[ASC-media] Media wants environment and medical R&D info

Jenni Metcalfe jenni at econnect.com.au
Mon May 30 11:04:59 EST 2005

A survey of journalists across Australia shows that when it comes to R&D they are particularly interested environmental and medical R&D information.

The survey was sent to about 1200 media outlets across Australia with 114 journalists responding to the web survey, most of them being science journalists (91 or almost 80%).

A list of 32 R&D topics was provided on the web survey for journalists to choose from, and the top 12 topics chosen (in order) were:
*Water Use (65%)
*Native Flora & Fauna (56%)
*Medical treatments (55%)
*Social Issues (54%)
*River Health (54%)
*Global warming/climate change (53%)
*Disease threats (52%)
*Genetic engineering (52%)
*Waste Management (51%)
*Biotechnology (50%)
*Agricultural production (50%)
*Salinity (50%)

A number of journalists selected "other topics" such as astronomy, food technology and palaeontology, which were missing from the original list, according to Jenni Metcalfe from Econnect Communication who conducted the survey.

"It was interesting to see the number of science journalists who responded to the survey compared to general or other journalists," Ms Metcalfe said. "This seems to indicate that other journalists are just not interested in science topics, which is a cause for concern."

An initial Expert Guide of Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) researchers covers all of the topics listed above plus many others. This guide is available as hard copy or in an electronic version and includes the six CRC sectors: Environment, Medical, Manufacturing, Agriculture, IT and Communications, and Mining and Energy. 

Most of the journalists surveyed (97) said they were interested to receive such an expert contact list and most wanted to receive this as an email attachment (40%) or through web access (31%). Twenty-six percent still like to receive such lists as hard copy and 17% wanted to receive them as part of an email message.

Most of the journalists (81%) indicated they contacted scientists consistently or sometimes and most (90%) said they would access an Internet site to get science stories, if it were available. When asked how they got their information or ideas for science stories, journalists said they were most likely to get this from:
*Media releases (86%)
*Internet (76%)
*Personal contacts (72%)
*From talking to experts (70%)
*From other media outlets (57%)

For a copy of the CRC Expert Guide and for further information contact: Jenni Metcalfe; Phone 0408 551 866; jenni at econnect.com.au

Jenni Metcalfe
Econnect Communication
PO Box 734
South Brisbane Q 4101

Ph. 07 3846 7111; 0408 551 866
jenni at econnect.com.au

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