The AusSMC has a range or services to help you get to grips with how the media operate and how you can work more effectively with them.

Science Media Savvy

ScienceMediaSavvy.org is our pioneering online tool to help scientists work effectively with the news media and better inform public debate on the major issues of the day.

Introduction to the news media – An event for early to mid career scientists.

These events are a beginner’s guide to the media, giving an insight into the way the news media works. They tour of some of the key issues, hearing from journalists, press officers and other scientists about:

  • the deadlines that journalists work to
  • the role of the editor
  • how journalists find stories
  • top tips for dealing with the media
  • the role of the media manager
  • what scientists can get out of working with the media

Click here to watch a video of one of these events held in Melbourne.

Media guides for scientists

The UK Science Media Centre has produced a range of tip sheets for scientists that cover effective ways of talking about generic issues that span all of the sciences, within the context of a short interview.

Similarly, Sense about Science, an independent UK charitable trust promoting good science and evidence in public debates has produced an informal guide to the inner workings of the media with practical tips about how early career scientists can get involved. The publication, called Standing up for Science is available online.

Other resources from the UK Science Media Centre

Peer Review in a Nutshell is a guide for scientists preparing for a news interview about the trustworthiness of a piece of scientific research. This sort of question will often prompt an answer that refers to peer review. But this wrongly assumes that the general public fully understand the process of peer review in scientific research.  The document provides some effective ways to explain peer review in a brief news interview: what it is, how it works, and why scientists rely on it so much. The content of this guide was compiled by a working group of leading scientists, journal editors and journalists.

Read more about Peer Review in a Nutshell (PDF) Published: 2002

Communicating Risk in a Soundbite is a guide for scientists, doctors and engineers preparing for a broadcast interview, and is the result of a meeting between top scientists and journalists in the UK in 2002. They assessed the best ways to explain risks via the broadcast media, and suggested a whole host of examples. It is not meant to be a definitive ‘best practice’ guide – but offers a choice of effective ways of answering questions about safety and risk.

Note that the guide is intended for use in situations where risks are perceived to be much higher than they actually are. It is not intended to help cover up significant risks or threats to public health.

Read more about Communicating Risk in a Soundbite (PDF)  Published: 2002