ABSW launches new award for local and regional journalism
Journalists reporting for local and regional media in any format anywhere in the UK or Ireland are now eligible for a £1,000 prize from the Association of British Science Writers.
The ABSW realises that local and regional press are facing difficult times, and has launched the new award to reward excellence and independence in reporting on local or regional issues in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
The award will recognise the work of a journalist covering STEM subjects in a local or regional outlet. This could be news or features, in print, online or broadcast media but the item must clearly be aimed at a local or regional audience. Submissions are limited to one per person.
ABSW Lifetime Achievement Award now open for nominations
Do you know a senior science journalist who deserves to be recognized for outstanding work over decades of work?
Consider nominating them for ABSW Lifetime Achievement Award, which is made to an individual nearing the end of their career, or who is retired (the Award may also be made posthumously).
The Award celebrates the work of a journalist or writer whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting excellence and creativity in science journalism/science writing.
The recipient is recognised for entertaining and informing audiences, and/or for inspiring new generations of journalists and writers, and/or for making a lasting impact in their main area of expertise.
Previous winners include: Steve Connor (The Independent), Andy Coghlan (New Scientist), Deborah Cohen (BBC Radio), Dick Ahlstrom (The Irish Times), David Dickson (SciDev.Net), Fred Pearce (freelancer), Geoff Watts (freelancer), Dr John Gribbin (author and freelancer), Sir David Attenborough (BBC Television), Tim Radford (The Guardian).
This Award is not made by self-entry but by nomination of an individual to the ABSW Executive. Nominations are requested from ABSW members and should include a statement outlining why the individual meets the criteria above.
The ABSW Executive Board receives nominations and makes a final decision on who should receive the Award.
Press cards now available for ABSW members — get them here
ABSW members can now apply for an official two-year press card, accredited and recognized by the UK press card authority, at a cost of only £35.
To apply, you need to be an ABSW member and meet the criteria laid down by the UK Press Card Authority.
Sharing the Values of Journalism with Science Communicators
Increasingly, the public is getting its science news and perspective directly from the source: scientists and engineers.
This Kavli Symposium explored the benefits—and challenges—of scientists and engineers bypassing traditional media outlets to tell their stories, thus becoming unfiltered sources of news and perspective. In particular, it focused on how the values of journalism—values that build trust between the media and the public—can be more fully shared with the growing body of scientist-communicators who are reaching their audiences directly, often through blogs and social media.
ABSW chairman, Mico Tatalovic, was invited to participate in the symposium. Here’s the final report.
Participate in research re changes in reporting of health, environmental and science risks in the UK press over the past 30 years
“Frankenfoods could kill you”, “MMR linked to autism” and “mobile phones will fry your brain”. This is but a small sample of science based health stories that broke across the national news media in the late 90’s / early 00’s. With hindsight, such stories may have been based upon questionable scientific evidence.
In 2000, a House of Lords science and technology committee concluded that there was a need to improve the communication of science, risk and uncertainty across all spheres of public life. Several recommendations of this report sought to improve the manner in which “science” communicated with journalists – such as the establishment of institutions such as the Science Media Centre to act as a liaison between the world of science and the world of journalism. Other recommendations were aimed towards modulating how journalists constructed their science based news stories in that efforts should be made to mitigate uncertainty and develop a “responsible” approach risk within news stories.
The Steve Connor Award for Investigative Journalism
When Steve Connor passed away, tributes to his journalism came flooding in and rightly so. He was, in my view, the greatest science journalist of his generation. I am therefore so pleased that ABSW Board has chosen to honour Steve by naming its award for investigative journalism after him.
The investigation award is one of the most prestigious prizes in science journalism. It is there to reward those that don’t take the information they are given at face value, that can ‘smell’ a story, that can chase it down, stand it up and, crucially, set right wrongdoing.
So many nice things were said by Steve by those who were fortunate enough to work with him. But one I thought was particularly insightful was by his former editor at the i newspaper, Ollie Duff.