The various debates organized by the Esteve Foundation between scientists and journalists always highlighted one weakness in science journalism: lack of communication between both parties. The range of specialized courses in science for journalists is extensive, however, we cannot say that the reverse is true. Medical personnel from both the field of research and the care remain mostly in the dark regarding the functioning of the media.
On the 16th and 17th November 2011, The Esteve Foundation, RTVE Institute and Indagando TV launched a new course aimed at scientists interested in getting to know the main elements of journalistic work. The course The scientist before the media gave scientists the opportunity to get closer to the dynamic work of journalists and learn the keys to their performance, from the rhythm of the broadcast to the technical components, to the various types of broadcasts that can be made and how to prepare. It looked at the tools that can help the scientist better control the situation and establish a relationship with the journalist to improve collaboration to get the news to the public.
The course was run at the RTVE Institute’s facilities in Madrid, which are usually used for audiovisual training of professionals in public broadcasting. For two days, the participants got to know a real TV set and a radio studio and learned how information is handled in an audiovisual medium. In addition to practical exercises in radio and television, the course also explored other areas such as corporate communication (indispensable today in any scientific institution), and reporting and disclosure on the Internet.
Five media professionals, both from RTVE and other media organizations, showed participants from the scientific community the keys to their work as journalists. Graziella Almendral, director of the popular science channel Indagando TV explained the foundations of television news, while América Valenzuela, from RNE, focused on the peculiarities of radio language.
Marc de Semir, director of communication and international relations at Hospital Clínic Barcelona since 2001, spoke to the participants on the various facets of corporate communication. Meanwhile, Ana Montserrat Rosell, director of the popular science program tres14 on La 2, shared her expertise on documentaries and reportage. Finally, Esperanza Garcia Molina, the coordinator of Scientific News and Information Service (SINC), dealt with scientific content on the Internet and interactive media.
The course concluded with an open public debate entitled Do Scientists and Journalists share the same interests?, with the participation of Paul King, the producer of the BBC’s Bang Goes the Theory, Lorenzo Pinna, editor of scientific content at RAI, and Manuel Toharia, scientific director of the Valencia Science Museum. Manuel Seara, director of RNE’s program A hombros de gigantes (On the shoulders of Giants) chaired the debate.