[ASC-list] further to recent list conversations

Jenni Metcalfe jenni at econnect.com.au
Wed Jul 10 08:46:44 UTC 2013


Well said Joanne! My thoughts exactly.

 

I would certainly hope none of my writing as a journalist or
communicator - depending on what hat I am wearing and I do wear both -
is biased in any particular way.

 

I'm not about spinning anything, which is why I like to think I do
journalism or communication and not PR.

 

Hmm bet there's some thoughts on that!

 

Jenni

 

Jenni Metcalfe

Director, Econnect Communication

www.econnect.com.au <http://www.econnect.com.au/> 

phone: 07 3846 7111; 0408 551 866

jenni at econnect.com.au

skype: jenni.metcalfe

twitter: @JenniMet

PO Box 734 South Brisbane Q 4101

subscribe to Econnect's free monthly e-newsletter: 
http://www.econnect.com.au/news_newsletter.htm

 

  <https://twitter.com/#!/econnectteam>    
<http://www.facebook.com/pages/Econnect-Team/157913364253434>  

 

From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au
[mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On Behalf Of Joanne Finlay
Sent: Tuesday, 9 July 2013 9:48 PM
To: Sarah Keenihan
Cc: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] further to recent list conversations

 

Hi Sarah

 

I think the questions you raise are really important. 

 

I am curious though about your presumption that writing as a
communicator for a science institutions requires taking a 'somewhat
biased' position.





Can one person effectively swap from writing as a journalist (for
example, for a newspaper) to writing as a communicator (for example, for
a science institution)?
                        i.e. is switching from relatively unbiased to
somewhat biased writing a comfortable transition?

 

I have always taken the view that science communicators can and should
honestly and accurately report the science, no matter who we work for.
The hard part is in ensuring the institution or spokesperson you are
writing for doesn't claim more credit for the science than is their due.
In my view it is possible to do this, and although difficult not
impossible to keep all parties happy. That's where being ethical as a
science communicator comes in.

 

All sounds like good ASC conference fodder.

 

Cheers

 

Jo Finlay

Journalist, writer and science communicator

 

On 08/07/2013, at 4:03 PM, Sarah Keenihan wrote:





Dear fellow members of the Australian Science Communicators,

Like Lynn and Bianca, I too am very interested in considering
perpectives on science journalism and science communication, and how the
two interrelate.

It interests me on a personal level because I'm trying to work out where
I fit along the science writing continuum. However of course there are
also bigger implications. Implications for:

            * How we (the people who talk about science) define our
goals;

            * How we, governments and consumers make decisions about who
pays for communication and journalism content;

            * How the public interprets material with a scientific
flavour; and

            * Whether this material has the desired or indeed any
impact.

 

I've written a few blog posts in recent weeks trying to get my brain
around aspects of this. (If you're interested, it started with 
Journalism is dead?
<http://scienceforlife365.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/day-318-journalism-is
-dead/> , then progressed to Journalism versus communication
<http://scienceforlife365.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/day-320-journalism-ve
rsus-communication/>  and finally resulted in this duo: Profile of a
science journalist
<http://scienceforlife365.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/day-321-profile-of-a-
science-journalist/>  and Profile of a science communicator
<http://scienceforlife365.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/day-322-profile-of-a-
science-communicator/> . Of course my descriptions are not perfect -
please add comments if you feel so inspired).

Whilst I've found the process of writing these posts helpful in
clarifying my own thoughts, of course now I have more questions.

What I'm really interested in is the intersection of the two
specialities, communication and journalism. Here are some issues which
plague me:

            * In writing and reading job definitions or descriptions,
how can one distinguish between a 'science journalist' and a 'science
communicator'?

            * Can one person effectively swap from writing as a
journalist (for example, for a newspaper) to writing as a communicator
(for example, for a science institution)?
                        i.e. is switching from relatively unbiased to
somewhat biased writing a comfortable transition?

            * Is it important that science writers themselves have an
awareness of the difference between science journalism and science
communication?

            * How can readers of science writing tell the difference
between science journalism and science communication?

 

Related questions are being raised in other arenas as well: see this
piece by Matthew Ingram entitled Thanks to the web, journalism is now
something you do - not something you are
<http://scienceforlife365.wordpress.com/Thanks%20to%20the%20web,%20journ
alism%20is%20now%20something%20you%20do%20%E2%80%94%20not%20something%20
you%20are>  which explores the relationships between advocacy/activism
and journalism.

Getting back to the ASC, are these questions important for us to
consider as a community of people who talk about science in public
spaces? I think yes, and I'm hoping this may come up as a potential
topic for the ASC conference in February 2014. In addition to hearing
from communicators and journalists who are ASC members, it'd be great to
invite 'outsiders' along to get their perspectives as well.

I'm looking forward to the conference.

Regards,

Sarah

Sarah Keenihan
PhD | BMedSci | GradDipSciComm

Reading, writing and interpreting science. And other stuff. 

0419 976 834 | @sciencesarah | http://sciencesarah.wordpress.com/

 

Special Project: Science For Life.365

http://scienceforlife365.wordpress.com
<http://scienceforlife365.wordpress.com/>  | 
http://www.facebook.com/scienceforlife365

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 05/07/2013, at 7:40 AM, Bianca Nogrady wrote:





Thanks for posting this Lynne - it's an interesting read.

 

At the risk of opening a can of worms, I'm intrigued by the fact that a
number of science journalists take the stand that they are not a 'cheer
squad' for science, as Pallab Ghosh is described as saying in this
article.

 

I understand very well that the job of a good science journalist is to
ask the hard questions, to look critically at the data, to ask where the
money come from and not to assume that science is truth.

 

But this assertion that one is not a cheerleader for science feels
almost like a statement of emnity, like we have to take a stand against
the hordes of pom-pom waving fanatics.

 

Isn't it possible to be both? I'm proud to proclaim that I'm an
unrepentant science nerd. I love science and the process of scientific
discovery and the knowledge that comes from that, and I'm always raving
to friends about some amazing new bit of info I've discovered.

 

I'm very happy to stand up and trumpet 'Hooray for Science!' but I don't
think this makes me any less of an effective journalist.

 

I'd be really interested to know people's thoughts on this.

 

Bianca

 

On 5 July 2013 07:26, Griffiths, Lynne <Lynne.Griffiths at nwc.gov.au>
wrote:

Hi ASC

SciDev.Net <http://SciDev.Net/>  has launched a new-look website - 
http://www.scidev.net/global/.  Their latest editorial features a
discussion on science journalism and communication in the global context
- 
http://www.scidev.net/global/communication/editorial-blog/science-journa
lism-and-communication-make-a-good-match.html?utm_medium=email&utm_sourc
e=SciDev.Net&utm_campaign=2679242_Launch+email+EN&utm_content=KazEditori
al&dm_i=1SCG,1LFBE,AZRIZP,5IAH7,1

There are related articles that may be of interest - 
http://www.scidev.net/global/communication/

Cheers

Lynne Griffiths
Director, Communication and Parliamentary Liaison
National Water Commission 
T 02 6102 6023   M 0412 786 945
lynne.griffiths at nwc.gov.au
nwc.gov.au <http://nwc.gov.au/> 


______________________________________________________________________

IMPORTANT: This message, and any attachments to it, contains information
that is confidential and may also be the subject of legal professional
or
other privilege. If you are not the intended recipient of this message,
you
must not review, copy, disseminate or disclose its contents to any other
party or take action in reliance of any material contained within it. If
you
have received this message in error, please notify the sender
immediately by
return email informing them of the mistake and delete all copies of the
message from your computer system.
______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________
ASC-list mailing list
list at asc.asn.au
http://www.asc.asn.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=97&Itemi
d=115





 

-- 
********************************************************
Freelance science journalist, author and broadcaster

www.biancanogrady.com <http://www.biancanogrady.com/> , 0411 420 913,
Blackheath, NSW, Australia

 

The End: The Human Experience of Death (Random House Australia, May
2013)

www.theendbook.net <http://www.theendbook.net/> , Twitter: @TheEndBook

 

The Sixth Wave: How to Succeed in a Resource-Limited World (Random House
Australia, April 2010)

www.sixthwave.org <http://www.sixthwave.org/> , Twitter @SixthWaveBook

_______________________________________________
ASC-list mailing list
list at asc.asn.au
http://www.asc.asn.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=97&Itemi
d=115

 

_______________________________________________
ASC-list mailing list
list at asc.asn.au
http://www.asc.asn.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=97&Itemi
d=115

 

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://www.lists.sublimeip.com/pipermail/asc-list/attachments/20130710/402bfeb5/attachment.htm>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image001.png
Type: image/png
Size: 1449 bytes
Desc: image001.png
URL: <https://www.lists.sublimeip.com/pipermail/asc-list/attachments/20130710/402bfeb5/attachment.png>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image002.png
Type: image/png
Size: 1408 bytes
Desc: image002.png
URL: <https://www.lists.sublimeip.com/pipermail/asc-list/attachments/20130710/402bfeb5/attachment-0001.png>


More information about the ASC-list mailing list