Media training for scientists

Science in Public holds regular media training courses for scientists in Melbourne and around Australia.

These courses are designed to help you understand what  the media needs to bring your work to life; and to teach you  how to help the media tell your story accurately. They are fundamentally different to corporate media training.

Media training in 2014

We’re now taking bookings for the dates below. We’ll confirm a course is running when we have five bookings.

  • Adelaide: Friday 14 November – this course is confirmed
  • Melbourne: Tuesday 2 December

To book your place, or to be kept informed of upcoming dates, email Margie Beilharz on margie@scienceinpublic.com.au.

We can also hold media training courses in other places if there’s sufficient demand. We welcome expressions of interest for possible future courses. If you can deliver four people we can probably find others in your area.

For more details please read on or download our media training flyer.

Some of our recent feedback

“It has totally destigmatised the fear I had regarding this. I look forward to interacting with television reporters in the future”
Dr Andrew Bulmer, Lecturer/Researcher, Griffith University

“The enthusiasm of the facilitators and their level of personal commitment and feedback were fantastic”
Dr Signe Riemer-Sørenson, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Queensland

“Lots of chances to talk about my research and formulate good answers to questions”
A/Prof Wendy Ingman, Head of Breast Biology and Cancer Unit, University of Adelaide

“Reach! Covered so much material I’m ready for anything!”
Dr Iraklis (Hercules) Konstantopoulos, John Stocker Research Fellow, Australian Astronomical Observatory

About our media training course

Our media training workshop will help you feel comfortable with the media and have more control over your media appearances. Working journalists from television, radio and newspapers will interview you and will also answer your questions.

The course will help you with all your non-scientific communication with stakeholders, customers and the media. And it will give your media advisers confidence that you will be a good performer when media opportunities arise.

Our course features two experienced science communicators as presenters and three working journalists from television, print and radio who will interview you during the course of the day.

Science in Public’s creative director Niall Byrne usually presents the course together with Sarah Brooker, our managing director, or Tim Thwaites, our resident science writer and broadcaster.

The journalists for each course are confirmed a few days before the course. In the past, we’ve had Anastasia Salamastrakis from Channel 7 news, Blanche Clark from The Herald Sun, Bridie Smith from The Age and Donna Demaio from 3AW radio news.

  • Courses start at 8.30 am and finish by 5 pm
  • Refreshments and lunch are provided
  • Cost is $814 ($740 + GST) per person
  • Numbers are limited to 12 people

We’ll send you details of the venue and any other arrangements:

Reserve your place in one of our courses by emailing margie@scienceinpublic.com.au or calling (03) 9398 1416. We will confirm that a course is going ahead when we have a minimum of five enrolments.

We will invoice prior to the course. The fee is payable in advance and will be forfeited if you cancel less than ten days prior.

‘Meet the media’ forums

We can also run a ‘meet the media’ forum for your organisation or as part of a bigger event.

In these one-hour sessions, a panel of working journalists from print, radio and TV will discuss what they and their audiences are looking for in their stories.

We chat about what makes science newsworthy. What do the media expect of scientists and science organisations?

The forum will give you an introduction to the needs and challenges of TV news, radio and the daily press. It will also give you the chance to turn the table on the media – you get to ask the questions.

What do our media training courses cover?

This practical workshop will help you:

  • know what to expect when the media does a story
  • practise your interview techniques with working journalists
  • get your message out as accurately as possible

Specific topics include:

  • what makes a good TV, radio or print story
  • how to take control of the media agenda
  • making the big announcement
  • what to do when a journalist knocks on your door
  • handling difficult questions
  • organising a good media release
  • in the hot seat – interview practice with working journalists.

The workshop objectives are:

  • to understand the media and how it operates
  • to develop some skills and confidence in dealing with media interviews
  • to apply principles of message-design to media management.

The workshop evaluation is:

  • reaction-based – workshop feedback sheet provided at end of workshop and results collated
  • learning – assessment of learning on an individual basis is provided throughout the workshop by both oral and written feedback
  • behavioural – individual feedback provided as skills are practised in the workshop, plus individual feedback forms.

Media training course outline

Please note the outline below is indicative only. We tailor each workshop according to the needs of participants.

1.  Introduction, objectives of workshop

2. TV news

  • TV news journalist – presentation and discussion about what makes TV news stories work
  • Demo interview with one participant on video
  • Individual practice interviews on video while rest of group looks at:
    • Packaging TV news stories
    • Preparing the ‘grab’

3. Print media journalist

  • Presentation and discussion about what major metro newspapers require to make a story work

4. Media releases and shaping your story

5. Radio

  • Radio journalist discusses the various formats of radio and what is required from radio to make a story work
  • Demonstration interviews of news, program and current affairs interviews
  • Individual interviews with radio journalist while rest of group looks at:
  • their practice TV interviews
  • controlling the agenda with radio
  • dealing with more controversial/difficult interviews
  • what to do when the media comes unexpectedly to you

6. Evaluation of workshop

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