A conference at the University of the West of England in July is going to hear from Felicity Mellor - a frequent subject of BH posts - about science journalism. Here's her abstract:
Conventionally, academics studying science journalism, as well as practising science journalists, claim that science reporting follows the same news values as other forms of news. Whilst this is true in many respects, it fails to account for how science journalism differs from many other beats in its failure to adopt a critical stance. This paper explores the extent to which an additional set of 'non-news values' also operates, and suggests that it is here that the science beat differs from other beats. Taking the news coverage of invisibility research in the field of transformative optics as an example, I show that sources of funding, uncertainties, and limitations are routinely excluded from science news, suggesting that an implicit set of normative values structures what is omitted from news reports. These non-news values draw on a naïve, idealist philosophy of science which construes questions of interests and fallibility as a non-concern for news discourse about science.
It looks as if one person has worked it out, at least.