Antarctic science and the news media
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The University of Canterbury’s ‘Gateway Antarctica’ is a leader in national and international Antarctic research projects. Research conducted by Gateway Antarctica, needs to be disseminated to the public, in order to inform citizens of advances in science, enhance public debate about science, and by doing so boosting the centres public profile. The aim of this study is to create a framework that Gateway Antarctica can use in the future in order to have their research published as news in mainstream New Zealand newspapers, by analysing articles published regarding Antarctic science and research to establish what news on these topics is most likely to be published. The study used content analysis methodology. It coded one hundred and five articles between 1989 and 2011 across New Zealand metropolitan and regional newspapers, and found that the most common Antarctic science and research reported were ‘climatological’, ‘glaciological’ and ‘geological’. The most common themes of the headlines and articles were ‘scientific research’ and ‘climate change/rising sea levels’ and this was done by applying the news values of ‘dramatisation/sensationalism’ and ‘timeliness’ to the articles. The science was most commonly framed by an event or an issue that was deemed important for public knowledge. The New Zealand Press Association was the largest publisher of news on Antarctic science and research, and its closure in August 2011 is likely to have an impact on the future of the reporting in this area. The largest sources of information for journalists were University representatives and researchers, followed by non-tertiary scientists.