D2) Not Dead Yet: How Science Journalism is Evolving at Traditional News Organizations

Saturday, October 27th, 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm
Room 301B
Elizabeth Pennisi
Kate Travis
Philip Hilts
Ron Winslow
Peggy Girshman
Peggy Girshman

In a time when many are (justifiably, perhaps) wringing their hands about the death of traditional journalism and celebrate new forms of journalism such as via tweet, Facebook or edgy blogs, the American public still derives most of its news from mainstream news organizations. Daily print newspapers are still supporting their online other-halves. Broadcast television and radio news - local or national - are still the main ways people get their news and they are of vital importance to communities and to the country. NPR, for example, has over 25 million listeners to its newsmagazines every week, and its still growing, as are many of its member stations. And while many news organizations have shed all or most of their science/health staffs, there are still people out there, covering stories in the original mass media. This panel will feature 3-4 journalists from mainstream news organizations who will address the following issues: 1. what are you covering? how? and how do you define your beat? 2. Is your organization still hiring science/health journalists (the answer is yes, in at least some places). What skills are being sought? 3. How has the definition of "news" changed in your organization? 4. As staffs have largely shrunk, who at your organization - other than science journalists - is covering science/health topics? How are they prepared for this and what is your role?