Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Good pitches are short, focused, newsy, and surprising, Alison MacAdam writes in a roundup of tips from one high-profile newsroom: "All editors are not alike. They expect and need different things. Once you have an established relationship with an editor, the pitching process will get easier. So if you are searching for one perfect pitching... more
Attempts at health care reform in the United States go back over a century. If you wanted to find just one politician and one journalist who are well versed in both the history of those reform efforts, as well as what might be needed moving forward, you would be hard pressed to do better than Dave Durenberger and Trudy Lieberman. Durenberger was a... more
Mary Chris Jaklevic writes that the term "controversial" and its cousins "contentious" and "hotly debated," which journalists sometimes use almost reflexively, should be banned from science and medical reporting: "Calling something 'controversial' in a headline or lead doesn’t just turn science into clickbait — it’s also potentially harmful,... more
A study published last week suggests that false-positive mammogram results take a psychological toll on the women who receive them. In fact, the effects may be so distressing that some women may wait longer before getting their next mammogram, the researchers say. Here’s the CBS coverage from a local Chicago affiliate: The study of more than 250,... more
Jane C. Hu presents the results of The Open Notebook's survey on pitching habits of men and women: "Our results show that men and women in many ways pitch similarly — but when men push back against a rejection, they are more likely than women to do so by proposing an alternative angle. Our data also suggest that pushing back after a pitch has been... more
NASW is sponsoring a regional workshop for PIOs in Seattle on April 28, 2017. Organized by the Northwest Science Writers Association, the workshop will feature sessions on social media, visual communication, working with scientists and science journals, and more. Registration is open now. Register early for a $25 discount. Article type: ... more
Two-thirds of science journalism students and 61 percent of National Association for Science Writing (NASW) members are women. Yet men have more jobs in newspaper newsrooms, more bylines in the top 10 newspapers, and, as last year’s Science Byline Counting Project found, more feature bylines in the most prestigious print magazines. Men are... more
Can cancer screening be harmful? Among those of us who read or write about screening for our jobs, it’s an easy, emphatic answer: Yes of course it carries potential harms–just like any medical intervention. Yet, the notion that screening might have negative effects isn’t something that the general public hears very often. Instead, we’... more
People who see a news story online often can't recall where they saw it. One in 10 thinks Facebook is a news media outlet. Those were two of the findings from a Pew Research Center survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults and their online reading habits. Also, "nearly two-thirds (65%) of online news consumers had one preferred pathway for getting... more
The author of Silent Spring was a government biologist when she was asked to produce a brochure for the federal Fisheries Bureau, Maria Popova writes: "When she turned in something infinitely more poetic than her supervisor had envisioned, he asked her to rewrite the brochure but encouraged her to submit the piece as an essay for the Atlantic... more