Taking research beyond researchers
Miriam Frankel, Science Editor, The Conversation UK
Wednesday, 18 April 2018, 9.30am to 1pm
Colin Matthew Room, Radcliffe Humanities, ROQ, Woodstock Road, Oxford. OX2 6GG> Register
This half-day workshop, delivered by the Science Editor from online news platform The Conversation, will support you to write for public audiences. If you have a question about this session, please contact Dan Richards-Doran
Before session, academics to:
- Think about story ideas, using worksheet provided
- Catch up on the news, by radio, TV, papers or internet
09:30–10:30 Presentation: how to write for a public audience
- Why bother communicating research to the public?
- What is TC, origins and aims
- What does writing for TC involve?
- What TC does and why
- Why TC rather than another outlet?
- Tips on style, tone and structure
- The ‘banned list’: jargon and academic-ese (examples)
- Who is TC’s audience and how to aim articles at them
- The journalistic rather than academic approach
- Identifying an angle - what’s new?
- How to pitch - examples of good and bad
- Examples of different approaches:
- A piece about the academic’s own research
- A response to someone else’s research
- A listicle (“Top five…”, “Ten most…”)
- Something irreverent/entertaining/unusual
- Gain familiarity of the aims, structure, way of working and benefits of TC
- Learn to consider what elements of research and expertise could interest the public, and how to communicate it
- Understand the style, tone and structure of articles written for the public
10:45–11:15 Applying academic expertise to the news
- Editor distributes daily papers (brought by editor)
- Academics go through papers looking for stories in their field of expertise, or stories to which they could apply their expertise
- Discuss how to approach this
11:35–11:45 The Conversation site demonstration
11:45–11:55 Dealing with comments and conversation
- Based on worksheet academics have brought with them, discuss ideas for articles (allowing time for those without)
- Each academic (or in teams of 3-4 if large group) pick one to develop. Write an opening paragraph and summary.
- Discuss with group why topic is interesting to a non-specialist audience, or how to make it so.
- Write a pitch for the article.
- Identify good ideas to hone into stories, and how to put them across
12:35–12:45 Final chat/Q&A