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AAAS Accepting Applications for 2009 Summer Journalism Fellowships and Internships
Two AAAS programs that provide students with the opportunity to learn how to communicate science to the public have released their 2009 applications online.
The Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellowship program seeks to improve the communication skills of student scientists by placing them as journalists during a 10-week assignment with newspapers, magazines, and television and radio stations around the country. The program is open to senior undergraduate, graduate, and post graduate students in science, engineering and mathematics. Now in its 35th year, the program has placed more than 550 fellows at sites such as the Los Angeles Times, Scientific American, National Public Radio and the Chicago Tribune.
Danielle Jacobs, a 2008 Fellow who now holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, spent last summer as an intern at KUNC public radio in Greeley, Colorado, a post that gave her many opportunities to talk to scientists at the nearby University of Northern Colorado and beyond.
"I was told by several interviewees that I was the best reporter they had ever spoken with," Jacobs says. "It's not because I could [immediately] understand the research, or because I was the best writer. It's because I could ask the correct questions, which allowed me to understand the scope, application, and importance of their research and communicate it to the public in an accurate and relevant manner."
Jacobs hopes to capitalize on her experience as a Fellow this fall as a professor of chemistry at Rider University in New Jersey and is planning to develop a curriculum in science communication.
To learn more about the fellowship, or to find an application, visit the Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellowship Web site. The deadline for applications is 15 January 2009.
A second program, begun in 2005, offers undergraduates with a serious interest in journalism the chance to learn about science writing. The Minority Science Writers Internship is aimed at attracting more minority journalists into the field. The goal is to enrich both science and journalism by broadening the scope of coverage and demonstrating the value of diversity in communicating science to the public.
The summer internship gives students a chance to work with the award-winning reporters and editors at the journal Science, based in Washington, D.C.
"My experience as a Science intern has helped me to become a much more critical thinker and researcher. Just when I think that I have covered all of the bases, there's always more information to collect or different types of people to interview to add more depth to the story," said 2008 intern Fayana Richards, a recent graduate of the University of Arizona. Richards hopes to continue to work in journalism.
Two minority interns are selected every summer. The program is open to any minority undergraduate with a serious interest in science writing; preference is given to students pursuing a degree in journalism. Students must be enrolled in an academic program at the time of their application.
To learn more, and to get an application, visit the Web page of the Minority Science Writers Internship. The deadline is 1 March 2009.
17 October 2008