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Responding to media layoffs, NASW debuts “Science Writers Roundtable” series with three webinars offering career support

Spurred in part by seismic and painful shifts in the journalism industry landscape, the National Association of Science Writers is organizing a new professional events series. Curated by the NASW Board of Directors, the annual Science Writers Roundtable series will be the organization’s main virtual events series dissecting and responding to forces that shape the business of science news.

For its opening run, NASW will host three SciWriRoundtable webinars during May and June 2023. These panel discussions will focus on the urgent need to help professional journalists and writers navigate unplanned transitions in their career and craft.

“I’m delighted to announce our new Science Writers Roundtable series, which aims to address both emerging trends and evergreen issues in science writing,” says Cassandra Willyard, freelance science journalist and NASW Board President. “ With all the layoffs this year and the looming threat of a recession, many of us are thinking about transitions and new directions. We hope to support colleagues who are navigating these career challenges.”

Open and free to all interested professionals and students, each #SciWriRoundtable event will be moderated by an NASW board member in conversation among panelists with experience and expertise relevant to journalists, writers, institutional communicators, and others in the science news industry. Video recordings of each session will be made available to current NASW members.

“Now, as always, science writers are stronger together,” Willyard says. “No matter your role and identity within science writing, we hope you will take away invaluable insights and information from our SciWriRoundtable to become a more prepared, better equipped professional, educator, trainee, leader, or ally.”

All events will be held at 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT, with panelist details announced ahead of each webinar.

Science Writers Roundtable: Diverse Options for Career Pivots
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
| Event Details | Event Recording (member login required)

Science writing contains multitudes — and journalists standing at career crossroads have a wealth of opportunities to explore. Join us for a panel showcasing some of the options available within science writing for professionals looking to export their reporting and storytelling skillsets. Among other things, panelists will offer an overview of several kinds of science writing positions, what those positions entail, and offer advice on looking for gigs in those spaces.

Science Writers Roundtable: Getting Back on the Job Market
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
| Event Details | Event Recording (member login required)

To land a new job or client, you have to be able to sell yourself. This session is for anyone who needs to refresh their resume, interview skills, or online image. Job-search expert Ashley Cash will talk resumes, interview tips and salary negotiation, and social media pro Merlisa Lawrence Corbett will prepare you to refresh your online presence. This session will be full of tips and tricks to help you shine — and will include lots of time for Q&A — but it’s also intended to be a morale-booster that gives those who attend the opportunity to reflect on all the amazing work they’ve done so far and plan for the future they want.

Science Writers Roundtable: Self-Care Through Tough Transitions
Thursday, June 15, 2023
| Event Details | Event Recording (member login required)

In this era of mass journalism layoffs, mental health and self care can be a challenge even for those who retain their jobs. During this session, participants will gain practical advice from a happiness scholar on how to support yourself through tough transitions. We’ll learn from the experiences of colleagues who have faced layoffs — and emerged successfully on the other side as staff writers in new positions or as fledgling freelancers.

Find past and upcoming NASW events at www.nasw.org/events. Members can access recordings via https://www.nasw.org/events/nasw-science-writers-virtual-events-video-recording-archive-2023-members-only

The NASW Board of Directors is an all-volunteer, member-elected body charged with governing the National Association of Science Writers, Inc., a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. NASW board members are journalists, public information officers, and other media professionals whose work has appeared in major news publications and research institutions across the United States and beyond. Meet the current NASW Board members at www.nasw.org/nasw-officers-executive-board-and-key-people

Founded in 1934 with a mission to fight for the free flow of science news, NASW is an organization of ~ 2,500 professional journalists, authors, editors, producers, public information officers, students and people who write and produce material intended to inform the public about science, health, engineering, and technology. To learn more, visit www.nasw.org

May 10, 2023