Media training workshops for scientists

Media-Training-2-Mar2015Science 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 2016

  • Sydney: Wednesday 4 May
  • Melbourne: Thursday 12 May
  • Melbourne: Tuesday 21 June

We’ll confirm a course is running when we have five bookings.

To book your place, or to be kept informed of upcoming dates, contact Toni Stevens on or 03 9398 1416.

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 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


Conveying the complexity of your research, your life’s work, into a 30-second grab for the media can be hard. The solution is to shape the essence of your science into a story.

Join Science in Public for their one day media training workshop and get some help.

Two experienced science communicators will work with you to find the story in your research. Over the years we’ve helped Monash launch the world’s first printed jet engine, revealed the loss of half the coral on the Great Barrier Reef, helped CERN announce the Higgs boson, and revealed the link between CSIRO’s Wi-Fi patent and Aussie astronomy.

We will help you find the right words to explain your research in a way that works for the media, as well as for government, industry and other stakeholders.

Working journalists from television, print and radio will join us over the course of the day to explain what makes news for them. And you’ll get the chance to practice being interviewed in front of a camera and on tape.

The day’s insights and training will help you feel more comfortable in dealing with journalists when media opportunities arise.

Cost is $800+GST per person and includes lunch, morning and afternoon tea, with lattes on demand.

We will confirm that a course is going ahead when we have a minimum of five places booked.

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. 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

4. Media releases and shaping your story

5. Print media journalist

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

6. Evaluation of workshop