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Disintermediation in Science Communication, ECSJ 2017

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With regard to evolution, creatures who refuse to learn deserve extinction. What about our own profession? Do we maybe ‘refuse to learn’ from digitisation that it is not just work practices and business models which are being transformed? Does the post-truth era question the very function of ‘journalists’ as dedicated intermediaries? What is it that enables or prevents us from adapting to the changing media environments?

This keynote at the European Science Journalism Conference 2017 introduced a new model of “Disintermediation in Science Communication”. The concept which was originally coined in economics, describes the structural loss of journalists as intermediaries in the knowledge-creation and -transfer processes. The research is based on the world’s first full-text content analysis of every science press release published digitally in German academia.

Publié dans : Sciences
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Disintermediation in Science Communication, ECSJ 2017

  1. 1. 1 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation
  2. 2. 2 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation Prof. Alexander Gerber Chair of Science Communication, Rhine-Waal University Research Director, Institute for Science & Innovation Communication ag@hsrw.eu a.gerber@inscico.eu @inscico alexandergerber 4thEuropean Conference for Science Journalists Copenhagen / DK 27th June 2017 bit.ly/Disintermediation-Science
  3. 3. 3 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception. Carl Sagan 1934-1996
  4. 4. 4 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception. EUSJA Newsletter 3 / 2016
  5. 5. 5 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. The Gatekeeper* an endangered species? An obvious cause: Change in information behaviour  business models obsolete  market pressures  churnalism Term coined by journalist Walter Lippmann. Research tradition founded in the 1950‘s by David M. White *
  6. 6. 6 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. The Gatekeeper* an endangered species? An obvious cause: Change in information behaviour  business models obsolete  market pressures  churnalism Term coined by journalist Walter Lippmann. Research tradition founded in the 1950‘s by David White * Term coined by journalist Nick Davies in 2008 ** ** Catch 22: erosion of public trust
  7. 7. 7 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. The Gatekeeper* an endangered species? An obvious cause: Change in information behaviour  business models obsolete  market pressures  churnalism Term coined by journalist Walter Lippmann. Research tradition founded in the 1950‘s by David White * BBC Science Coverage (Meller et al. 2011):  82% of science stories derived from PR UK Journalism in general (Lewis et al. 2008):  Time-pressure increases dependence on ‘ready made’ news.  60% of articles from such sources (not counting false negatives).  Most influenced topic: health
  8. 8. 8 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. The Gatekeeper* an endangered species? An obvious cause: Change in information behaviour  business models obsolete  market pressures  churnalism Term coined by journalist Walter Lippmann. Research tradition founded in the 1950‘s by David White * BBC Science Coverage (Meller et al. 2011):  82% of science stories derived from PR UK Journalism in general (Lewis et al. 2008):  Time-pressure increases dependence on ‘ready made’ news.  60% of articles from such sources (not counting false negatives).  Most influenced topic: health “These data portray a picture of journalism in which any meaningful journalistic activity by the press is the exception rather than the rule.” (University of Cardiff) See: Moore (2011) in CJR
  9. 9. 9 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. The Gatekeeper* an endangered species? A more concealed cause: Technological and structural means of bypassing the intermediary
  10. 10. 10 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 10 / 64 Traditional sequences in the communication process: specialist discourse  didactic explanation  popularisation 
  11. 11. 11 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 11 / 64 Traditional sequences in the communication process: specialist discourse  didactic explanation  popularisation 
  12. 12. 12 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 12 / 64 Traditional sequences in the communication process: specialist discourse  didactic explanation  popularisation 
  13. 13. 13 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 13 / 64 Traditional sequences in the communication process: specialist discourse  didactic explanation  popularisation 
  14. 14. 14 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 14 / 64 Traditional sequences in the communication process: specialist discourse  didactic explanation  popularisation This presumably sequential process has desequentialised for quite some time. 
  15. 15. 15 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 15 / 64 Case #1
  16. 16. 16 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 16 / 64 Case #1
  17. 17. 17 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 17 / 64 Case #1
  18. 18. 18 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 18 / 64 Case #1
  19. 19. 19 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 19 / 64 Case #1
  20. 20. 20 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 20 / 64 Case #2
  21. 21. 21 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 21 / 64 Case #2
  22. 22. 22 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 22 / 64 Case #2
  23. 23. 23 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 23 / 64 Case #2
  24. 24. 24 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 24 / 64 Case #3
  25. 25. 25 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 25 / 64 Case #3
  26. 26. 26 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 26 / 64 Why (only) this one expert? Single discovery promoted Researchers speaking of themselves in the 3rd person Case #3
  27. 27. 27 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 27 / 64  Launched 2011 in AU  5 spin-offs since then  Andrew Jaspan (founder): “A direct pipeline from knowledge creation to knowledge dissemination” Case #3
  28. 28. 28 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 28 / 64  Launched 2002 in the UK originally as part of the RI  5 spin-offs since then  Mission: provide evidence-based information, particularly on controversial topics  Comparatively independent Case #4
  29. 29. 29 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 29 / 64  EurekAlert, AlphaGalileo, IDW etc. all started as press-release repositories, yet serve as media themselves now Case #5
  30. 30. 30 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 30 / 64  EurekAlert, AlphaGalileo, IDW etc. all started as press-release repositories, yet serve as media themselves now Case #5
  31. 31. 31 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 31 / 64  EurekAlert, AlphaGalileo, IDW etc. all started as press-release repositories, yet serve as media themselves now Case #5
  32. 32. 32 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 32 / 64 Press releases by academic institutions in Germany published digitally on IDW (N.B. numer of members has also increased) 1995 2000 Case #5
  33. 33. 33 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 33 / 64 Press releases by academic institutions in Germany published digitally on IDW (N.B. numer of members has also increased) 1995 2000 2005 2010 Case #5
  34. 34. 34 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 34 / 64 1995 2000 2005 2010 Number of press-releases per Institution Characters per press-release per year 2015 Case #5
  35. 35. 35 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 35 / 64 Traditional sequences in the communication process: specialist discourse  didactic explanation  popularisation From Desequentialisation to Disintermediation… 
  36. 36. 36 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 36 / 64 Corporate Publishing, iTunesU, Podcasts, Apps
  37. 37. 37 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 37 / 64 Corporate Comms 2.0 Corporate Publishing, iTunesU, Podcasts, Apps
  38. 38. 38 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 38 / 64 Open Access, Open Data Corporate Comms 2.0 Corporate Publishing, iTunesU, Podcasts, Apps
  39. 39. 39 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 39 / 64 Open Access, Open Data Corporate Comms 2.0 Corporate Publishing, iTunesU, Podcasts, Apps Science Journalism 3.0 Science Journalism 1.0 Science Journalism 2.0
  40. 40. 40 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 40 / 64 Open Access, Open Data Corporate Comms 2.0 Corporate Publishing, iTunesU, Podcasts, Apps Science Journalism 3.0 Science Journalism 1.0 Science Journalism 2.0
  41. 41. 41 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 41 / 64 Open Access, Open Data Corporate Comms 2.0 Corporate Publishing, iTunesU, Podcasts, Apps Science Journalism 3.0 Science Journalism 1.0 Science Journalism 2.0
  42. 42. 42 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 42 / 64 Corporate Comms 2.0 Corporate Publishing, iTunesU, Podcasts, Apps Science Advocacy; Upstream Engagement Open Access, Open Data Science Journalism 3.0 Science Journalism 2.0 Science Journalism 1.0
  43. 43. 43 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 43 / 64 Corporate Comms 2.0 Corporate Publishing, iTunesU, Podcasts, Apps Science Advocacy; Upstream Engagement Open Access, Open Data Science Journalism 3.0 Science Journalism 2.0 Science Journalism 1.0 EurekAlert, AlphaGalileo, IDW, etc. SMC Conversation Science Daily Youris Filling the gap: the ‘new’ intermediaries…
  44. 44. 44 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 44 / 64 Corporate Comms 2.0 Corporate Publishing, iTunesU, Podcasts, Apps Science Advocacy; Upstream Engagement Open Access, Open Data Science Journalism 3.0 Science Journalism 2.0 Science Journalism 1.0 disintermediated
  45. 45. 45 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 45 / 64 Science Advocacy; Upstream Engagement Corporate Comms 2.0 Corporate Publishing, iTunesU, Podcasts, Apps Open Access, Open Data Science Journalism 3.0 Science Journalism 2.0 Science Journalism 1.0 disintermediated Also on the flip side this raises questions about work ethics…
  46. 46. 46 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. 46 / 64 Corporate Comms 2.0 Corporate Publishing, iTunesU, Podcasts, Apps Science Advocacy; Upstream Engagement Open Access, Open Data Science Journalism 3.0 Science Journalism 2.0 Science Journalism 1.0 Redefining responsibilities Also on the flip side this raises questions about work ethics…  The comms side of “RRI”  CSR  ELSI  pTA
  47. 47. 47 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Disintermediation Originally coined in the Economic Sciences Disintermediation in business (driven by digitisation long before the media systems came under the economic and increasingly political pressures we know today)… Holiday-maker  Travel Agency  Hotel
  48. 48. 48 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Disintermediation Originally coined in the Economic Sciences Disintermediation in business (driven by digitisation long before the media systems came under the economic and increasingly political pressures we know today)… Holiday-maker  Travel Agency  Hotel
  49. 49. 49 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Disintermediation Originally coined in the Economic Sciences Disintermediation in business (driven by digitisation long before the media systems came under the economic and increasingly political pressures we know today)… Holiday-maker  Travel Agency  Hotel
  50. 50. 50 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Disintermediation Originally coined in the Economic Sciences Disintermediation in business (driven by digitisation long before the media systems came under the economic and increasingly political pressures we know today)… Holiday-maker  Travel Agency  Hotel …never happened! The agencies were merely reintermediatised.
  51. 51. 51 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Reintermediation …replaces the middlemen with new models Disintermediation in business (driven by digitisation long before the media systems came under the economic and increasingly political pressures we know today)… Holiday-maker  Travel Agency  Hotel
  52. 52. 52 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Reintermediation …replaces the middlemen with new models Hypothesis: If we can expect science journalism to be affected in a similar way as most other industries, both the challenges and the potential solutions and new models will need to be rethought fundamentally. We would be looking at something that is not “journalism” any more as we know it. One scenario could be…
  53. 53. 53 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Reintermediation …replaces the middlemen with new models Hypothesis: If we can expect science journalism to be affected in a similar way as most other industries, both the challenges and the potential solutions and new models will need to be rethought fundamentally. We would be looking at something that is not “journalism” any more as we know it. One scenario could be…
  54. 54. 54 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Reintermediation Impact Filtering: Algorithms, Filter Bubbles, Echo chambers, Circumvention Quality assurance: Collaborative networks of quality assessment (e.g. Airbnb ratings) have established but hardly exist yet in science. Could they establish new trust relationships?
  55. 55. 55 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Reintermediation Impact Filtering: Algorithms, Filter Bubbles, Echo chambers, Circumvention Quality assurance: Collaborative networks of quality assessment (e.g. Airbnb ratings) have established but hardly exist yet in science. Could they establish new trust relationships?
  56. 56. 56 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. Reintermediation Impact Filtering: Algorithms, Filter Bubbles, Echo chambers, Circumvention Quality assurance: Collaborative networks of quality assessment (e.g. Airbnb ratings) have established but hardly exist yet in science. Could they establish new trust relationships?
  57. 57. 57 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. He who refuses to learn, deserves extinction. Rabbi Hillel 110BC - 10AD
  58. 58. 58 / 57Gerber, Alexander (2017): „Reinventing Science Journalism in the Age of Disintermediation”. ECSJ. He who refuses to learn, deserves extinction. Rabbi Hillel 110BC - 10AD Prof. Alexander Gerber Chair of Science Communication, Rhine-Waal University Research Director, Institute for Science & Innovation Communication ag@hsrw.eu a.gerber@inscico.eu @inscico alexandergerber bit.ly/Disintermediation-Science

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