Tips on translating a background in the sciences into a media job from Career Advisory Council Member Jennifer Lloyd
Author: Jennifer R. Lloyd, San Antonio Express-News reporter | Category: Career Development | August 12, 2014
In the journalism industry, English and communication majors
abound. Those with a background in science are a rare commodity indeed.
Graduates with a gift for translating dense research studies into the
vocabulary of the average 9th grade student will truly stand out among other
applicants for a science or health journalism position at news media outlets.
Those writing for specialty outlets that target industry
professionals can convey information at a higher level of understanding.
However, landing a journalism job almost always requires
presenting a portfolio of published stories or “clips” along with a resume.
Budding science journalists will likely need to find an internship (sadly, many
are unpaid) with a media organization. Alternatives include hunting down
On the upside, online news sites and publications funded by
foundations provide opportunities beyond the traditional newspaper or TV
station for would-be reporters to accrue published samples.
Creating and maintaining a blog and building a social media
presence can also help convince media employers that you have the chops to
convey complex material from the lab to the masses.
The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing and the Association of Health Care Journalists can give you a feel for the industry and a place to start networking.
Science and health journalism is a unique opportunity to
help the public better understand their bodies, other human beings and their
environment. Good luck!
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