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The Media Monitor

from the Scientist

Timothy Caulfield has spent years listening to scientists complain that the media does a poor job of explaining science. ... Finally, he decided to find out for himself.

Caulfield pored over the print media's coverage of genetic discoveries from around the English-speaking world and compiled a list of 627 newspaper articles reporting on 111 different scientific journal articles.

Together with a team of coders, all of whom had scientific backgrounds, he compared the newspaper articles with the original journal studies for signs of technical errors or exaggerated claims of the research findings. Contrary to perceived opinions, he found that only 11 percent of the media stories could be categorized as inaccurate or exaggerated.

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