Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

In covering infectious disease, Nature senior reporter Amy Maxmen keeps the focus on the scientists behind new discoveries. Six years after she wrote about the Ebola outbreak that began in West Africa in 2014, Maxmen is once again writing about a viral pandemic. Here, she tells Katherine J. Wu about finding unique angles on COVID-19, how her... more
In the rush to disseminate their findings about COVID-19, scientists are increasingly posting preliminary manuscripts of their studies online before these papers are vetted for quality by their peers. Here are the steps journalists can take to decide whether and how to cover this unvetted research. The post Problems with Preprints: Covering Rough... more
Many science reporters either don’t know how to negotiate shrewdly or are afraid doing so could lead to lost opportunities. But not reading and negotiating on contracts can carry real costs. If freelance writing is your career, then honing your negotiating skills is a key to the craft. And that means understanding what terms like kill fees,... more
When reporter Taylor Quimby delved into the confusing, complicated world of Lyme disease for his documentary podcast Patient Zero, he learned a lot about what tracing a disease looked like. The goal of Quimby’s seven-part miniseries was to explore Lyme and how the medical establishment handled it, while lending sound to what has often been called... more
Tampa Bay Times reporter Lane DeGregory spent three years with a family as they waited for a medical miracle. DeGregory shares how she distilled 42 legal pads of reporting into “Lincoln’s Shot,” an eight-part series that is intimate yet comprehensive. The post Lane DeGregory Follows a Family Waiting for a Medical Miracle appeared first on The... more
Five editors who are managing their publications’ coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic share the difficulties they’re facing and the lessons they’ve learned through the experience so far, their strategies for prioritizing coverage and for balancing COVID and non-COVID stories, the role freelancers are playing in their newsrooms’ COVID coverage, and... more
Los peligros para la salud mental de cubrir la guerra, el terrorismo, la violencia y otros desastres son bien conocidos. Pero cubrir temas como enfermedades crónicas o raras, brotes de enfermedades infecciosas y crisis ambientales también puede provocar ansiedad, miedo y culpa, o incluso provocar estrés postraumático.“Si estás estableciendo un... more
These days, Science staff editor Martin Enserink is busy editing stories about COVID-19, but two years ago he was immersed in writing a feature about a Spanish doctor’s efforts in Papua New Guinea to eradicate an infectious disease called yaws. This is a scourge many people haven’t even heard of, but for those affected, it can be devastating.... more
Today, The Open Notebook is participating in #GivingTuesdayNow, also known, in our industry, as #GivingNewsday. It’s a global day of unity and giving. The post Please Help <i>TON</i> Support Science Journalism on #GivingNewsday appeared first on The Open Notebook.
Annie Jacobsen’s reporting has illuminated some of the more clandestine—and sometimes scientifically and ethically murky—research projects undertaken by the United States military and intelligence agencies. Here, she talks with Greg Miller about cultivating sources with knowledge of secretive government programs, using Freedom of Information Act... more

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