[ASC-list] Fwd: ASC-list Digest, Vol 104, Issue 15

Bianca Nogrady bianca at biancanogrady.com
Thu Jul 11 22:41:07 UTC 2013

(posted by request)

Hi Jo, Bianca and Sarah

I really should get my membership back up to date, as I am heading back to
Aus. ( Now in UK at JET nuclear fusion experiment)  so I can't post to the
list but I did want to reply ( please post to the list if you want)

In my current job i write news/web content for a large multinational
experiment, and there is no way it is the same as journalism. From the
inside of the organisation I see the inevitable setbacks and problems,
personality clashes, differences of opinion, and compromises that any
complex experiment involving lots of collaborators experiences. There is no
way I could report all of that - although it might make interesting and
controversial reading - and keep my job!

Instead I am paid to look for good news, to try and find angles that might
interest a journalist, standing out from the daily tide of information
flowing their way. As Bianca points out mainstream media doesn't usually
pick holes in the research anyway, so maybe it ends up with the same


Dr Phil Dooley
News and Education, Public Information Office
JET, European Fusion Development Agreement
Culham Science Centre, Abingdon,
Oxfordshire,OX14 3DB, UK
+44 1235 46 5370

Subscribe to Fusion in Europe e-newsletter : http://www.efda.org/subscribe

Subscribe to the RSS feed: http://www.efda.org/feed

EFDA JET YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/EFDAJET

 -----Original Message-----
*From:* asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au [mailto:
asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] *On Behalf Of *Joanne Finlay
*Sent:* 10 July 2013 12:53
*To:* Arwen Cross
*Cc:* asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
*Subject:* Re: [ASC-list] ASC-list Digest, Vol 104, Issue 15

 Hi Arwen

I think the point you make is spot-on. Good journalists do review,
cross-check and include different viewpoints. They do assess the
independence of 'independent' experts.
And it is why we need really good science journalists.

Thanks for the link.

Jo Finlay

 On 10/07/2013, at 2:21 PM, Arwen Cross wrote:


I'd like to share a blog post from SciLogs which relates to Jo and Sarah's
discussion of journalism compared to communicating for an institution. The
author Matt Shipman argues that sharing news from one institution is not
the same as journalism because good journalism should always include
viewpoints from independent experts on the topic.


Arwen Cross Ph.D.
Grad. Dip. SciComm
0488 729 655

On Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 10:09 PM, <asc-list-request at lists.asc.asn.au> wrote:

> Today's Topics:
>    1. Re: further to recent list conversations (Sarah Keenihan)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2013 21:32:44 +0930
> From: Sarah Keenihan <sarahkeenihan at gmail.com>
> To: Joanne Finlay <jrfinlay at optusnet.com.au>
> Cc: "asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au regular list"
>         <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
> Subject: Re: [ASC-list] further to recent list conversations
> Message-ID: <B34A47A8-7EA7-409A-8B95-42E6CDFF9284 at gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
> Hi Jo,
> Thanks for the reply.
> Yes, ethics is a great point. I agree that writers do need to balance
> meeting the needs of clients with writing ethically about science. Knowing
> the scientists you work with is really important I guess...and talking to
> to as many scientists and writers as possible in order to see the 'big
> picture, get other perspectives and ask the right questions'. And not
> bowing to the marketing needs of institutions.
> Bye for now,
> 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://www.facebook.com/scienceforlife365
> On 09/07/2013, at 9:17 PM, Joanne Finlay wrote:
> > 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
> >
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*Freelance science journalist, author and broadcaster*
www.biancanogrady.com, 0411 420 913, Blackheath, NSW, Australia

*The End: The Human Experience of Death* (Random House Australia, May 2013)
www.theendbook.net, Twitter: @TheEndBook

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