"Distorting Genetic Research about Cancer: From Bench Science to Press Release to Published News." Journal of Communication, 2011.

Jean Brechman, Chul-joo Lee, and Joseph N. Cappella
Research Area: 

This study considered genetic research relating to cancer outcomes and behaviors, specifically investigating the extent to which claims made in press releases (N = 23) and mainstream print media (N = 71) were fairly derived from their original presentation in scholarly journals (N = 20). Central claims expressing gene–outcome relationships were evaluated by a large pool (N = 40) of genetics graduate students. Raters judged press release claims as significantly more representative of material within the original science journal article compared with news article claims. Claims originating in news articles which demonstrated contact with individuals not directly involved in the research were judged by experts to be more representative of the original science than those that demonstrated contact with individuals directly involved in the research.

Published in Volume 61, Issue 3, pages 496-513