The Interrelation of Agendas in Stem Cell Controversy: Politics, Science and Mass Media in the Spanish Context, El País and ABC (1996-2006)

By Cristina Rodriguez Luque.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Science controversies are opened to democratic processes where mass media play an important role shaping policy issues related to biotechnology and deciding which voices are included and which criteria are considered to present the situation to the public. This study presents the results after analyzing 2,482 articles collected from the web archives of two prestige daily papers in Spain, El País (1497) and ABC (984) with the keywords “células madre” and “célula troncal” from 1996 to 2006, with two indexes of scientific production and political activity. The method is content analysis with a coding sheet previously used in The New York Times y Washington Post and bibliometric searches in ISI web of Science and in the daily sessions of Spanish Congress and Senate. From the beginning of this decade stem cells becomes an issue in Spanish press until in 2006 it is announced a new Law of Biomedical Research allowing therapeutic cloning, researching on frozen embryos and embryonic stem cells.Results showed media agenda is closer to political than scientific one. Stem cell research is portrayed more in terms of political strategy than of new research. In addition, the source of stem cells present in mass media is more related to ethical controversies than to scientific results

Keywords: Framing, Stem Cell, Agenda Building, Content Analyisis, Spanish Press

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.151-168. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.259MB).

Dr. Cristina Rodriguez Luque

Associate Professor/ Sub-Editor and News Editor in Radio CEU, Department of Audiovisual Communication, Public Relations & Advertisement, Faculty of Social Science and Law, CEU Cardinal Herrera University, Valencia, Spain

Major in Journalism in CEU San Pablo University (Madrid) in June, 2005 with the best calification. Grant FPI (Researcher and Teaching Personnel) from CEU Cardinal Herrera University from October to May 2006. Public Grant FPI from the Regional Government of Valencia from May 2006-October 2009. PhD with European Mention “Media Coverage of Stem Cell Research from the perspective of Framing. El País y ABC (1996-2006)” with Sobresaliente cum Laude, supervised by Professor of Physiology Javier Romero Gomez and Dr. Elvira Garcia de Torres. Visitor research fellow in the School of Journalism and in the Life Science Communication Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in The London School of Economics. Currently, combining teaching and researching with professional practice of Journalism ad Sub-Editor and News Editor in Radio CEU and news writer editing local news in COPE Valencia. Member of the research team in the Institute of Drugs and Addictive Behavior (IDYCA) with three projects about media coverage of drugs in Spanish and European level. She has presented several papers at international meetings in Specialized, Health and Science Journalism and published some articles in Spanish journals of Communication.