Media and Science

A recording of the BBB seminar held on 16 October is found here:

If you wish to get individual feedback on your podcast, please email

Further listening: here you can find examples of awesome podcasts by National Public Radio:


Science issues in the media are part of the fabric of civic life and sharing scientific data with the public in ways that benefit society and enhance decision making plays an important role today more than ever. At the same time, when the digital era provides people with better access to greater amounts of information research findings, we need to better understand various perceptions, biases, and challenges associated with clear and effective science communication. 

As analyses published by Pew Research and other institutions show, audiences’ engagement with and trust in science communication in news media vastly differ on their world views, but also on other factors such as gender, education level, and cultural background. Therefore, authors of any research-related media texts (in their wider sense) need to take into account potential effects of media coverage of their topic and try to foresee possible public reactions.

Our workshops will be held on October 9 and 16 at 12.15 introduce the concept of science communication with an emphasis on (mainstream and social) media as the instruments for participating in public discussion on science-related topics and contributing to knowledge development. According to one’s field of research, dilemmas and challenges to address in media may differ significantly, and need therefore to be presented and discussed differently. During the 90 minutes workshops, you will get and idea of:

  • How to address different audiences (youth and adults, citizens, media professionals and media consumers, etc.) within various contexts (schools, public or community events, particular media formats, etc.)?
  • How (mainstream) media work and how to make media work for you?
  • How to develop some skills and confidence in talking about research so that it has impact with media and other stakeholders?
  • What makes a good story and how to use narratives and storytelling to communicate science?
  • How to handle difficult/complex questions?

Instead of writing a popular article about your research, this workshop focuses on podcast training and how to present your topic clearly to the public via audio. The best podcasts will be released to a wider audience.

Preparing for the workshop: Please read before our meeting on October 9 a short introduction to science communication and an intro on what makes a story newsworthy and how to recognize it written by Marju Himma (PhD), researcher and previous science editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting.

  • SLIDES of the seminar, 9 October.
  • SLIDES of the seminar, 16 October.

About the lecturers:

Signe Ivask holds a PhD from the Department of Social Sciences, University of Tartu. She is currently a lecturer of journalism and a research fellow sociology of journalism at the Institute of Social Studies at the University of Tartu. Her research interests include stress and burnout of journalists, working routines in the newsroom and communication between journalists and audience. She has worked for biggest dailies in Estonia and several radio stations (e.g. Vikerraadio, Raadio2, Tõrva raadio, etc.). Right now she works as a freelance journalist.

Signe Opermann holds a PhD from the Department of Media and Communication Studies, Södertörn University, Sweden. She is a research fellow in media sociology at the University of Tartu. Her research foci include social generations, social and personal time, media use and repertoires. Her current projects focus on young people’s understanding and perceptions of news; children’s and adolescents’ digital skills and wellbeing; and socialization within the context of (deep) mediatization.

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