Meet, Mingle and Transform: Exploring the Value of Interdisciplinary Approaches in Science Journalism Education

Stevens, Gary (2022) Meet, Mingle and Transform: Exploring the Value of Interdisciplinary Approaches in Science Journalism Education. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

Meet, Mingle and Transform: Exploring the Value of Interdisciplinary Approaches in Science Journalism Education
PhD thesis
Stevens, Gary - Education - May 2023.pdf - Whole Document

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Item Status:Live Archive


Scientists, scientific organisations and government committees have identified a lack of responsible science and environmental journalism in many parts of the mass media; pointing, for example, to problems of accuracy, distorted facts and misrepresentation. The resulting tensions between those engaged in the processes of scientific inquiry and journalistic practice have been attributed, in part, to a gulf of mutual incomprehension between people who inhabit different disciplinary territories, exhibiting separate professional and cultural identities. In the context of a discussion of critical pedagogy which underpins the research, the theory of borders and borderlands is introduced as a way to conceptualise and explain problems which occur in this kind of cultural clash, and also to consider how they might be addressed in an educational context.
The research first explores the role of science journalists in a changing media landscape, exploring the economic and technological challenges they face, and the nature of their relationship with scientists, in order to identify implications for the design of university science journalism programmes. A qualitative approach is taken, with two strands consisting of a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews, broadly representing science journalists and those who run university science journalism courses; and a participant observation with a mixed-cohort of journalism and science students.
Scholars and practitioners highlight the complexity and interconnectedness of many aspects of science and environmental reporting, as well as the broad range of subject areas the field encompasses. Participants underline the importance for scientists and journalists to foster long-term positive professional relationships, and to initiate these at an early stage. For these reasons, science journalism tutors are encouraged to make opportunities within the curriculum to promote interdisciplinary connections and collaboration.
A range of interdisciplinary models is presented from which educators can select, depending on student needs, educational context and goals. In particular, collaborative initiatives with science students were found to be effective in helping science journalism students develop their knowledge and understanding of the language and culture of science, and of the processes of scientific research and publishing. There were similar benefits for science students in the form of enhanced awareness of journalistic processes. The author outlines a framework, drawing on border pedagogy principles, which can be applied as a template in other contexts for designing similar transformational learning experiences.

Keywords:science journalism, environmental journalism, education, border pedagogy, borderlands theory, interdisciplinary collaboration
Subjects:X Education > X300 Academic studies in Education
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P500 Journalism
ID Code:55732
Deposited On:11 Aug 2023 10:25

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