Science journalism in a digital world

A NEW book examines investigative reporting in Australia in an era of digital change.

It is aimed at journalism students and brings together articles and case studies from some of Australia’s foremost journalists and academics.

The book, Journalism Research and Investigation in a Digital World, covers a range of areas from WikiLeaks and new models of investigative journalism to the impact of social media on the Arab Spring and is specifically set in the context of digital media.

It recognises emergent shifts in reporting and highlights the need for journalists and writers to develop skills to work across a range of media platforms. New media gives rise to possibilities to package information in faster and more efficient ways, but it also comes with new challenges and risks.

Health and science writers will find some of the early chapters about recent trends in the collaboration between not-for-profit organisations and media companies of interest. There is also a couple of interesting chapters dedicated to health and science journalism.

Trevor Cullen, Program Director for Communications at Edith Cowan University, looks into the opportunities and challenges for health reporting during a period of soaring consumer demand for health publications, media health programs and online health information.

This is supplemented with a short case study into harnessing the digital era for health investigations by Melissa Sweet, Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney.

With more people basing health decisions on what they read or see in the media, there is an even greater responsibility to provide accurate and reliable health information and online content. The study touches on ways to improve the standard and quality of health reporting.

In a chapter on science journalism, Karina Kelly (of ABC TV’s Quantum and Catalyst) reflects on the challenges of straddling the apparent divide between the rigours and processes of science and the requirements of traditional and new forms of digital media.

Stay posted for a more detailed review of these contributions to health and science writing.

Book Details: Tanner, S & Richardson N. (Eds) (2013). Journalism Research and Investigation in a Digital World. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

For more information, link here. 

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