Acta Universitatis Lodziensis Folia Litteraria Polonica


The article includes a discussion of two models which describe contemporary communication processes in journalism: agenda-setting and news value, indicating the need to expand their research tools to include qualitative methods, and merging the analyses of the reception and the message. It also includes indications as to the possibility, or even the social relevance, of the methods for applying those research perspectives to analysing journalism popularising science. Later, I present the results of an analysis of the content of a sample of 500 most read popular science texts available on the New Scientist website. I demonstrate which thematic areas were valued by the readers, and what values are most commonly applied. Further, upon applying a filter in the form of surveys regarding reader preferences, I discuss the main linguistic devices utilised for controlling readers’ attention. The shaping of the hierarchy of importance of items of news is the result of a dynamic interaction between (1) the thematic priorities and discursive strategies of imposing elite representations of science within media agenda, and (2) the means of negotiating order and values of specific content, which are correlated with readers’ preferences, both in terms of the content and the form of providing popular scientific information.


agenda-setting, value of news items, popularisation of science, „New Scientist”


“Agenda-setting w teorii i praktyce politycznej”, E. Nowak (ed.), Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej, Lublin 2013.

Badenschier F., Wormer H., “Issue selection in science journalism: Towards a special theory of news values for science news?”, Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook: The Sciences’ Media Connection – Public Communication and its Repercussions 2012, Issue 28, pp. 59–85.

Bauer M., “Paradigm change for science communication: Commercial science needs a critical public”, in: “Communicating Science in Social Contexts”, D. Cheng et al. (eds.), Springer, New York 2008, pp. 7–25.

Bauer M., Bucchi M., “Journalism, Science and Society. Science Communication between News and Public Relations”, Routledge, London 2010.

Bednarek M., Caple H., “Why do news values matter? Towards a new methodological framework for analyzing news discourse in Critical Discourse Analysis and beyond”, Discourse and Society 2014, Issue 25 (2), pp. 135–158.

Bednarek M., Caple H., “The Discourse of News Values”, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2017.

Chyliński M., “Poszukiwanie informacji w dziennikarskich działaniach komunikacyjnych”, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Opolskiego, Opole 2015.

Firdaus A., “Refining agenda setting theory for 21st century media and communication research: Setting the new media research agenda”, in: “Agenda Setting: Old and New Problems in the Old and New Media”, B. Dobek-Ostrowska, B. Łódzki, W. Wanta (eds.), Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Wroclaw 2012, pp. 33–35.

Fras J., “O pojmowaniu infotainmentu i nadmiernej rozrywkowości mediów masowych we współczesnym medioznawstwie”, Środkowoeuropejskie Studia Polityczne 2013, Issue 1, pp. 7–31.

Guenther L., Ruhrmann G., “Science journalists’ selection criteria and depiction of nanotechnology in German media”, Journal of Science Communication 2013, Issue 12 (3) A01, pp. 1–17.

Harcup T., O’Neill D., “What is News? Galtung and Ruge Revisited”, Journalism Studies 2002, Issue 2 (2), pp. 261–280.

Kosicki G., “Review of the book: Setting the Agenda: The Mass Media and Public Opinion”, Public Opinion Quarterly 2006, Issue 70 (1), pp. 124–127.

Lisowska-Magdziarz M., “Analiza tekstu w dyskursie medialnym”, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, Cracow 2007.

McCombs M., “Setting the Agenda: The Mass Media and Public Opinion”, Polity, Oxford 2004.

McCombs M., Shaw D., “The agenda-setting function of the mass media”, Public Opinion Quarterly 1972, Issue 36, pp. 176–187.

McManus J., “Market-driven Journalism”, Sage, Thousand Oaks 1994.

Molek-Kozakowska K., “Communicating environmental science beyond academia: Stylistic patterns of newsworthiness in popular science journalism”, Discourse & Communication 2017, Issue 11 (1), pp. 69–88.

Molek-Kozakowska K., “Framing disease, ageing and death in popular science journalism”, Brno Studies in English 2016, Issue 42 (1), pp. 49–69.

Molek-Kozakowska K., “Popularity-driven science journalism and climate change: A critical discourse analysis of the unsaid”, in press.

Molek-Kozakowska K., “Pragmalinguistic categories in discourse analysis of science journalism”, Łódź Papers in Pragmatics 2015, Issue 11 (2), pp. 157–179.

Molek-Kozakowska K., “Stylistic analysis of headlines in science journalism: A case study of New Scientist”, Public Understanding of Science 2016, online, pp. 1–14.

Molek-Kozakowska K., “The style of EU directives and the discourse of expert rationality”, Stylistyka 2014, Issue 23, pp. 245–261.

Myers G., “Discourse studies of scientific popularization: Questioning the boundaries”, Discourse Studies 2003, Issue 5 (2), pp. 265–279.

Nowak E., “The news effect: shifting salience between media and policy agenda”, in: “Political Communication in the Era of New Technologies”, B. Dobek-Ostrowska, J. Garlicki (eds.), Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2013, pp. 215–234.

Perrault S., “Communicating Popular Science: From Deficit to Democracy”, Macmillan, Basingstoke 2013.

Richardson J., “Analyzing Newspapers: An Approach from Critical Discourse Analysis”, Macmillan, Basingstoke 2007.

Schudson M., “Discovering the News: A Social History of American Newspapers”, Basic Books, New York 1981; G. Tuchman, “Making News: A Study in the Construction of Reality”, Free Press, London 1978.

http://mediacentre.newscientist.com/audience-and-brand [accessed on: 15.03.2017].

http://www.newsvaluesanalysis.com/kaleidographic/ [accessed on: 15.03.2017].

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24420-brain-damage-in-american-football-linked-to-head-trauma/ [accessed on: 15.03.2017].

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24937-stephen-hawkings-new-theory-offers-black-hole-escape/ [accessed on: 15.03.2017].

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25328-how-climate-change-will-affect-where-you-live/ [accessed on: 15.03.2017].

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25652-spacex-unveils-sleek-reusable-dragon-crew-capsule/ [accessed on: 15.03.2017].

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26049-revealed-how-ebola-paralyses-the-immune-system/ [accessed on: 15.03.2017].

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26193-biggest-hunting-dinosaur-was-an-aquatic-shark-gobbler/ [accessed on: 15.03.2017].

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26234-zoologger-ants-fight-dirty-in-turf-war-with-spiders/ [accessed on: 15.03.2017].

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26516-ever-felt-a-ghostly-presence-now-we-know-why/ [accessed on: 15.03.2017].

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27703-surgeon-proposes-human-head-transplant-operation-as-soon-as-2017/ [accessed on: 15.03.2017].

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129540-500-sugar-on-trial-what-you-really-need-to-know/ [accessed on: 15.03.2017].

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129615-200-what-will-happen-if-china-adopts-a-two-child-policy/ [accessed on: 15.03.2017].

First Page


Last Page






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.