Brain Hacks: Neuroscience is the ‘hardest of the hard’

Some of the science writers who descended on the Royal Society to attend the UKCSJ would say that science is a special case in journalism; that because of the complexities of the subject matter, ‘rules,’ like not showing copy to sources, can – and perhaps should – be broken. But not all science is equal, and the session on neuroscience, Brain Hacks, concluded that if science is tricky to report on, neuroscience is downright difficult.

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Science does not punch its weight in the newsroom

Is science punching its weight in the newsroom? As Kenny Campbell said, “If the answer was yes, we’d all spend the next hour hugging and swapping tales of success”. This debate was centred around why science is not getting the coverage it deserves, and how this can be remedied.

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How I did that

The days when journalists referred to their little black book of sources for stories are history.

Now, thanks to the internet and the spread of social media, anyone can be a source (or a journalist!), and great stories can come from anywhere in the world via the web. But there are over 150 million blogs, and more than 250 million tweets a day. How do we sift through these piles of information and identify stories in real time as they break? Once we have identified useful information, how do we then manage it and compile it in an efficient way into (award-winning) pieces of journalism?

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