Author: Ciler Dursun, Ankara University Faculty of Communication, Turkey
Reading practices of readers and their understandings of newspaper is a very important part of science journalism studies in general. This study presents first comprehensive analysis on reading habits and signification practices of Turkish readers in Turkey. This research is funded by Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council in Turkey between 2011-2013. Research approach is based on social constructivist perspective and uses audience reception analysis. Having a social constructivist approach, it is assumed that producing a meaning of a text is a process in which both social reality and identity of people are produced. Therefore we can both infer some certain ways of reality production of individuals and can understand experiences of social agents and their definitions of situations in social process. Focus group analysis is the technique that is used for gathering interpretations of the Turkish readers on science news. Newspaper readers are categorised according to their age, wage and education and 6 different and gender balanced groups were asked on structured questions about three different kinds of news: organ transplantation, physics (specifically CERN experiment) and computer innovation. Some questions were also asked written to get their free associations on the news. Study shows us that there are some differences as well as similarities of their reading preferences and habits on STI news. Differences result mostly from the education and age differences. According to
the theme of the news, organ transplantation news and medical news are most understandable for all readers in terms of their presupposed affects on readers daily life. Detailed findings of the audience research will be displayed.