Striking a Balance between Science and Arts: Mass Media Dilemma in Reporting Health and Environmental Issues
Asian Social Science
Not many people realize that the mass media carry two significant values in their content. One is the value of arts that very much represents the subjective thoughts; and the other is the value of science, which emphasizes precision, accuracy and accountability. Both values reside in the content of the mass media that very much become a precursor and inspiration for government and society to achieve their goals. Nevertheless, both are contradictory in nature. From the general semanticist point
... semanticist point of view the words of science could bring objectivity of the mass media to achievable heights. Whilst the words of arts, which are emotion laden yet exhilarating, could lead to human prejudices or perhaps human enlightenment. Although extremely subjective in nature, the arts denote the artistic creation of man that without them, the mass media could hardly persist. On the other hand, news and information of scientific in nature such as pollution, natural catastrophes, diseases and medical discoveries as well as environmental disturbances highlighted by the mass media are seldom being disputed. Hence, based on a content analysis study of four Malaysian mainstream newspapers, this paper will dwell into the plight of the Malaysian print media in trying to create a balance between arts and science especially in communicating health and environmental issues. From a general semantics perspective, the paper will also look at the use and misuse of words by print media practitioners in imparting arts and science messages.