Course ObjectiveAfter following this course, you are able to:
- Review the key changes in science journalism due to changes in the
science-society relationship and digitalization of the media
- Examine contemporary issues of science journalism including the
emergence of issues and publics, framing, values and emotions, expertise
and evidence, uncertainty and ignorance.
- Apply an interdisciplinary toolkit to think about the interactions
between science, media and the public and the role of science journalism
- Useyour skills in different science communication media, such as
writing, video, and documentary to generate meaningful exchange between
science and society
- Describe what the professional practice of science journalism entails
Course ContentScience journalism is needed now more than ever. Science heavily
influences our society, not only through the application of its
knowledge but also through its worldview. Although science and
technology have shown the potential to improve our lives and living
conditions significantly, they also contribute to new problems, risks
and concerns. This awareness has changed the science and society
relationship and put science and technology under increasing public
scrutiny. In the context of the complex challenges of today, such as
climate change or food security, ‘the facts’ are regularly called into
question. Public trust in the solutions presented by science is under
pressure. There is clear demand for the scientific world to communicate
effectively with the rest of society. But how to shape the public
conversation about science in society? And how do the media shape our
perception and appreciation of science? What is the role of science
journalism? Especially with respect to the larger transformations that
are taking place in the relationship between science, media and public.
Digitalization has revolutionized the media landscape. Everyone now has
the means to either find or generate any information themselves. This
provides new opportunities, but may also spread low-quality,
sensationalized and sometimes intentionally misleading information. The
challenge for science journalism today is to reinvent its practice and
help shape a meaningful exchange between science and society.
In this course we review the key changes in science journalism. We
examine how changes in both the science-society relationship and
digitalization of the media landscape have changed the science
journalism practice. We look at different roles of journalism such as
reporters, storytellers, watchdogs and educators and discuss what new
roles might need to be developed in light of the abovementioned changes.
We analyze the communication and interaction dynamics in the current
media landscape according to a set of core questions: How do issues and
publics emerge? What is the role of framing? What is the role of values
and emotions? What is the role of expertise, evidence? What is the role
of uncertainty and ignorance? Finally, we train specific skills that you
need as a science journalist, such as popular writing, making popular
science videos, interviewing, and program design. Throughout the course,
we work together closely with professionals from the field. Our guest
speakers work as freelancer, editor or producer at diverse science
media, such as newspapers, broadcasting media, online magazines and
documentary film. They contribute to our course via the lectures,
assignments and discussions.
Teaching MethodsLectures and seminars on theory and practice of science journalism and
skill training (36h). Considerable time is set aside for
performing science journalism in assignments (108h). All sessions
indicated as training sessions in the schedule are mandatory. The
assignments are assessed by lecturers and fellow students (peer-review
process). Self-study (remaining hours).
Method of AssessmentSeveral individual assignments (60%), several small group assignments
(40%). All assignments must be passed (grade > 6).
LiteratureAnnounced on Canvas one month before start of the course
Target AudienceAll Master students with a Beta-Bachelor degree. Students taking this
course as part of their VU Science Communication Specialisation or UvA
Major Science Communication will have precedence over other students.
Students from other faculties and or universities need to get formal
consent from the course coördinator (Frank Kupper) before enrolment.
Additional InformationThe course is taught in English. Because language proficiency is
crucial, there is the option to hand-in assigments in Dutch. More
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Science|
|Course Coordinator||dr. J.F.H. Kupper|
|Examiner||dr. J.F.H. Kupper|
dr. J.F.H. Kupper
You need to register for this course yourself
Last-minute registration is available for this course.
|Teaching Methods||Study Group*, Lecture, Computer lab|
*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.
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