We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
         Back to Top       

A Tactical Guide to Science Journalism


Lessons From the Front Lines

Edited by Deborah Blum, Ashley Smart, and Tom Zeller Jr.

24 November 2022

ISBN: 9780197551509

360 pages

In Stock

Price: £22.99


A Tactical Guide to Science Journalism brings together award-winning journalists from around the world to share fascinating tales of science and how it works and to provide guidance into reporting specialties like infectious disease, climate change, astronomy, public health, physics, and statistics. Drawing insights from writers based at publications including The New York Times, the BBC, The Washington Post, Science, The New Yorker, National Geographic and more, this guide is designed to help journalists everywhere improve their craft and serve as a valuable resource for those seeking to understand the profession at its best.

  • Shares practical advice and insights from some of the best science journalists in the world
  • Argues for the importance of accurate reporting on impactful science issues such as infectious disease and climate change and details the challenges involved in telling a complex story
  • Provides tips and tools to become a better writer and a smarter reader of science stories

About the Author(s)

Edited by Deborah Blum, Director, Knight Science Journalism Program, MIT, Ashley Smart, Associate Director, Knight Science Journalism Program, MIT, and Tom Zeller Jr., Editor in Chief, Undark Magazine

Deborah Blum is Director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT and publisher of Undark magazine. She is a Pulitzer-prize winning American science journalist, columnist, and author of six books, most recently the 2018 New York Times Notable Book, The Poison Squad. Ashley Smart is Associate Director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT and a senior editor at Undark magazine. He was previously the features editor at Physics Today magazine and a co-founder of the science news blog HBSciU.com. Tom Zeller Jr. is a former Knight Science Journalism Fellow (2013-14) and the editor in chief of Undark Magazine. Previously he spent two decades covering technology, energy policy, climate change, and the environment for a variety of publications, including 12 years as a staff writer and editor at The New York Times.

Table of Contents

    Deborah Blum, Ashley Smart, and Tom Zeller Jr.
    PART 1: Foundations
    Chapter 1. How Science Works
    Nsikan Akpan
    Chapter 2. Finding and Vetting Sources
    Azeen Ghorashi
    Chapter 3. Journals, Peer Review, and Preprints
    Ivan Oransky
    Chapter 4. Working With Statistics
    Maggie Koerth
    Chapter 5. Fact Checking
    Brooke Borel
    PART 2: The Craft of Storytelling
    Chapter 6. A Foundation in News
    Alicia Chang
    Chapter 7. Story Structure
    Deborah Blum
    Chapter 8. Audio Storytelling
    Elana Gordon
    Chapter 9. Film and Video Storytelling
    Ian Cheney
    Chapter 10, Multimedia Storytelling
    Jeffery DelViscio
    Chapter 11. Data Storytelling
    Charles Seife
    Chapter 12. Opinion Writing
    Bina Venkataraman
    Chapter 13. Magazine Writing
    Paige Williams
    Chapter 14 Book Writing
    Dan Fagin
    PART 3: Investigative Journalism
    Chapter 15. Investigative Science Journalism
    Katherine Eban
    Chapter 16. Accessing Public Records
    Michael Morisy
    Chapter 17. The Art of the Interview
    Pallab Ghosh
    Chapter 18. Cybersecurity and Protecting Sources
    Andrada Fiscutean
    Chapter 19. The Public Information Machine
    James Glanz
    PART 4: Covering Science Beats
    Chapter 20. Medicine
    Sabriya Rice
    Chapter 21. Infectious Diseases
    Helen Branswell
    Chapter 22. Public Health
    Julia Belluz
    Chapter 23. Social Sciences
    Sujata Gupta
    Chapter 24. Science and Justice
    Rod McCullom
    Chapter 25. Physics
    Ashley Smart
    Chapter 26. Genetics
    Antonio Regalado
    Chapter 27. Technology
    Megan Molteni
    Chapter 28. Space
    Nadia Drake
    Chapter 29. Climate
    Sarah Kaplan
    Chapter 30. Conservation and Wildlife
    Rachel Nuwer
    Chapter 31. Earth Sciences
    Betsy Mason
    Chapter 32. Mathematics
    Jennifer Ouellette
    Chapter 33. Science Policy
    Dan Vergano
    Chapter 34. Artificial Intelligence
    Matthew Hutson
    Chapter 35. Cybersecurity and National Security
    Kim Zetter
    PART 5: Metrics, Models, and Marketing
    Chapter 36. New Models for Science Media
    Thomas Lin
    Chapter 37. Measuring Success in Science Journalism
    Kate Travis
    Chapter 38. Social Media in Science Journalism
    Liz Neporent
    Chapter 39 Building Trust and Navigating Mistrust
    Apoorva Mandavilli
    Chapter 40 Marketing Your Stories
    Jason Penchoff
    PART 6: The Global Picture
    Chapter 41. Narrative Reporting Abroad
    Martin Enserink
    Chapter 42. Reporting in Authoritarian Regimes
    Richard Stone
    Chapter 43. Collaborative Journalism Across Borders
    Iván Carrillo
    Chapter 44. Reporting in the Global South
    Esther Nakkazi
    Stay Curious and Question Everything Tom Zeller Jr.


"A treasure trove of advice from some of the best in the business, this book is an invaluable guide for anyone looking to submerge themselves in the rich, complex, and demanding world of science journalism." - Ed Yong, Pulitzer-Prize winning science writer for The Atlantic and best-selling author of I Contain Multitudes

"An essential and knowing companion for students, instructors, and professionals alike, the book treats readers to a diverse array of beautifully written expert perspectives about science journalism." - Mariette DiChristina, Dean and Professor of Practice, School of Communications, Boston University