30 September 2011

Scientists: Meet the journalists

Posted by

Whenever I teach a media training workshop to scientists, I am pretty sure that two issues are going to pop up. The first is the inevitable question: “How can I review the story before it runs?” Scientists will be disappointed with that one, because the answer is, basically, sorry, you can’t. And the second issue is a litany of complaints about how journalists work: they oversimplify the science, their headlines are awful, they misquote scientists…

I’ve found that if I bring a science reporter to teach the workshop with me, these attitudes change. In follow-up surveys, workshop attendees say they now understand much better how journalists work and feel less hesitant about talking to them in the future. So I approached three top-notch science reporters who agreed to speak on-camera about their craft and how to improve collaborations between scientists and the media.

Without further introduction, here’s what these journalists had to say.

Seth Borenstein (Associated Press)

Dan Vergano (USA Today)

Alexandra Witze (Science News)

(NOTE: This is this blogger’s last post, since I’m changing jobs. You can find me on Twitter at @mjvinas)

– Maria-José Viñas, AGU science writer