Science journalism in Latin America: how the scientific information from a scientific source is accommodated when it is transformed into a journalistic story

by Fernanda Veneu, Luis Henrique Amorim and Luisa Massarani

Scientific information ­ from the moment it is produced by the scientific community until it reaches the non- expert audience through the newspapers ­ is submitted to a complex process of adaptation. In this paper, we investigate the process of accommodating the scientific information provided by a primary scientific source (a peer-review journal) into journalistic discourse (a newspaper). As case studies we analyzed four scientific papers published by the peer-reviewed scientific journals Nature and Science, which were simultaneously used as primary scientific sources by Latin American newspapers. We observed that the process of accommodation into a new space, journalistic space, represents a significant shift in the content of the texts, including information that appears, disappears and is transformed in the process; transformations in the lexica, the style and the argumentation; a change in the hierarchy of the information; a shift in the information emphasized and in the social impact it might have.

Volume 7 • Issue 01 • 2008

Mar 21, 2008 Commentary
Not in front of the children! The controversies of science and science communication for children and youth

by Luisa Massarani

Dialogue in science communication is a necessity - everybody agrees on it - because science and technology issues are involved in so many aspects of the citizens life, and in so many cases can raise suspects, fears, worries or, on the contrary, expectations and hopes. But who are the possible interlocutors for scientists and policy-makers? Everybody, says Luisa Massarani, beginning with children and teenagers. Also in such controversial and sensitive issues like AIDS or GMO.

Volume 7 • Issue 01 • 2008

Sep 21, 2005 Article
Science Journalism in Latin America: A case study of seven newspapers in the region

by Luisa Massarani, Bruno Buys, Luis Henrique Amorim and Fernanda Veneu

The objective of this article is to present a panorama of the way in which journalistic coverage of science and technological themes is being carried out in Latin America, having as a case study seven newspapers of significant impact in the region. We analyzed all stories published by the science section during all the month of April 2004, in the following newspapers: La Nación, Argentina; El Mercurio, Chile; Mural, Mexico; El Comercio, Ecuador; O Globo, Folha de S. Paulo and Jornal do Commercio/Pernambuco, Brazil. A total of 482 texts were collected. The methodology joins quantitative and qualitative analysis. There are very few studies on science journalism in Latin America and even fewer that seek to explore a comparison among countries. We believe that studies such as ours can provide subsidies to stimulate the improvement of journalistic coverage of scientific and technological issues.

Volume 4 • Issue 03 • 2005