People are affected by what is written in the media. Journalists wield great influence over the attitudes and behaviour of young people and adults.

Photo: Researchers’ Grand Prix.

In 2014 we conducted a study to investigate whether media coverage of research misconduct affects public confidence in research and scientists. The analysis was carried out by VA, in collaboration with the SOM (Society Opinion Media) Institute at the University of Gothenburg, and involved a systematic analysis of the major Swedish news media (daily press and television) and their reporting of research misconduct over the period 2002-2013. The analysis also looks at the importance of media consumption.

A summary in English of the results of the 2014 media analysis:

• Research misconduct and confidence in research


We have also surveyed journalists’ attitudes to science and researchers, and analysed the scientific content in the press.

Behind the headlines’ is a 2019 study in which twelve Swedish journalists were interviewed to investigate what influences their reporting of scientific issues. The full report is available in Swedish only.

In 2005 we conducted telephone interviews with 550 journalists working in different types of media and focusing on different fields. At the same time we analysed the science-related or supposed science-related content in a sample of daily newspapers, youth magazines and family magazines. Working with Göteborg University in winter 2005 – 2006, we asked 1,854 journalists a number of more in-depth questions on science and researchers. The following reports in English summarise the study and its results:

How Journalists View Science – Summary

How Journalists View Science, 2005 – Presentation

Science in the Press – Summary

On VA Day 2005 the relationships between science and journalism were discussed: Summary of VA Day 2005

At a workshop with journalism students and doctoral candidates in November 2005 the issue of what happens when science and journalists meet was addressed. Summary: What happens in the meeting between scientists and journalists – Workshop report

Read the latest articles:


| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

What makes science newsworthy? New VA study of Swedish science journalists reveals the decisions behind the headlines

Healthy food, the climate and immigration. These are the three research areas that stir up the most debate amongst the general public, according to Swedish science journalists. Twelve journalists were interviewed to investigate what influences their reporting of scientific issues in a new report, recently published by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Misconduct and confidence – a media analysis

Does media coverage of research misconduct affect public confidence in science and scientists? This is the question that VA (Public & Science) has been investigating, together with the SOM (Society Opinion Media) Institute at the University of Gothenburg.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

How Journalists View Science – summary

Summary of VA-report 2005:6

A total of five hundred and fifty journalists were interviewed about their views on science and their experience of communicating with researchers.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

VA-day 2005 on science and media

Erika Ingvald, freelance science journalist

Murmuring ripples through the packed auditorium of Studio 2, Radiohuset inStockholm. It is November, and the theme for the fourth VA-day is science and media.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

What happens in the meeting between scientists and journalists

Report from a Stockholm workshop

The boundary effect is a condition of altered friction and turbulence which occurs in the region where the atmosphere meets the ground. The workshop “Boundary Effect: What happens in the meeting between scientists and journalists” held in Stockholm on Nov 9 2005, explored whether there might be an analogous set of rules that only apply at the interface of science and journalism. If so, how do conditions in this “know-man’s-land” affect science, the media and ultimately society as a whole?

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