The study The science journalist online: Shifting roles and emerging practices conclude that online science journalists have a more collaborative relationship with their audiences and sources and are generally adopting a more critical and interpretative stance towards the scientific community, industry, and policy-oriented organizations.
The authors of the study, Matthew C. Nisbet and Declan Fahy both from American University (Washington, DC), interviewed journalists and writers from nationally prominent US and UK media organizations, describing the shifting roles and emerging practices of science journalists online.
Science reporters today work in a mostly online environment that has challenged the historically dominant and exceptional role of science reporters as privileged conveyers of specialist information to general audiences. Compared to a decade ago, this occupational group is performing a wider plurality of roles.
More information in two posts of Climate Shift Blog by Matthew C Nisbet:
Fahy, Declan; Nisbet, Matthew: The science journalist online: Shifting roles and emerging practices, Journalism, 2011, 12(7), 778-793