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Is the research worth a story?

Hi folks:

From FairerScience colleague Donna Tambascio, AKA the Deputy Director for Communications & External Relations at the Wellesley Centers for Women:

Last week I attended the National Education Writers Association (EWA)
annual conference in LA. The program featured many sessions on a broad
range of issues related to pre-K-12 and higher education (not much on
gender and STEM, this year however). The conference was geared to
journalists as well as advocates and public relations professionals (like
me) so that we could learn a bit more about each otherís fields, new
education policy initiatives, and recent research. One session I attended
featured a panel of journalists who shared their experiences covering
education issues (regionally and nationally) and they talked about how
they work on stories, how they like to receive pitches, what they need
from sources etc.; the target audience was comprised of the PR folks and
advocates. What became clear from the Q&A is that journalists often
struggle with research materials. They donít necessarily know if one study
is more rigorous than another, if the quality is high or poor, how the
work is relevant to key issues, etc. It was clear that most didnít have
the time to delve deeply into data; they may ask another source/resource
to look at the materials to determine if the report is worthy of a closer
look. They may delete a report all-together without even reviewing it.
This reinforced to me the importance of the FairerScience project and
website. The resources offered on this site can help researchers and
journalists learn to better communicate with one another.

One quick plug before signing off: Another good session at the EWA
conference was offered by Andy Goodman from Cause Communications. Andy is
all about making presentations effective and engaging. He has written a
few publications that may be great resources to researchers and advocates,
including ďWhy Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes.Ē You can learn
more about his ideas and maybe even get yourself a free copy of this
manual from his website.