Science Journalism Master Classes

Wherever you are in your career—novice, developing, or established—The Open Notebook’s Science Journalism Master Classes will help you sharpen your ability to find and vet story ideas, craft effective pitches, report and write impactful stories, collaborate with editors, and more. Each Science Journalism Master Class drills into one skill or habit, presented in a series of five to eight lessons, delivered by email. You’ll have daily (brief) homework assignments, and at the end of each course, you’ll come away with greater mastery of your craft. And our Science Journalism Master Classes are free, thanks to a generous grant from The Kavli Foundation. You can sign up for our courses at any time and get started immediately—there’s no set start date. You’ll receive a welcome email immediately, and lessons will be delivered starting the next weekday, continuing until the course concludes.

Since 2010, The Open Notebook has published hundreds of articles, and a book, on the craft of science writing. Our mission is to offer practical, principled, craft-focused guidance for science writers at all levels of experience, anywhere in the world. For our Master Classes series, we’ve teamed up with Emily Laber-Warren, who heads the Health & Science Reporting program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. Emily’s lessons draw not only on her classroom experience but on insights from the  many science journalists who have shared their work processes with The Open Notebook over the years through articles on craft, writer interviews, annotations of notable stories, and our “Ask TON” advice column.

 


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(If after signing up for a course you don’t see a welcome email within a few minutes, check your spam/junk/trash folder and, if you use Gmail, your promotions tab. If that doesn’t work, please email Siri Carpenter at siricarpenter@theopennotebook.com and we’ll get you set up.)

 

How to Find an Angle for Any Science Story

Angles are the secret sauce of journalism. Identifying them can be tricky even for the most experienced science reporters. Each day during this free six-day course, we present a concrete, achievable strategy for identifying, sharpening, and vetting story angles. By the end of the course, you will have delved into a topic that interests you in a variety of ways calculated to pinpoint a novel, pitchable angle. Students can expect to spend about 30-60 minutes per day on this six-day course, including time spent doing the daily homework.

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How to Pitch Science Stories That Sell

Ideas are a science journalist’s currency. And the pitch is the vehicle for those ideas. In this course, you’ll learn the seven key component of a pitch, how much reporting you need to do up front, how to identify the right publication for your story and tailor your pitch accordingly, how to communicate with an editor, and what to do when a pitch gets rejected. To get the most out of this class, you should already have a story idea that you’re ready to pitch. (If you’re still working on that, you might consider starting with the course listed just above, “How to Find an Angle for Any Science Story.”) By the end of the course, you will have developed a solid pitch that’s ready to send to an editor. Students can expect to spend about 30-60 minutes per day on this eight-day course, including time spent doing the daily homework.

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How to Spot Scientific Hype and Misinformation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science Journalism Master Classes logo and course images by Marina Muun.

 

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