Monday, September 13, 2010

Article of Interest: "Why Trust a Reporter?"

A useful article in the recent issue of TheScientist.com (Volume 24 Issue 9 Page 40 Date: 2010-09-01) features helpful tips to scientists when giving an interview on research. The author, Edyta Zielinska, covers the basics about how to slow down, make your research clear, and avoid "press pitfalls."

The following disclaimer is provided alongside the various defnitions and helpful strategies: "While the following represent widely held definitions in the field, not every reporter will interpret the rules in the same way. Your best bet is to either not say anything you don’t want to see in print or have an explicit conversation with the reporter about how your words will be used before the interview begins. "

Read more: Why Trust A Reporter? - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences http://www.the-scientist.com/2010/9/1/40/1/#ixzz0zQNEkvwm

A lively, and at times cynical, response section highlights concerns of the scientific community in responding to requests for interviews. This subject addresses the issue of how to control your message to the public. Science communication extends to the broader goal of promoting science in the community and not just to teaching students how to do it. What are the best examples of public outreach and news media for archaeological sciences, especially by SAS membership? To get things started, here is a post to a recent link from the SAS Blog -

Archaeometry SAS-blog: Video interview with SAS President Sandra López Varela

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this timely article. I have learned this just recently as I have been interviewed several times in the past weeks and seen how different reporters approach the research material and the different ways it shows up in print! While the tape recorder is the reporter's friend, the scientist should be aware of how he/she is speaking about the research!

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  2. I've done a few media interviews over the years, usually after small local earthquakes or large ones occurring elsewhere in the world. From the 15-30 minutes you spend with the reporter, they might extract just a few sentences to present on the air or in the newspaper. They can make you sound good, or perhaps like an idiot, either intentionally or because they don't know any better. Luckily, I have never had to serve as an expert witness in court!

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