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Contested KnowledgeScience, Media, and Democracy in Kerala$
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Shiju Sam Varughese

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199469123

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199469123.001.0001

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The Backstage

The Backstage

Science News in the Making

(p.191) 7 The Backstage
Contested Knowledge

Shiju Sam Varughese

Oxford University Press

Focusing on the production of science news, the chapter explores the structural characteristics of the scientific public sphere and the professional alliances and interactions at the backstage. The rhetorical strategies employed in the presentation of science news as well as the mobilization of resources for news production by journalists are discussed. The skilful deployment of news genres such as editorials and letters to the editors as well as the news framing strategies are examined to demonstrate how a public controversy is actively produced and maintained by the media. The chapter argues that science communication through the regional press is a complex professional activity where scientists and journalists collaborate with each other for mutual professional benefits. A complex network of diverse actors was active at the backstage, and their active participation in staging the controversies was pivotal in staging the scientific controversies.

Keywords:   discursive strategies in media, journalists and scientists, media frames, narrative structure of news, news genres, popular science, science journalism

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