With the Science Media Center Germany, Germany has a centre of expertise that supports journalists in reporting on scientific topics. Irene Broer and Louisa Pröschel examined the centre and talk about it in the BredowCast.
The Science Media Center Germany (SMC) works at the interface where scientific expertise meets journalistic practice. The office in Cologne serves as a contact point for journalists dealing with scientific topics, prepares topics and establishes contacts with experts. With this mediator or "intermediary", new structures are emerging in science communication in Germany.
Irene Broer spent several months in the SMC editorial office in 2020 and looked over the editors' shoulders. How do they work? How do they choose topics?
Together with Louisa Pröschel, she has now presented the findings of this field research in a working paper. The SMC fulfils three roles with its work: In addition to the role of "knowledge broker", which mediates between knowledge seekers and knowledge creators, the roles of "trust broker" and "value broker" are also relevant for the SMC.
As a trust broker, it works on establishing and mediating stable relationships of trust between journalists and academia. As a value broker, it also communicates social values, for example with regard to the status of science within society.