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Journalists and scientists collaborate on major reporting projects

In partnership with Australian Science Media Centre

Image: Dan Gold/Unsplash

Image: Dan Gold/Unsplash

The Institute and the Australian Science Media Centre are working with media organisations on collaborative projects, connecting journalists and scientists, to improve the quality of reporting on issues of national importance, including climate change and chronic pain.

JNI Executive Director Mark Ryan said the initiatives are helping journalists work with subject matter experts to produce compelling, but most importantly, fact-based reporting.

“It’s a great example of how collaborative journalism can be applied to complex issues and share knowledge across the community,” he said.

Time Is Now

In the first collaboration, with News.com.au, scientists have worked with reporters to explore how climate change affects Australians’ way of life, debunk myths around climate change and bushfires, and what people can do to make a difference.

News.com.au editor-in-chief Kate de Brito said: “We began working with the Australian Science Media Centre in early December and we are grateful to them and the Judith Neilson Institute  for their support in accessing the skills and knowledge of scientists and researchers who work in this area.”

Take a look at some of the reporting from the ‘Time Is Now’ series.

The Green Recovery

In the second collaboration, Guardian Australia is examining how Australia can emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with the environment as well as the economy in mind.

“The pandemic has devastated our economy but also presents a unique opportunity to invest in climate action,” said Lenore Taylor, editor of Guardian Australia.

“The potential for clean jobs and technology to stimulate the economy is an idea not just advanced by climate activists, but by banks, energy companies and major investors. The Guardian is committed to fully exploring it in its Green Recovery series.”

The science of pain

The third collaboration sees scientists team up with journalists at Nine Digital to take an in-depth look at pain. Over five weeks, the series will explore chronic pain, endometriosis, back pain, migraine, and sleep and pain.

Nine Digital Editorial Director Kerri Elstub said the personal impacts of pain is an issue that resonates with audiences.

“By speaking with patients and experts, we’re able to show both the person impacts, as well as the scientific advances when it comes to pain management,” she said.

Professor Mark Hutchinson from the University of Adelaide said it was fantastic to work with Nine to increase the public’s understanding pain.

“As experts we see a lot of new developments in our understanding of pain and how to manage it, but the hope that these developments bring often doesn’t reach the quarter of the country in chronic pain,” he said.

Green Zone

Journalists from the Adelaide Advertiser and South Australian scientists and environmental experts have come together to identify what makes a ‘green city’.

“It’s great to work with the Australian Science Media Centre on an issue of such significant community importance — one of the defining issues of our time,” said Adelaide Advertiser Chief Editor Matt Deighton.

“Climate and the environment are at the forefront of thinking for many South Australians and we hope this campaign will help explain key issues and engage our community on this increasingly significant topic, particularly in the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference in November.”

Professor Chris Daniels, Chair of Green Adelaide, and Professor Bob Hill Director of the Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide are donating their time and expertise to the project, along with a range of other experts.

“This is an opportunity for us to embrace nature as part of our culture and heritage. It’s a really exciting way to think about how we build communities and how we establish Adelaide as a cooler, greener, wilder, more climate-resilient city off into the future,” said Professor Daniels.

“If we don‘t do something about vegetation in particular, in the city, then Adelaide becomes an unliveable city within 10 to 15 years. The increase in extreme heat, or days of extreme heat over the last decade is really quite frightening,” Said Professor Hill.

Australian Science Media Centre

About the project

In partnership with the Australian Science Media Centre, the Institute is funding newsroom collaborations, placing scientists alongside journalists, to provide accurate reporting of important issues.