The black hole in science journalism: A study of journalism students’ accommodation strategies of scientific writing

  • Wincharles Coker
  • Richmond S. Ngula
Keywords: Science journalism, science news, science literacy model, scientist authors, accommodation


This study examined strategies employed by journalism students to accommodate scientific communication into public news. Data were collected from news articles of 130 journalism students, 130 science-based research articles, 3,990 minutes of interviews between scientists and trainees, and among 25 focal participants. We found that some journalism students could not adequately accommodate scientific articles into news reports due to their passive knowledge of newswriting journalese. We also observed that journalism students had difficulty in interpreting scientific research claims, and showed less resilience to cope with the angst of scientists about the journalistic profession and the humanities. The paper concluded that the accommodation of scientific communication into public news is a rigorous process that requires the active participation and praxis of journalism students.


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eISSN: 2458-746X
print ISSN: 0855-1502