The influence of presumed media influence on news about science and scientists

Yariv Tsfati, Jonathan Cohen, Albert C. Gunther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


According to the authors, much of media coverage of science and scientists is explained by scientists' beliefs regarding the impact of appearing in media on their careers. Their argument rests on recent advances in communication theory, stressing "the influence of presumed media influence," and contributes to our understanding of why some scientists receive more media coverage than others. Combined data from a survey of scholars in an Israeli research university (n = 166) and content analysis data on the frequency of the scholars' appearances in the media were used to test this argument. Structural equation modeling revealed that the scholars' belief in the influence of media increased their motivation and efforts to obtain media coverage, which in turn was related to the number of their actual media appearances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-166
Number of pages24
JournalScience Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • news coverage of science
  • presumed media influence
  • scientists' media motivations
  • third-person effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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