Edited by Anita Fetzer and Elda Weizman
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 307] 2019
► pp. 157–178
Science journalism entails an orientation to the interests and understandings of ordinary audiences. The key challenge for journalists is to present the research reported as newsworthy and translate complex findings to understandable terms. This study examines interviews with scientific experts conducted in the Israeli current affairs program London et. Kirschenbaum, focusing on discursive strategies used by presenters to align with the interests and knowledge of their audiences. The doing of “being ordinary” emerges as a key resource for allocating the translation of scientific knowledge between expert guests and the presenters themselves. In doing so, they are shown to shift between knowers or ignorants of the topic reported in a way that reflects their public personae and their task of making science accessible and relevant. Doing ordinariness appears to involve translational, epistemic and biographic dimensions that resonate with the interactional but also broader contexts in which reporting takes place.