Let's get rid of what still remains a myth – scientists and journalists are not opposing forces, they are on the same side. Scientists want to make their research and findings available to the widest possible audience. And journalists want stories that their readers, listeners and viewers will find interesting and engaging. Journalists are not multi-headed beasts out to trap you, trivialise your story and/or make things up. Their only currency is ‘a story’ and you are the one with the story. So, joint mutual working is the order of the day. But to do that it is incumbent on us, the sciency end of the equation, to learn and understand a little of the world of the media.
The media today comes in a myriad of forms. We still have all the traditional types: newspapers; radio; and television – at all levels – international, national, regional and local. Magazines, from the generic to the out-and-out esoteric, published weekly or monthly. It is said that if you can think of any human (or in-human) activity then there is a magazine for it – from apple-growing to astrology, from philately to picture restoring to physics, and from yachting to yoghurt – all ‘life’ is here.