Media coverage of cloning: A study of media content, production and reception

Holliman, Richard (2004). Media coverage of cloning: A study of media content, production and reception. Public Understanding of Science, 13(2) pp. 107–130.



This paper presents the results of empirical research that analyzed UK news media coverage of cloning. More specifically, it describes how quantitative and qualitative methods were used to examine the production, content and reception of newspaper and television news coverage of cloning. The paper documents the results of a systematic analysis of two years of media content (1996 and 1997), a period that includes the announcement that a Finn Dorset sheep (Dolly) had been cloned from a somatic cell. Interviews with media professionals and the Roslin Institute examined the processes of mediation involved in producing this coverage. A reception analysis, which investigated the significance of this coverage in informing respondents’ views about cloning, showed that these respondents were particularly influenced by coverage of Dolly the sheep. In conclusion, the paper considers how media coverage of cloning might influence the construction of scientific citizenship.

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