A set of questions that journalists should consider when reporting on science.. Excellent suggestions, but one wonders how many journalists have the depth to ask them? Science journalists probably need at least an undergrad science degree.
Before journalists write about research and speak with authors, they should be able to both interpret a study’s results generally and understand the appropriate degree of skepticism that a given study’s findings warrant. This requires data literacy, some familiarity with statistical terms and a basic knowledge of hypothesis testing and construction of theories.
Journalists should also be well aware that most academic research contains careful qualifications about findings. The common complaint from scientists and social scientists is that news media tend to pump up findings and hype studies through catchy headlines, distorting public understanding. But landmark studies sometimes do no more than tighten the margin of error around a given measurement — not inherently flashy, but intriguing to an audience if explained with rich context and clear presentation.
a tip of the hat to Greg