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Science Journalism

Science Journalism

Science Journalism

What is Science Journalism?

Though science journalism in India began in the 19th century, not till the recent times it has gained much of the popularity it deserves. Owing to immeasurable advancements in the fields of science and technology that are happening currently, coverage of scientific news in the newspapers and magazines has considerably increased, yet mostly confined to inside pages. This scenario emphasizes the need for proper science journalism to popularize science and create a scientific temper among the public.

In its traditional sense, science journalism refers to communicating scientific news whereas medical journalism refers to reporting health related news and stories to public. These two branches of medical communication act as typical interfaces between scientists, journalists and the public. It is noteworthy that more than a detailed knowledge of science, it is the aptitude of the science journalists to understand, interpret and communicate science that makes the science journalism more accurate and clear. It is often the lack of this trait that makes them vulnerable to criticism for misinterpreting and reporting health related stories. However, some misinterpretation would take place as a result of bias, inaccuracies in report and lack of proper collaborations between scientific community and journalists.

It is necessary for a science journalist to carry out some degree of investigative journalism to simplify jargon-laden descriptions of scientists and healthcare professionals, carefully analyse and interpret all the data of a research and reveal the undisclosed limitations and flaws to the intended audience in order to convey them the ideas driving the research.

How to Make a Career in Science Journalism?

There are some of the famous science journalists who were blessed with an innate ability to report health news. On the other hand, there are some who begin their careers as either a scientist or healthcare professional or a journalist and eventually transit to become a science journalist. Thus, there is no specific designated pathway to pursue the career but of course, there are certain ways to get started. What so ever may be the way chosen to become one, it is the ability and passion for science writing that will be looked for by the employers. Even in the era of the internet, newspapers remain a potential job market for science journalists. Websites, television and radio are the avenues that are worth exploring further. A large population of science journalists also work as freelancers outside their salaried jobs.

Online courses in Medical Communication and Journalism at James Lind Institute

Currently, in most of the countries, there are an increasing number of courses being offered in this field. James Lind Institute offers online courses in the field of medical communication and journalism to open up new avenues for a bright career of aspirants. Since different organizations have different specifications with regard to hiring science journalists, the curriculum for the programs available in this category are highly customized to meet the needs of the dynamic industry. The programs include:

Professional Diploma in Medical Journalism

Advanced PG Diploma in Scientific writing and Medical Journalism

These programs are self-paced and been designed by industry experts to impart focussed and high end writing and analytical skills required to communicate health related information to intended audiences. They are suitable for fresh graduates as well as working professionals with a degree in bioscience/life sciences, MBBS, BDS, BPT, PharmD, B.Pharm, M.Pharm,  BAMS, BHMS, BUMS etc, pharmaceutical sciences, biostatistics, bioinformatics, chemistry, nursing and allied sciences, English language, mass communication and mainstream journalism. Nevertheless, these courses are also applicable to candidates without any science background or candidates with work experience in writing/ clinical research/ allied areas.

Technologically advanced e-campus of JLI acts as a contemporary substitute to standard classroom programs. In addition, JLI offers personalized classroom activities through an Online Campus Tutoring Centre, mock drills, tutoring and freelancing opportunities.

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