The news media is a major source of information to the general public but talking about one’s own research often clashes with the news values that journalists follow. In order to make their research engaging and interesting scientists are advised to present it as a story. A variety of communication guides recommend the use of personal narrative for presenting research as adventure as a way to attract and engage news audiences. But while various initiatives invite researchers to tell their stories in their own words little attention has been placed on how they actually use their storied accounts when communicating research to the news media.
In our recently published study, we looked at storytelling by scientific experts in news interviews. Their narratives were examined as a social practice, geared at achieving specific goals. Adopting this approach, we could examine how scientific accounts responded to what journalists presented as relevant and newsworthy. The study focused on a 150 interviews conducted on the daily Israeli current affairs TV talk show London et Kirschenbaum. Though mostly reporting hard news, the program hosts scientific experts on a regular basis to report on new studies and respond as experts to the news of the day.