In vorige blogs heb ik proberen uit te leggen wat wij universitaire wetenschapsvoorlichters nou allemaal doen en waarom – in mijn ideale wereld in ieder geval -. In een mailwisseling op de NASW (National Association of Science Writers) lijst van PIO’s (Public Information Officers, zoals mijn soort mensen in de Angelsaksische landen heten) legden twee collega’s het nog wat korter en bondiger uit, twee quotes:

Rick Borchelt, Communications Director, DOE Office of Science, en gewoon allround scicomm-held: ‘When journalists or scientists or politicos hear me say I do ‘media relations’ as part of my job, they generally have a mental picture of me as the ‘reporter whisperer’, or a flak jacket (pun intended) between them and the source or reporter, or a world class schmoozer who is always chatting up reporters about inconsequential research to make them believe it’s a breakthrough.

In reality, MUCH more of my ‘media relations’ time is actually ‘media sociology’ – figuring out what different reporters want and need, but even more importantly teaching non-journalists and non-writers why scicomm is important, why science journalism is important, and why public support of research/knowledge growth is important on a larger social scale. And why they should just do the damned interview already.’


Jennifer Cox, Director, Engineering Communications, NC State University: ‘Our job is to report the research and education that is conducted at our institutions. If we don’t do that accurately or if we try to embellish to make it look more important than it is, then we ruin our reputation with reporters and undermine our institutions …’

Veel moeilijker dan dit is ‘t echt niet.

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