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The Macksey Journal

Abstract

In order to understand how and why media cover cultural heritage science, my research mentor and I studied three years of news coverage of heritage science and determined that coverage depends on different variables about the content of the story. This paper analyzes art conservation science in the media through literature review of consumer media, understanding how these topics appear within the news cycle. We collected and analyzed more than 1,000 news articles looking specifically at their content, date, context of publication, and word count. The publications that produced these articles were also analyzed for insight into the intended audience of the articles.

In general, we found that articles that included elements that connected the news to a famous name, a new discovery, the process of conservation itself, or a technological advancement typically garnered the highest amount of media attention. Attention here is defined by the number of separate articles written for a variety of news outlets about the same subject. In addition, timelines that demonstrate when a story first breaks and when many consumer news publications pick up on the story suggests that institutional press releases play an important role in drawing attention to a new topic. Beyond a good press release, the results of this study suggest that there are several other criteria upon which media focus, and a combination of a number of these criteria are what can gain a story a lot of attention.

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