Activity 6.1 - On the front foot

1 - Introduction

As a researcher you may want to ensure that a journalist reporting on your work will:

  • Represent it accurately
  • Avoid exaggerating the claims made by your research
  • Be true to the findings of your work
  • Contextualise the work correctly
  • Communicate key aspects and findings of the work

These are valid concerns shared by many researchers; but there is quite a lot you can do to ensure your work is reported accurately. In science reporting journalists often rely on press releases; indeed some studies - particularly in health research - have shown that the vast majority of issues such as misrepresentation can be sourced to the press release, rather than editorial intentions by media outlets. With this in mind, it is essential to identify the properties of a high quality press release. These principles can also be applied to other formats; whether it’s a blog, social media post, or short media statement.