Science and research make for newsworthy topics in the mass media. The stories reported by the media are likely to have an impact on people’s awareness and attitudes. Furthermore, the coverage can potentially influence people’s confidence in research and researchers, as well as their interest in scientific knowledge.

Photo: Researchers’ Grand Prix.

In 2020– 2021, we investigated media reporting and public trust during the COVID-19 pandemic in a study called  Communication about Corona.


In 2019, VA undertook a study together with the popular science magazine Forskning & Framsteg on behalf of The Swedish Research Council. The purpose was to investigate how research and science can be made more accessible in Sweden, both to the general public and to other target groups outside of academia.

The results were presented in the report ‘Research Foresight’ (Forskning.framsyn), which also includes descriptions of around 20 communication initiatives in other European countries. (Read a summary in English)


As part of the Science in Society project, VA published three reports in 2019 related to science coverage in the news media. In Behind the headlines twelve Swedish journalists were interviewed to investigate what influences their reporting of scientific issues. The full report is available in Swedish only. 

The other two reports were content analyses looking at (1) the coverage of science and research in Swedish newspapers, 1995–2015, and (2) opinion pieces signed by researchers in Sweden’s largest newspaper, 1992–2015 (reports available in Swedish only).


In 2014 we conducted a systematic analysis of the major Swedish news media (daily press and television) over the period 2002–2013 to investigate whether media coverage of research misconduct affects public confidence in research and scientists: Misconduct and confidence – a media analysis (summary in English).


In 2005 we conducted telephone interviews with 550 journalists working in different types of media. At the same time we analysed the science-related content in a sample of daily newspapers, youth magazines and family magazines. We also 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

Communication about corona – media reporting and trust during the Covid-19 pandemic – English summary

The corona pandemic has been a dominant topic in public discourse since the winter of 2020. In collaboration with researchers at Södertörn University and Karolinska Institutet, VA (Public & Science) has conducted a study to investigate how people in Sweden are receiving and interpreting information about the pandemic, and how the pandemic is being reported by the media. The objective was to investigate what influences people’s perceptions in a crisis situation where research and researchers play a central role amidst a constantly changing flow of information.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – polarised confidence in government officials

Swedes’ confidence in government officials varies greatly depending on their political leanings. Politicians are perceived as more in agreement when it comes to their views on how the corona pandemic is being handled in Sweden. These are some of the latest findings of a study being conducted by the non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) to investigate communication about the coronavirus in Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – greater agreement among researchers

Researchers are perceived as more in agreement when it comes to their views on how the corona pandemic is being handled in Sweden. The tone of news reporting on the coronavirus is perceived as more alarmist than in February. These are some of the latest findings of a study being conducted by the non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) to investigate communication about the coronavirus in Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – less agreement among journalists

Confidence in government officials who comment on the coronavirus is at its lowest level since the start of the pandemic. Journalists are perceived to be less in agreement than previously when it comes to their views on how the pandemic is being handled.  These are some of the latest findings of a study being conducted by the non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) to investigate communication about the coronavirus in Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – high confidence in healthcare professionals

Swedish Television (SVT) remains the most common and trustworthy news source about the coronavirus for Swedes. Healthcare professionals are the professional group that Swedes have the most confidence in. These are some of the latest findings of a study being conducted by the non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) to investigate communication about the coronavirus in Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – growing disagreement amongst politicians

Prior to Christmas 2020, new restrictions were introduced in Sweden to reduce the spread of infection. At the same time, there was a decline in the public’s confidence in politicians, who were also perceived to be less in agreement about how the pandemic is being handled, than previously. These are two of the latest findings of a study being conducted by the non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) to investigate communication about the coronavirus in Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – confidence boost for politicians

Confidence in politicians is rising in Sweden following the new restrictions introduced by the Swedish government. The media’s reporting on the pandemic is perceived to be more hyped and alarmist. These are some of the latest findings of a study being conducted by the non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) to investigate communication about the coronavirus in Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – confidence in news media is increasing

In mid-October, the spread of the coronavirus began to increase again in Sweden after being fairly constant during the late summer and autumn. Parallel to the rising infection rate, Swedes consumption of news plus confidence in the media coverage also increased. These are the latest findings of a study being conducted by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Coronavirus in the Swedish media – confidence in politicians is decreasing

The news media are still Swedes’ primary source of information about the coronavirus, but fewer young people are accessing any information at all. Researchers are perceived to be more in agreement in their views on how Sweden is handling the pandemic. These are the latest findings of a study being conducted by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).

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