Role of Media in Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology in general:
As the nanotechnology is growing and extending its arms in various fields of life , people are getting aware of its pros and cons and there is a great debate about it benefits and hazardous.
People believe that nanotechnology is going to bring about the new industrial revolution but this is, for sure, too early to say as yet the definition of nanotechnology has not been confined. Some groups say that nanotechnology is a specific area of research and it can be defined as a general purpose technology (GPT) others argue that nanotechnology is just a new label put on research projects in conventional fields of science.
Media in general:
Mass media reporting serves to increase awareness of selected topics, informs about current debates.People‟s most regular sources of information on science tend to be traditional media, such as television (54%) and print newspapers (33%). Only a fifth (19%) say one of their two most regular sources of information is the internet.
Nanotechnology and media:
Certainly the most notable characteristic that can be stated about media coverage of nanotechnology is the lack of it, with the survey indicating less interest in the subject than other comparable areas of scientific research, such as biotechnology Considering the background details of scientific issues like genetic engineering and others, scientists and political decision makers perceived that there is a possibility of similarly emotional and risk-focused debates in the initial years of nanotechnology as well.
The first country to launch a dedicated initiative for nanotechnology was the United States followed by other
developed countries. There have been a greater deal of discussion of benefits and risks in the non-U.S. newspapers, as more than half of the articles in the U.S. do not contain discernible tone regarding benefits or risks. U.S media is more positive about nanotechnology and is going to spend more than 20 % of its annual budget to impart the basic knowledge among 50 % of its public.
In UK the economic implications of nanotechnologies however seem to gain strong interest as the Business story frame is almost as popular as framing of the science fiction and popular culture.The forth frame of Prince Charles interest relating the Grey goo boosted the newsworthiness of nanotechnologies in the press, and also increased the news journalists interest about this new fascinating technology.
In a comparison of Canadian versus U.S. media coverage of nanotechnology, several indicators suggested that the Canadian mainstream print media provided more coverage of nanotechnology than their American counterparts. Eight of the thirteen Canadian dailies surveyed published at least sixteen items on nanotechnology, compared to four of the twelve surveyed in the United States.
Canadian news outlets also tended to cite nanotechnology more prominently than U.S.media outlets: 51% of news items mentioning nanotechnologies in Canadian newspapers cited it prominently (nanotechnology was the main subject of the article), compared to 42% of items surveyed in the United States. Nanotechnology also triggered slightly more debate from media opinion leaders in Canada, as over 8% of the Canadian sample consisted of op-ed articles, columns, editorials or letters to the editor, compared to only 3% of the U.S. sample. Only 28% of Canadian coverage of nanotechnology reaching domestic audiences focused on events or activities that occurred solely within Canada; one-third incorporated both Canadian and foreign sources, while coverage focusing entirely on foreign sources.
The more the country’s media is positive about nanotechnology the more developments are expected. As soon as the public image about a particular product is optimist, there is more demand for it in the market.