Media Training

Understanding the media: A starter guide for scientists

This course covered the basics scientists need to know about media engagement.

Scientists: Connect with SciLine

What are SciLine Media Trainings?

Thursday, June 2nd from 1-2 p.m. ET

SciLine has facilitated thousands of interactions between scientists and journalists, always with the goal of adding research-backed evidence and context to news stories. We know that “the media” can seem like a black box to scientists and that speaking to reporters can be confusing or even intimidating.

This free, one-hour course—designed specifically for media-curious scientists with little or no media experience—taught the basics scientists need to know as they consider dipping their toes or diving deeper into media engagement. We provided an overview of the U.S. news landscape, including the different types of media outlets and reporters a scientist might encounter (and what each is looking for), professional similarities and differences between journalists and scientists, and the risks and benefits of participating in interviews.

The course was led by Ph.D. neuroscientist Tori Fosheim, with participation by freelance science journalist Elena Renken (NPR, Quanta Magazine, PBS “NOVA”). Attendees learned what makes a science story newsworthy, how to become more “findable” by journalists, and key concepts and etiquette norms to know when speaking to a reporter.

More Understanding the Media sessions will be scheduled in the future. Scientists, you can sign up here to join SciLine’s network and be alerted to media opportunities in your field of expertise.

Tori Fosheim

Scientific outreach manager
she/her

Tori is a neuroscientist and science communicator with a background studying how the brain functions in severe mental disorders. She completed both a Ph.D. in biological psychopathology and a postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatry at the University of Minnesota and has written about science as a blogger, journalist, and scriptwriter. In her role as scientific outreach manager, Tori applies her scientific and communications expertise to finding interview-ready scientists to connect with journalists looking for expert sources. She also leads the curriculum development and instruction of workshops aimed at increasing journalists’ understanding of science and their comfort with incorporating scientific evidence into news stories.

Elena Renken

Editorial associate, news & multimedia
she/her

Elena is a writer and editor focused on science. At SciLine, she connects with journalists to provide them with the scientific experts and information they need. She also leads SciLine’s research and production of Quick Facts, which offer background on science topics in the news, and creates visuals for SciLine. She also helps organize on-camera interviews between scientists and journalists as part of SciLine’s Experts on Camera program and produces video clips of experts for use by reporters. Elena earned a degree in science, technology, and society at Brown University, and her work has been published by NPR, Quanta Magazine, Nautilus, and PBS “NOVA”, among other national and local outlets.