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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 Wark or Humphrys, 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. 

upcoming sessions

Are you interested in how the media works?  Do you get frustrated by what you read and see in the news?  Do you want to help journalists report your subject better?  If so, this is the event for you.

Come to our next Introduction to the News Media event on Thursday 24th October at the Wellcome Trust in London (215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK), from 1pm to 5pm.

It’s a hugely informative, entertaining and popular afternoon.  And it’s FREE.

You will hear from national news science journalists about what makes a story, what drives the news agenda and what they need from you – and you will get a chance to interrogate them on what drives you mad about the media.

You will also hear from press officers working at the coal face of science communication, and from scientists who have worked with the media and lived to tell the tale.

If you’d like to attend, please send your full name, job title, institution, institutional e-mail address and phone number to and we will send you confirmation, the programme and more information in due course.

Places are limited and we are looking for scientists at least part way into their careers – so it’s not aimed at students. Please do not request a place unless you are sure you can make the date and it is in your diary.


“It gave me a good insight into why the media view is so different- and makes me listen to the views expressed now in a different light.”

“Have already had some contacts with the media, but was very nice to hear things from their point of view. Must be said, have not appreciated fully the time pressures they work under.”

“I found it one of the most rewarding uses of an afternoon that I can remember.”

“I found the event very interesting and useful. I feel more comfortable with the idea of talking to journalists now.”

“I thought the event was extremely well organised and had a good balance of views from scientists and the media. Very engaging speakers and really practical advice and information.”

“Really enjoyed the meeting and found it very informative.”

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