In light of the recent AFP raids on Australian journalists, this article by journalism academic Glynn Greensmith in WA Today is a timely read to remind us about what journalism, why we need it, and why we should care about these raids. "Journalism is the gatekeeper of democracy. We’ve been directly or indirectly told this … Continue reading What is journalism? And why should we care?
Fairfax newspapers The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald have published their guidelines for reporting on medical research, which includes a focus on human trials published in reputable, peer-reviewed journals. Other principles include examining conflicts of interest disclosures, seeking independent comment, and avoiding terms such as 'safe', 'guaranteed' or 'miraculous'. The full guidelines can be … Continue reading Fairfax releases guidelines on reporting medical research
The latest edition of the iconic Associated Press Stylebook has been updated to include a new chapter on health and science journalism. The AP Stylebook offers "fundamental guidelines for spelling, language, punctuation, usage and journalistic style", and can be purchased in print or digital form here.
Pitching is one of the hardest parts of being a freelance writer, because it takes a lot of effort to craft a good pitch but you have no idea if it will succeed (and more often than not, it doesn't). Here's a really good article from the Neiman Lab about the secrets to a good … Continue reading How to pitch to editors
Science writers aren't stenographers; an important part of their job in reporting science is also to scrutinise it. To advance that, US science journalist Liza Gross has published The Science Writing Investigative Reporting Handbook: A Beginner's Guide To Investigations, aided by a grant from the National Association of Science Writers. I haven't got to reading … Continue reading New book on investigative science writing
It's an ongoing source of tension between scientists and the science journalists reporting on them: many scientists believe they have the right to review any reporting of their work, while many science journalists and science outlets argue they don't. In this piece in Undark magazine, reporter Dana Smith looks into the issue, interviewing both scientists … Continue reading Do scientists have the right to review stories about their work?
The Open Notebook (which is a brilliant resource for science journalists, in case you haven't already discovered it) has just featured a Q&A with the editors of some of the newer digital science journalism outlets, and online publications that include science coverage, namely Undark, Hakai, Buzzfeed, Axios and STAT. It offers a fascinating glimpse into … Continue reading Going digital: inside science journalism’s newest online outlets
The recent World Conference of Science Journalists featured some stand-out presentations, and some of those are now available as online videos on the WCSJ2017 website. These include Dr Jennifer Doudna's illuminating talk about CRISPR, Dr Alberto Cairo's brilliant presentation on data visualisation, and panels on pseudoscience in authoritarian regimes, fact checking, reporting on sexual harassment … Continue reading World Conference of Science Journalists 2017 session videos available online
Whether you're an aspiring science writer or somebody already established in the field, The Science Writers' Handbook has something for everyone. The book was put together by a group of US-based freelance science writers and editors, with support from the National Association of Science Writers. It features articles from 35 leading science writers covering everything … Continue reading Fantastic guide to freelance science writing
Professor Joan Leach, who heads up the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, wrote a great article for The Conversation about the need for good science journalism in Australia, why science journalism and science communication are different endeavours, and the challenges currently facing science journalists in Australia today: