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.
“Incredibly useful and well worth my day”
Prof John Zeleznikow, Victoria University
“I really liked the opportunity to do interviews for all three media types, especially with their immediate feedback”
Dr Tobin Northfield, Lecturer, James Cook University
“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
“I found the day really insightful and it has completely changed the way I will approach science communication”
Matt Collins, PhD candidate, CUDOS @ USyd
Media training in 2013
NEW – we’ve just confirmed another WA course: in Perth on Monday 9 December – this course is confirmed, and still has some spaces. It will be held at Curtin University.
If you would like to book in, or be kept informed of upcoming dates, email Margie Beilharz on email@example.com.
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_2013.
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.
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 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:
- Sydney courses are often held at The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre (located with the Sydney Harbour YHA), 110 Cumberland St, The Rocks
- Canberra courses are generally held at the Australian Academy of Science, Ian Potter House, Gordon St, or Questacon, King Edward Terrace, Parkes (on the corner of Mall Road West)
- Melbourne courses are held at Scienceworks, 2 Booker St, Spotswood, or in the city
Reserve your place in one of our courses by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org 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
- 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