WRITING ABOUT SCIENCE FOR THE MEDIA

EVOKE/EuroScitizen (WG4) Science Media Training Session

Writing about science for the media: Press releases and news articles — writing, fact checking, getting noticed and getting the message across

A good and compelling news article is a good way for research findings to reach wide and diversified audiences. However, when writing for non-specialist audiences we must follow a structure and pay attention to details that are different than when writing a research paper. In this hands-on workshop we will explore these differences, discuss our ideas about a good news article, and the participants will prepare a news article or a press release based on a research paper of their choice.

Dates: 14th and 21st of February 2022

Topics:

Science — the route from the bench to the newspaper

News articles, press releases — contents and structure

Adjusting the content to audiences and different media

The importance of fact-checking

Writing a news article or press release about a research topic

Schedule

Day 1: 10:00 – 17:00 (with 1 hour lunch break)

Day 2: 10:00 – 13:00 (depending on number of texts prepared by the participants and number of participants we may need extend the session to the afternoon)

Note: indicated times are in CET, please adjust to your time zone

The trainerRita Ponce

Rita is an evolutionary biologist who became a science writer. She graduated in Biology at the University of Lisbon, worked on her graduate research at University of Rochester NY and Harvard University and obtained a PhD in Biology from the University of Lisbon. During her postdoctoral years at cE3c she developed a passion for science communication what led her to pursue a master’s degree in Science Communication. Her master’s thesis was about the origin of hype in science news. She wrote about science and environment to a local newspaper O Corvo and did an internship at the Science Section of daily national newspaper Público. Rita has worked as a freelance science writer, having produced several types of science writing —news and features for newspapers, content for science exhibits, science outreach material, pedagogical material for school teachers, and content for a science TV series. Currently, Rita an invited professor at the Polytechnic Institute of Setubal, a fact-checker for the health news outlet Medical News Today and a freelance science writer. She finds that writing about science is as exciting as doing science — with the added bonus of allowing her to explore many different fields.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/rita-ponce-7189283b/

Program:

14 of February

Timecontent
10:00 – 11:30Icebreaker Science journalism and how does science gets into the newsroom News articles, press releases Different audiences, different types of text; different media
11:30 – 11:45Break
11:45 – 13:00Exercise — find the hook, write the lead (and title) (all participants use the same article and the different solutions are discussed)
13:00 — 14:00Lunch Break
14:00 – 15:30Exercise and debate: What’s the news? (a discussion about the article each participant wants to write about and finding an angle)
15:30 – 15:45Break
15:45 — 17:00Disseminating our work — using social media Fact-checking — why and how

21st of February

Timecontent
10:00 – 11:30Presentations of the articles written by the participants and discussion  
11:30 – 11:45Break
11:45 – 13:00Presentations of the articles written by the participants and discussion  

Funding

The training school will be held online and it will be free of charge for the trainees.  

As this will be a training school involving practical activities, it is limited to 20 participants.

Application

Please register here until the 7th of February)

https://forms.gle/j7qZowYq1TCFMdtk9

The selection of participants will follow the order in which the applications were received. However, we will try to balance gender, career stage, and country of the participants.

You will be informed whether your application has been selected until the 9th of January (please check your spam and junk folders if you do not hear back from us by that date).

Who can apply?

Training is open to all stages of science, science communication and journalism careers.

Note that the trainees must be part of the EVOKE community. The EVOKE community brings together different stakeholders (researchers, educators, science communicators, policy makers) interested in and working on European wide projects to promote the public understanding of evolution.

Joining EVOKE is free of charge and simple. To know more about EVOKE and join this network: https://evokeproject.org/what-is-the-evoke-project/

Deadline for applications: the 7th of February 2022

Join us! This is a great opportunity to meet an international team of inspiring people with an open mind and one common goal. We want to communicate better information and stories in a way that will help society to better understand facts, data, and science!