2018 Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows

2018 Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows



this is one of the largest classes in the history of the fellowship it's the first year that a university has sponsored a fellow and we have a few new media sites and they're in places that we haven't gone before like the Idaho Statesman and the Indianapolis Star the mass media photos are placed at newspapers magazines radio and TV stations and multimedia outlets so the triple-a s program was really perfect for me I am a climate scientist by training the opportunity to just get thrown into a newsroom for a couple months was exactly what I wanted the teams of NatGeo are really impressive the photo team the video team the data visualization team and of course all the other people working on the writing end of things I recently graduated with my PhD in entomology from Washington State University I've been interested in science communication for a long time so this fellowships really been great for me because it's helped me improve my science communication skills because it's allowed me to work at a prestigious news organization like NPR and really one of the things that was attractive was this opportunity to work with media professionals and get this daily criticism and critiquing of my work so that I could become a better writer and a better science communicator I specialize in infectious disease in my graduate work I'm so thrilled to be placed at the Smithsonian because it's an outlet or I not only get to write about breaking science day and report on important scientific topics but it's an incredibly creative outlet and I feel like it's been a very empowering experience to be able to let my own voice shine through in my pieces each year the fellows impressed me with how much they're able to accomplish in just 10 weeks one fellow has published over 60 articles and the stories get thousands hundreds of thousands of readers some as high as a million readers they read about health environment technology animals basic science and more most of the time they're writing about science that will directly impact their readers lives doing this full-time for an entire summer has been incredibly humbling but also incredibly empowering I think I'm learning a lot more than I have any other point in my life working really closely with the photo and video teams has has given me this incredible insight into how you tell stories that have this really clear visual impact I can write quickly and clearly far better than I used to be able to I am bolder when I ask questions of not only scientists but people in the general public who care about these questions every day I'm going into the office every day I'm writing I'm editing and so because of that I've become a much better communicator I've become a much more succinct writer I just love this program I think this program is so smart it's really well run a triple-a house puts a lot of resources into it the people who run it just pay a lot of attention to the fellows to the placements the publications where the fellows are working the funders they're really smart about making connections and making sure that the right fellow is in the right place and that the fellowships are successful that they're being productive that they're getting the right feedback that they need they train them well but before they come to their placements and they do really good training afterwards to sort of set them on their way and their new careers and a lot of these fellows the summer has changed their lives change their careers and they've gone on to become successful and important science journalists thanks to this program

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