The collision between research and journalism

spin cycle

The recent Education Week article “Scientific Research and Policymaking” (6 February) caught my eye in particular because of reference to the new title “Spin Cycle: How Research is Used in Policy Debates” (Sage Foundation/Century Foundation, 2008). Communication and use of research is my bread and butter, so I gotta read this one. Sage was kind enough to send a copy, and I wasn’t surprised to see John Witte and Carl Kaestle mentioned among the manuscript reviewers: Witte because of his extended research on Milwaukee’s charter school system, and Kaestle because of his lifelong work on the history of US education. Both have conducted funded research through WCER (my employer) and their participation in the shaping of this book will make it all the more compelling for me.
Chapter 7 looks particularly engrossing: “How research reaches the public ear: old media and new,” with its sections about journalists’ skepticism toward research, what researchers and advocates think they know about communicating with the public, reporters’ training, and what the public wants.


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