|Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Section
DOE Human Genome Program Contractor-Grantee
134. SoundVision Science Literacy Project
Barinetta Scott and Jude Thilman
SoundVision Productions; 2991 Shattuck Ave.,
Ste. 304; Berkeley, CA 94705; 510/486-1185, Fax: 510/486-1287
SoundVision Productions held its first week-long intensive science literacy training workshop for public radio reporters and producers. The pilot workshop was held at KQED in San Francisco in October, 1999. Ten reporters/producers came from around the country to attend 15 sessions led by scientists from fields ranging from genetics to physics and statistics, as well as exceptionally creative radio producers. The training built on its award-winning public radio documentary series, The DNA Files, which consisted of nine one-hour documentaries broadcast in late 1998 and early 1999. As a result, much of the session content centered on genetics and the Human Genome Project.
This workshop targeted public radio reporters and producers who have specific needs that differ from those of print journalists and television reporters. The workshop was designed around three tracks 1) introduce basic science concepts that form the backdrop for the majority of science and technology stories prominent in the media today as well as provide the tools with which to evaluate developments within the science arena; 2) offer training in science journalism which requires the use of unique research tools for reporting science in a clear and comprehensible, as well as accurate way; and 3) explore techniques for honing the craft of radio writing and production specifically for science stories, which can be especially complex.
An evaluation of the effectiveness of this pilot workshop was conducted two months after its conclusion. Evaluators found that participants both retained a good deal of the information and found it useful in their work. SoundVision's plans for this pilot to be the first in a series of workshops that will bring together scientists and science educators with public radio news and information producers to create a venue for information sharing. The goal of this initiative is to improve the overall news coverage of science issues currently offered to the public radio audience.
*Supported by ELSI grant DE-FG03-99ER62782 from the Office of Health and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy.
|The online presentation of this publication is a special feature of the Human Genome Project Information Web site.|