In March and April of 2019, CSCH sponsored a two-part workshop series called Telling Your Story: Tips from Journalists to Bring Your Research to the Public.
Attended by over 25 people from across schools and colleges at UConn, the first session offered perspectives from journalists on how to write for the public about your research. Organized and moderated by Marie Shanahan, Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism, panelists included Lynne Delucia, Editor at the Connecticut Health Investigative Team (C-HIT); Theresa Sullivan Barger, journalist and freelance writer; and Carolyn Lumsden, Pulliam Fellow and former Opinion Editor at The Hartford Courant. The panelists shared advice not only on how to pitch a story, but also how to target specific audiences and use social media as part of the process of audience engagement. Alysse Loomis, CSCH affiliate and doctoral candidate in the School of Social Work, noted “it was really helpful to hear dos and don’ts for getting research published in an op-ed or other source, highlighting different venues to consider and helping us to think about where our work would best be situated.”
The second session consisted of a writing workshop, which was offered a few weeks later to a smaller group of CSCH affiliates. Participants submitted their written pieces in advance, and received constructive feedback from journalists and from their peers. “It gave us a chance to practice what we learned in the first round and then get very tailored recommendations,” said Loomis. “The feedback from editors was immensely important,” said Carol Polifroni, CSCH Co-director and workshop participant. “They pushed us to not be afraid to try a different voice, and be action-oriented when describing implications of our work.”
The event was cosponsored by the Neag School of Education, the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP), and the Department of Journalism.