Journalistic practices of science popularization in the context of users’ agenda: A case study of „New Scientist”
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The article includes a discussion of two models which describe contemporary communication processes in journalism: agenda-setting and news value, indicating the need to expand their research tools to include qualitative methods, and merging the analyses of the reception and the message. It also includes indications as to the possibility, or even the social relevance, of the methods for applying those research perspectives to analysing journalism popularising science. Later, I present the results of an analysis of the content of a sample of 500 most read popular science texts available on the New Scientist website. I demonstrate which thematic areas were valued by the readers, and what values are most commonly applied. Further, upon applying a filter in the form of surveys regarding reader preferences, I discuss the main linguistic devices utilised for controlling readers’ attention. The shaping of the hierarchy of importance of items of news is the result of a dynamic interaction between (1) the thematic priorities and discursive strategies of imposing elite representations of science within media agenda, and (2) the means of negotiating order and values of specific content, which are correlated with readers’ preferences, both in terms of the content and the form of providing popular scientific information.