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Communicating Science: A Primer for Working with the Media

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Scientists are frequently called upon to provide expert information on hot button issues that pervade the daily news, yet most find themselves unprepared for the bright lights of the television studio or leading questions from a newspaper journalist. This new publication from the American Institute of Biological Sciences, will prepare scientists for successful media interviews.

The Primer outlines reasons for scientists to interact with the media and describes key differences between journalism and science that may not be apparent to practicing scientists. Step-by-step, Menninger and Gropp walk scientists through the entire interview process.

The information is presented in 8 chapters that provide vital information for scientists new to media outreach, and a refresher for seasoned experts. It's an ideal text for a graduate or professional development course on science communication.

The user-friendly volume has several unique features including interviews with a dozen scientists who have successfully navigated print, radio, and television interviews.

The Primer also provides worksheets to assist readers with interview preparation: building a message framework with talking points and transition phrases, developing analogies, and using illustrative props or images. It includes pages to organize contact information of journalists.


Table of Contents
Why Should You Talk to the Media?
Understanding Journalists
Engaging in Media Outreach
The 5 P's: Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
And You're On!
Avoiding Trouble
Final Thoughts

Resource A: Suggested Reading and Web Resources
Resource B: Preparing for Your Interview
Resource C: Media Log
Resource D: Potential Media Contacts