Seasonal Science Stories: Using the Calendar as Your News Hook

Detail from poster for "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" (1964). Artist unknown. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons. Click on image to link to full poster.
Detail from poster for “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” (1964). Artist unknown. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons. Click on image to link to full poster.

Reporters and bloggers write in a variety of styles for a variety of audiences, but one of the things that every blog post or news item needs to do is explain to readers why the writer is telling this story now. What’s the news hook? Continue reading “Seasonal Science Stories: Using the Calendar as Your News Hook”

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Science Blogging and Citations

Photo credit: North Carolina State University
Photo credit: North Carolina State University

Paige Brown Jarreau, author of the SciLogs blog From The Lab Bench, recently wrote a lengthy post on the science of science blogging. The post included a lengthy list of related journal articles, and one of them caught my eye: “Do blog citations correlate with a higher number of future citations?” With Paige’s blessing, I decided to unpack that particular paper a bit. Continue reading “Science Blogging and Citations”

Science Blogging for Institutions: Your Virtual Roundup of the ScienceWriters2014 #OrgBlog Session

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Rachel Ewing, a science and health news officer at Drexel University. Ewing is the organizer and moderator of a session called “Science Blogging for Institutions: How to Make Your #OrgBlog the Best it Can Be” at the National Association of Science Writers annual conference. Continue reading “Science Blogging for Institutions: Your Virtual Roundup of the ScienceWriters2014 #OrgBlog Session”

Readable, Accurate and Engaging: an Interview with Terry Devitt

Image courtesy of The Why Files.
Image courtesy of The Why Files.

Off the top of my head, I can list dozens of websites that offer readers science news. But in 1996, there were very few websites devoted exclusively to sharing high-quality science writing. One of the first sites to step into that niche was The Why Files, and it’s still cranking out stories almost two decades later. Continue reading “Readable, Accurate and Engaging: an Interview with Terry Devitt”

Choosing Between Blog Posts and News Releases

LEFT: Greenhouse camel cricket (Diestrammena asynamora). Photo credit: Lauren Nichols, YourWildlife.org. RIGHT: Demodex folliculorum. Image credit: USDA, Confocal and Electron Microscopy Unit.
LEFT: Greenhouse camel cricket (Diestrammena asynamora). Photo credit: Lauren Nichols, YourWildlife.org. RIGHT: Demodex folliculorum. Image credit: USDA, Confocal and Electron Microscopy Unit.

In my day job, I’m a public information officer (PIO) at NC State University. Part of my job is to pitch research stories to reporters, and two of the tools I use when pitching stories are blog posts and news releases. This post discusses two examples that shed some light on how I decide which tool to use. Continue reading “Choosing Between Blog Posts and News Releases”

Institutional Blogging: Do You Really Want To Do This?

So you want to start a blog... (Photo credit: Osorio family album, via Wikimedia commons.)
So you want to start a blog… (Photo credit: Osorio family album, via Wikimedia commons.)

Someone where you work (maybe it’s you), says: “Maybe we should start a blog.” Why not? Lots of people have blogs, and some of them are really popular. So maybe your office should start a blog about all of the stuff going on at your university, research lab, department, or whatever. After all, you’re doing stuff that’s really cool and you want people to know about it. Continue reading “Institutional Blogging: Do You Really Want To Do This?”