Categorie: universiteit

Paper Expert Quotes and Exaggeration in Health News: a Retrospective Quantative Content Analysis

Bossema, F.G., Burger, P., Bratton, L., Challenger, A., Adams, R.C., Sumner, P., Schat, J., Numans, M.E., Smeets, I. (2019). Expert quotes and exaggeration in health news: a retrospective quantitative content analysis. Wellcome Open Research 4, 56. doi: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15147.1

Background

This research is an investigation into the role of expert quotes in health news, specifically whether news articles containing a quote from an independent expert are less often exaggerated than articles without such a quote.

Methods

Retrospective quantitative content analysis of journal articles, press releases, and associated news articles was performed. The investigated sample are press releases on peer-reviewed health research and the associated research articles and news stories. Our sample consisted of 462 press releases and 668 news articles from the UK (2011) and 129 press releases and 185 news articles from The Netherlands (2015). We hand-coded all journal articles, press releases and news articles for correlational claims, using a well-tested codebook. The main outcome measures are types of sources that were quoted and exaggeration of correlational claims. We used counts, 2×2 tables and odds ratios to assess the relationship between presence of quotes and exaggeration of the causal claim.

Results

Overall, 99.1% of the UK press releases and 84.5% of the Dutch press releases contain at least one quote. For the associated news articles these percentages are: 88.6% in the UK and 69.7% in the Netherlands. Authors of the study are most often quoted and only 7.5% of UK and 7.0% of Dutch news articles contained a new quote by an expert source, i.e. one not provided by the press release. The relative odds that an article without an external expert quote contains an exaggeration of causality is 2.6.

Conclusions

The number of articles containing a quote from an independent expert is low, but articles that cite an external expert do contain less exaggeration.

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Alumnus of the Year 2018

De TU Delft reikt elk jaar de award voor ‘Alumnus of the year’ uit aan een alumnus die een inspiratie is voor anderen of een speciale contributie heeft geleverd aan technologie, innovatie, de wetenschap of ondernemerschap. De winnaar krijgt ook een plekje op de ‘Alumni Walk of Fame’ in het Mekelpark op de campus van de TU Delft.

Ionica Smeets is verkozen tot alumnus van het jaar 2018. Dat is gedaan door een jury bestaande uit Tim van der Hagen (voorzitter van het College van Bestuur en tevens rector magnificus van de TU Delft) en Micheal Wisbrun (voorzitter Universiteitsfonds TU Delft). De universiteit waardeert haar voor de toegankelijke, effectieve en vaak komische manier waarop ze probeert de kloof tussen de wetenschap en de maatschappij probeert te overbruggen.