Press releases — the new trend in science communication

Charlotte Autzen

Scientific institutions have for a long time known the importance of framing and owning stories about science. They also know the effective way of communicating science in a press release. This is part of the institution’s public relations. Enhanced competition among research institutions has led to a buildup of communicative competences and professionalization of public relations inside the institutions and the press release has become an integrated part of science communication from these institutions. Changing working conditions in the media, where fewer people have to publish more, have made press releases from trustworthy scientific institutions into free and easily copied content for the editors. In this commentary I investigate and discuss the communicative ecosystem of the university press release. I especially take a close look at the role of the critical and independent science journalist in relation to this corporate controlled communication.

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