A story by an Indiana University student contains lessons that established writers would do well to remember, Kristen Hare writes for Poynter. Jessica Contrera saw a sign in a Waffle House announcing its imminent closure, and turned it into a story about the lives of some of its longtime customers, its owner, and the community around it: “Those little details that some people would just call color?” Contrera said. “Those are what make people connect with it.”
Astronomers studying data from the Kepler spacecraft now estimate there may be four billion Earth-like planets just in our Milky Way galaxy, Tabitha M. Powledge writes in her science blogs roundup. But how many of those planets have what we would consider intelligent life, and why haven't we heard anything from them? Also, a guest post by Beryl Benderly on a panel discussion on women in science writing at last weekend's ScienceWriters annual meeting.
The National Association of Science Writers (NASW) is once again sponsoring travel fellowships for undergraduate students interested in science journalism, to attend the upcoming American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Chicago. As many as 10 students will receive $500 to $1,000 in travel expense reimbursement for attending AAAS, which will be held Feb. 13-17, 2014.
Why Popular Science shut down comments on its web site; making the most of the NASW internship fair at AAAS; recapping the NASW-supported Cross-Border
Science Journalism Workshop; Ivan Oransky's advice on embargoes; reports from the 8th World Conference of Science Journalists in Helsinki; end-of-the-year tax tips from Julian Block; plus book reviews, news from NASW's president, executive director and cybrarian, and other features. Full text visible to NASW members only.
The first conference reports from travel fellowship winners at ScienceWriters2013 have now been posted on our past events page. Sessions covered so far include "Online and offline tools for mastering your workflow," and "Rising above the noise: Using statistics-based reporting." We'll have more reports and videos in coming days. Also, if you have photos to donate (with credit) to our online albums, please send them to email@example.com.
When in doubt, get permission. That's the essence of a CJR post by Sarah Laskow, who covered a session on the subject at the recent Online News Association conference. Attendees heard from two attorneys who outlined what's covered by fair use, and what's uncertain about it: "Copyright law wasn’t designed only to help creators make money; fair use provisions help guarantee that other people can criticize, teach, or transform existing work. But it’s not a fail-safe."