Purveyors of ignorance

Journalists as agents in the social construction of scientific ignorance

Authored by: S. Holly Stocking , Lisa W. Holstein

Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415718967
eBook ISBN: 9781315867762
Adobe ISBN: 9781317964674

10.4324/9781315867762.ch12

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Abstract

Ask any journalist about the role of news media in society, and chances are you will be assured that it is to shine a light, to raise the curtain, to reveal “the truth.” What journalists do, or mean to do, is to dispel ignorance. Yet, constrained by competing interests and concerns, they can sometimes become unwitting allies of powerful actors who strategically construct ignorance to protect and advance their own interests. In so doing, journalists can themselves become purveyors of ignorance and muddle public discourse about science.

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