Media presentation and public understanding of stem cells and stem cell research in Hungary

Vicsek, Lilla and Gergely, Júlia (2011) Media presentation and public understanding of stem cells and stem cell research in Hungary. New Genetics and Society, 30 (1). pp. 1-26. DOI 10.1080/14636778.2011.552297

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This paper reports on a research project which examined media coverage and audience perceptions of stem cells and stem cell research in Hungary, using focus groups and a media analysis. A background study was also conducted on the Hungarian legal, social and political situation linked to stem cell research, treatment and storage. Our data shows how stem cell research/treatments were framed by the focus group members in terms of medical results/cures and human interest stories – mirroring the dominant frames utilized by the Hungarian press. The spontaneous discourse on stem cells in the groups involved a non-political and non-controversial understanding – also echoing the dominant presentation of the media. Comparing our results with those of a UK study, we found that although there are some similarities, UK and Hungarian focus group participants framed the issue of stem cell research differently in many respects – and these differences often echoed the divergences of the media coverage in the two countries. We conclude by arguing against approaches which attribute only negligible influence to the media – especially in the case of complex scientific topics and when the dominant information source for the public is the media.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:stem cell research, media influence, focus groups, Hungary
Divisions:Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Sociology and Social Studies
Subjects:Food and biotechnology
Funders:Bolyai János Grant (Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
Projects:OTKA PD 73032
ID Code:951
Deposited By: Ádám Hoffmann
Deposited On:26 Oct 2012 11:43
Last Modified:26 Oct 2012 11:44

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