The Open Notebook
Science journalism is changing, but the ability to recognize and sharpen important ideas, ask incisive questions about complex subjects, and tell accurate, compelling stories — often on shorter deadlines and with fewer reporting and editorial resources than ever before — will always be essential. The best science journalists do not merely translate the latest scientific discoveries into lay language, but provide nuanced context and critical analysis. Well-trained journalists can explain how a new finding fits into previous research, why the research matters, and where important tensions and debates lie. And they shed light on the human characters behind the findings, understanding that scientists are fallible and scientific advancement is cumulative.
Such expert synthesis and critical analysis takes thoughtfulness and skill. The Open Notebook is the only online resource dedicated to science journalism as craft.
What We Do
- In our popular Story-Behind-the-Story interviews, The Open Notebook asks science journalists to deconstruct their working process, from inception to completion. These features, edited for length and clarity, also typically include supplementary materials such as pitch letters, notes, draft excerpts, edits, and other behind-the-scenes resources that illustrate how one story evolved over time.
- Our topical features focus on specific elements of the craft of science journalism — for example, finding an effective narrative structure; taking good notes; finding and sharpening story ideas; or pitching stories well.
- The Open Notebook’s Ask TON series invites our audience to privately submit craft-related questions, which we then pose to experienced writers and editors, allowing journalists of all experience levels to tap into the expertise of their peers.
- The TON pitch database is a searchable resource containing dozens of successful feature queries to a wide range of publications. This unique tool gives science journalists the opportunity to study the first — and often the most difficult — step in producing outstanding science stories.
Part practical guidance, part writerly voyeurism, TON’s Natural Habitat series visits science writers in their working spaces — from home offices to coffee shops to hammocks — and invites them to share the accoutrements that help them do their best work.” Source: The Open Notebook
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