The media’s goal is to give essential and truthful information to the citizens since it creates awareness of modern world happenings and social processes. The information conveyed needs to be backed up by facts and unbiased since the audience believes whatever it sees and hears. When it comes to scientific studies, the media has had a challenge of reporting news not backed up by scientific evidence raising a lot of criticism. The paper discusses on how journalists need to assess whether a scientific study is worth becoming a story line and their responsibilities to the readers and the public good.
Before making a scientific study a news story, the journalists need to consider the source of information since it helps to know whether it was well gathered and thoroughly analyzed. The consistency of the data from different sources is essential since if different researchers have the similar views about a given topic; higher chances are the information is correct. When reporting on scientific health matters, journalists need to consider on the applicability of the data since research could be from only a group of people with a particular condition (Gastel, & Day, 2016). The audience requires clarity to avoid confusion.
During research, a journalist may include people’s viewpoints that are yet to be endorsed by scientists. It would be advisable to put a disclaimer that the information given is nevertheless to be proved scientifically but is from an observation of different people. The disclaimer sets the records straight since the audience can distinguish the scientifically proven information from the mere observations (Dunwoody, 2005). Journalists have a responsibility to keep the audience and the public informed on the happenings by giving truthful information. They are required to have a balance between their personal life and professional solidarity. They should never settle their differences through mass media. They ought to give the audience two-sided information since this proves transparency and avoids conflict. In the occurrence of a mistake during reporting, the corrections need to be aired immediately to avoid conflicting information.