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Mar 31, 2015 Article
The energy question in the Belgian daily press during 2010: the role of region, newspaper type and newspaper section

by Pieter A. Maeseele, Karel Deneckere, Koen Panis and Steve Paulussen

The literature illustrates how media research on the energy question is characterized by a limited focus on separate energy options, resulting in a lack of research into the diversity of and mutual relations between various energy options. This paper reports on a quantitative content analysis of eight Belgian newspapers (N=1181), focusing on whether certain energy options are systematically more covered in certain regions, types of newspapers and/or types of newspaper sections. The results show that five energy options dominate the debate and that there are minimal differences per region, but remarkable differences between types of newspapers and newspaper sections.

Volume 14 • Issue 01 • 2015

Dec 21, 2010 Commentary
Science journalism and social debate on modernization risks

by Pieter A. Maeseele

Technoscientific risks have been creating a growing social demand for participation in the scientific citizenship. This interview will emphasize that decision making (and so, in a more general sense, democracy) in the knowledge society requires new mediatic forums and new communication processes suitable to the highly multi- and inter-disciplinary nature of modern social debates. It argues that a new research agenda for risk conflicts, and a more neutral role for science journalism, are needed.

Volume 9 • Issue 04 • 2010

Dec 11, 2009 Article
Science on television: how? Like that!

by Pieter A. Maeseele and L. Desmet

This study explores the presence of science programs on the Flemish public broadcaster between 1997 and 2002 in terms of length, science domains, target groups, production mode, and type of broadcast. Our data show that for nearly all variables 2000 can be marked as a year in which the downward spiral for science on television was reversed. These results serve as a case study to discuss the influence of public policy and other possible motives for changes in science programming, as to gain a clearer insight into the factors that influence whether and how science programs are broadcast on television. Three factors were found to be crucial in this respect: 1) public service philosophy, 2) a strong governmental science policy providing structural government support, and 3) the reflection of a social discourse that articulates a need for more hard sciences.

Volume 8 • Issue 04 • 2009

Mar 21, 2007 Article
Science and technology in a mediatized and democratized society

by Pieter A. Maeseele

We inhabit an age in which economic progress in the European Union is equalized to more European research and better communication of that European research to the public. In highly developed Western democracies this implies an important role for the public as well as the mass media, both actors in a transforming public sphere. Beyond a call for more communication and more scientific literacy, the discourse has shifted to a call for more engagement and more participation on behalf of the citizen. There is a widespread sentiment however that the discipline of science communication is at a crossroads. In this paper it is argued that in a context of life politics and an increasing displacement of politics, one has to account for the trajectories of issue formation and the detours of public-ization to understand the dynamics of techno-scientific issues.

Volume 6 • Issue 01 • 2007