Expert Commentary

VIDEO: What happened when scientists had the opportunity to ‘ask a reporter anything’

At a recent online event hosted by SciLine, scientists asked a panel of journalists questions about how journalism works.

ask a reporter anything
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

EDITOR’S NOTE: On June 16, SciLine, a program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), hosted an online event called Ask a Reporter Anything, in which scientists had the opportunity to ask journalists questions about how journalism works.

The panelists in this reverse press briefing included Brian Grimmett, a news reporter who covers energy and the environment for KMUW and Kansas News Service; Laura Helmuth, editor-in-chief of Scientific American; and Naseem Miller, senior health editor of The Journalist’s Resource.

Among the questions asked and answered: Why are your deadlines so short? How can scientists avoid having their quotes edited in ways that change meaning, and how can they fix errors if they happen? Do local reporters focus on sources from universities nearby, or reach out more broadly? Who writes headlines — and why do headlines sometimes seem off base?

In the interest of shedding light on scientists’ concerns about discussing their research with journalists, JR is republishing a recording of the event here. We’re sharing the video with the permission of SciLine under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. A full transcript of the event is available here