Skip to main content

News & Events

INSTAAR seminar: Alejandra Borunda - Science journalism 101, for scientists

Monday, February 22, 2021, 12:00PM - 1:00PM


Alejandra Borunda

National Geographic

This year has made it abundantly clear that good science journalism plays a critical role in shaping the public discourse around all kinds of important subjects, from COVID-19 to climate change. You probably already know this, but let me reinforce it now: great science journalism is totally dependent on talented, generous, thoughtful scientists like all of you.

So what role can you, a scientist, play in the process of developing quality journalism? How can you help direct coverage, get your point across clearly, get attention and credit for your work, and contribute to crucial local or national conversations?

I’m a climate and environment reporter at National Geographic, and in this talk I’ll give an overview of how a story gets made, from beginning to end. I’ll explain how we journalists pick stories (or at least how my colleagues and I do!); what we’re looking for in phone or in-person interviews; and how you, the wonderful and generous and knowledgeable scientists, can get your voices heard clearly and your work covered. I’ll also talk about some of the common conflicts that emerge—whether something is “on the record” or not, accurate quoting, etc.--and how I’ve seen researchers and journalists navigate them.