Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×
The Media

+ - Scientists Themselves Play Large Role in Bad Reporting

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "A lot of science reporting is sensationalized nonsense but are are journalists, as a whole, really that bad at their jobs? Christie Wilcox reports that a team of French scientists have examined the language used in press releases for medical studies and found it was the scientists and their press offices that were largely to blame. As expected, they found that the media’s portrayal of results was often sensationalistic. More than half of the news items they examined contained spin. But, while the researchers found a lot of over-reporting, they concluded that most of it was “probably related to the presence of ‘‘spin’’ in conclusions of the scientific article’s abstract.” It turns out that 47% of the press releases contained spin. Even more importantly, of the studies they examined, 40% of the study abstracts or conclusions did, too. When the study itself didn’t contain spin to begin with, only 17% of the news items were sensationalistic, and of those, 3/4 got their hype from the press release. "In the journal articles themselves, they found that authors spun their own results a variety of ways," writes Wilcox. "Most didn’t acknowledge that their results were not significant or chose to focus on smaller, significant findings instead of overall non-significant ones in their abstracts and conclusions, though some contained outright inappropriate interpretations of their data.""
This discussion was created for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Scientists Themselves Play Large Role in Bad Reporting

Comments Filter:

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.

Working...