February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Media Skills

Workshop: Media skills for researchers

Does the media scare you? Do you think that journalists just trying to make you look silly? Are newspapers and radio or TV the best way to tell the public about your findings and your work? Could you give a good interview for print, radio or TV? Are journalists friendly helpful people or should you avoid talking to them at all costs? Will a good story about new exciting science just find its way into the media because it excites you? Do you have to “dumb–down” your science in order to communicate with a general audience? Most people have very strong opinions about the media in general but there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the roles, job and ambitions of the media. However if you know how the news industry works you can use it to effectively publicise important aspects of your work. But if you are innocent of the ways of the media you can make a bad mistake. On this course you will learn how the media industry works; how the media differ in their approach and their requirements; how you can make your work accessible to a wider audience; how you can get your story into the public eye without removing vital scientific detail – in other words how not to “dumb it down”. Main topics are:

  • The media and how it works

  • Have you got a story?

  • What is a press release and how does is work?

  • The art of good “story telling”.

  • Print, broadcast or online?

  • Be prepared! An interview next week or an immediate quote.

  • Controlling an interview.

  • If you think radio is hard how about TV?

Media skills for researchers will be offered on Monday 1st Febraury and is a full day workshop 150.

Trainer: Alun Lewis BEng Wales (Civil Engineering)

A dedicated science and technology journalist for 30 years who has met and interviewed many of the leading scientists of the past half century, Alun has recorded  great science communicators and some truly bad communicators. So he is an ideal person to train scientists in the technique of giving a good interview. From how to make yourself interesting to a journalist, right through to giving a good interview on radio, television or to a print journalist. For ten years a technical journalist for newspapers and magazines as well as an author of children’s technology books on power, water, and engineering. Then he moved to BBC radio for 20 years as a science journalist and producer for BBC Radio 4 (UK) and BBC World Service. Programmes include (Science Now, Hi Tech, The Network, Science In Action, Discovery, and many documentaries). Finally he was a television presenter and programme editor for BBC, Channel 4, EBN and CNBC for 9 years covering science and technology and motoring. He has also written for the BBC web site. Retiring from the full-time media he was the senior lecturer and head of department for Science Communication at Royal Holloway University of London.During the last 30 years he has also created and taught science communication courses for UK universities and for the EU’s JRC, and other government and non government organisations (Hewlett Packard, National Physical Laboratory, Avensis, Welcome, Lever, ICI, Nautilus Training).