- News + Media
IRG 3-5: Variation in the Framing of Nano.
(Bruce Bimber, Erica Lively, Meredith Conroy, David Weaver; Sharon Friedman, Brenda Egolf)
This research analyzes news trends over time in coverage of nanotechnology. Initial research (Weaver, Lively & Bimber 2009) focused on questions such as: 1) How has news volume changed over time and in response to what events? 2) What are the most common news frames in stories about nano? 3) With which news outlets are these frames associated?
The project was continued with expanded tracking of nano news coverage through 2009, including more news outlets and an added analytic focus: which specific applications of nanotechnologies (e.g. energy, computing, medicine, consumer products) are associated in news coverage with which news frames? Part of the research findings show that some application areas and frames often occur together, such as Progress and Medicine. The team prepared a chapter on the research for the UCSB-CNS edited volume, The Social Life of Nanotechnology (Lively et al., forthcoming).
The study of media framing of nano is continuing under the leadership of science journalism experts Sharon Friedman and Brenda Egolf at Lehigh University. They have developed an extensive coding system for analyzing print media coverage of nano and are exploring methods for studying on-line coverage in a valid and reliable fashion. Friedman supplements the print media report analysis with in-depth interviews with journalists to provide understanding of the changing media environment for risk reporting and communication of scientific uncertainty. This line of research is expanding to study coverage of nanotechnology issues in new media outlets, such as blogs.