Organisational Development and Professional Learning

Introduction to the News Media

Introduction to the News Media

Posted on by Kirsten Thompson

Do you want to learn more about the news media?

Are you a scientist or engineer with little or no news media experience? Maybe you work in a field which can provoke media controversy? Are you interested in how the media works – and how to help journalists report your subject more accurately? If so, this event could be for you!

Come to the Introduction to the News Media event on Wednesday 25th October 2017 at Worsley Medical Lecture Theatre from 1pm to 5pm (booking is required).

The event is being run by the Science Media Centre (SMC), an independent charity based in London. The SMC helps put expert knowledge into the mainstream media’s coverage of science. It’s a hugely informative, entertaining and popular afternoon. It’s totally free, you just need to register to attend (booking information below).

More about the event

Introduction to the News Media is a beginner’s guide to the media, giving an insight into the way the news media works. You will hear from media-experienced scientists, news journalists, science correspondents and press officers about the realities of the news media. Topics include:

  • how and why scientists and journalists should engage with each other
  • how journalists find stories
  • top tips for dealing with the media
  • the role of the press officer
  • the role of the news editor.

You will hear from national news science journalists about what makes a story, what drives the news agenda and what they need from you. You will also get a chance to interrogate them on what drives you mad about the media. Press officers working on the front lines of science communication and scientists who have worked with the media and lived to tell the tale, will also share their experiences.

Science has never been as prominent in the news as it is today

It is paramount that the issues be communicated correctly in news media. We have some excellent science journalists in the UK, but the news stories will never be covered as accurately as we want them to be without the direct involvement of the experts themselves.

It isn’t:
Skills-based media training. This session will not prepare you for a confrontation with John Humphrys but it will give you a flavour of the media to help you understand its demands and make it easier for you to work with journalists.  It will also give you good reasons to forge closer ties with the University press office, who can offer skills-based training and support in handling the media. Don’t hesitate to contact them on 0113 34 34031 or

Is it for you?
This event is for scientists, social scientists, engineers and clinicians who have not had much/any media experience before – give it a miss if you are already media trained or have lots of experience of dealing with journalists. It’s also especially good for scientists working in areas that are controversial and receive a lot of media coverage.

The event will be divided up into two sessions with a tea break, and we’ll finish off over a glass of wine/bottle of beer and the opportunity to network informally with your peers. It will be very similar to previous SMC Introduction to the News Media days – so please don’t register if you have been to the event before.

Book your place

To reserve your place please send the following to

  1. full name
  2. job title
  3. institution
  4. institutional e-mail address
  5. phone number

Places are limited and we anticipate that demand will be higher than we can accommodate. Senior scientists and PhD students are especially welcome, as well as everyone in between. The Science Media Centre are really looking for scientists at least part way into their careers – so it’s not really aimed at undergraduate students.

If you have colleagues who might be interested in this event, please do let them know about it. This is the first session aimed at all scientists that the SMC has run in the north of the country for several years. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to attend.

What scientists who have previously attended this event say

“It gave me a good insight into why the media view is so different- and makes me listen to the views expressed now in a different light.”

“I found it one of the most rewarding uses of an afternoon that I can remember.”

“Have already had some contacts with the media, but was very nice to hear things from their point of view. Must be said, have not appreciated fully the time pressures they work under.”

“I found the event very interesting and useful. I feel more comfortable with the idea of talking to journalists now.”

“Really enjoyed the meeting and found it very informative.”

“I thought it was great and it gave me at least 5 major take home points which I will use in the future.”

“We have needed an event like this for a long time.”

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