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Cover

A Tactical Guide to Science Journalism

Lessons From the Front Lines

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

Publication Date - June 2022

ISBN: 9780197551509

360 pages
Paperback
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $35.00

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.

Description

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. From practical advice on finding sources and distilling complex research subjects for a general audience, to tips on how to cover science in authoritarian regimes, the book serves as an essential survey of the best in science reporting today--and a testament to the importance of independent journalistic inquiry in understanding research and building trust with audiences. 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.

Features

  • 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)

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.

Reviews

"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

Table of Contents

    INTRODUCTION
    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


    EPILOGUE
    Stay Curious and Question Everything Tom Zeller Jr.

    RESOURCES