This post was originally published on this site
This article is part of our ongoing series, Changing Weather, focused on innovations in local weather coverage. This is the second of two reports highlighting free resources designed to help your newsroom bring the climate change story home to your viewers.
Matchmaking in the 21st century is not just for dating or job searching. Why not match journalists with expert sources?
“A lot of issues that are important to communities, whether it’s pollution from a local manufacturing plant, or extreme weather as it’s linked to climate change, are now being covered by reporters who don’t have a background in science, health or the environment,” said Becky Hazen, Associate Director for SciLine, a nonprofit service connecting journalists and scientists. And not surprisingly, SciLine saw a huge surge in the number of requests during the pandemic. “Suddenly every local reporter in America became a science reporter or a health reporter,” said Hazen. “Sometimes, finding a credible source is really tough. If you’re not a science reporter you don’t know who to call.”
That’s where SciLine steps in, matching any journalist who is looking for a scientist for an upcoming story with an expert from its extensive database of 23,000 researchers. For TV journalists specifically, SciLine also coordinates broadcast quality, one-on-one interviews with experts, adding scientific context to current topics in the news.
“We have an in-house team of Ph.D. and master’s level scientists who will actually do the research to find the exact right expert who’s perfectly matched to the reporter’s