select search filters
roundups & rapid reactions
factsheets & briefing notes
before the headlines
Fiona fox's blog

introduction to the news media

At the SMC’s popular Introduction to the News Media sessions, media-experienced scientists, news journalists, science correspondents and press officers give presentations about the realities of the news media, all with an eye to science in the headlines. The SMC has run over 20 Introduction to the News Media sessions engaging thousands of scientists across the UK, in venues in London, Durham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester, Brighton, Exeter, Belfast and Norwich.


What are the sessions?

The sessions last half a day and offer a beginner’s guide to the media, giving an insight into the way the news media works. You will get a tour of some of the key issues, hearing about topics including:

• how and why scientists and journalists should engage with each other
• top tips for dealing with the media
• how journalists find stories
• the role of the press office
• the role of the news editor

All sessions are free of charge.

It isn’t: Skills-based media training. This session will not prepare you for a confrontation with Paxman or Humphries, and it is not practical media training; but it will give a flavour of the news media to help you understand its demands and make it easier for you to work with journalists. The SMC, however, does offer individual support to scientists when collaborating with them on frontline media work, and the Introduction to the New Media sessions are one way in which we develop relationships with scientists.

Is it for you? We welcome scientists, social scientists, engineers and clinicians from any discipline and at any stage of their career in academia or industry (excluding those at undergraduate level), who have little or no media experience but would like to find out more. If you would like to register your interest in attending a session in the future, please contact us at the email address below.

Example event programme. 



“I found it one of the most rewarding uses of an afternoon that I can remember. I feel more comfortable with the idea of talking to journalists now and it gave me at least 5 major take home points which I will use in the future.”

“I enjoyed the other scientists’ experiences of working with the media and found the tips on questions to ask when approached very useful.” 

“I do not recoil anymore from media queries and have a better feeling for how to make the science I would like to impart more public friendly.”

The events are kindly supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.


upcoming sessions

Our next Introduction to the News Media event is on Tuesday 12th June 2018 at the University of Bristol from 1pm to 5pm. It’s a hugely informative, entertaining and popular afternoon. And it’s free. 

The programme of the event can be seen here.

To reserve your place please send your full name, job title, institution, institutional e-mail address and phone number to  But places are limited and we anticipate that the demand for places will be higher than we can accommodate. Senior scientists are especially welcome!  And we are really looking for scientists at least part way into their careers – so it’s not really aimed at students.

in this section