The Internet creates new challenges for science journalism, as in other areas of information. Up to a few years ago, the interaction between sources, mediators and public followed a linear path: the production of an event, its journalistic report and finally its communication to an audience. Now, in the digital world, those three different moments often coexist in a circular framework, where the roles of event producers, intermediaries and audiences are no longer strictly defined.
On the one hand, for example, through digital and networking technologies, citizens, patients, consumers exchange and share information about science. On the other hand, scientists use the web to reach different audiences in a direct way. In both cases, scientific journalists do not appear as essential. Hence, they suffer from an identity crisis taking place also in the growing complexity of science-society relations.
In my speech, I will show that one of the key answers to the issues of information professionals in a digital world is training. For scientific journalism to remain one of the most significant methods in the definition of the public dimension of science, it is necessary to conceive teaching activities able to create new technical, cultural and relational skills.
This is the reason why we have founded, starting from 2011, the Master’s Degree in Digital Science Journalism at SISSA in Trieste, a pioneering one-year course in Italy. In my talk, I will present the structure, the courses, the goals and the logic behind the Master’s Degree. We have had to face many challenges to devise a curriculum to be really effective. The crucial points regard both practical and theoretical aspects. In my speech, I will describe how we found a solution to them.
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Training science journalists in the digital age
The experience from the master’s degree at sissa, trieste

Nico Pitrelli   Sissa - International School for Advanced Studies – Trieste – Italy

The Internet creates new challenges for science journalism, as in other areas of information. Up to a few years ago, the interaction between sources, mediators and public followed a linear path: the production of an event, its journalistic report and finally its communication to an audience. Now, in the digital world, those three different moments often coexist in a circular framework, where the roles of event producers, intermediaries and audiences are no longer strictly defined.
On the one hand, for example, through digital and networking technologies, citizens, patients, consumers exchange and share information about science. On the other hand, scientists use the web to reach different audiences in a direct way. In both cases, scientific journalists do not appear as essential. Hence, they suffer from an identity crisis taking place also in the growing complexity of science-society relations.
In my speech, I will show that one of the key answers to the issues of information professionals in a digital world is training. For scientific journalism to remain one of the most significant methods in the definition of the public dimension of science, it is necessary to conceive teaching activities able to create new technical, cultural and relational skills.
This is the reason why we have founded, starting from 2011, the Master’s Degree in Digital Science Journalism at SISSA in Trieste, a pioneering one-year course in Italy. In my talk, I will present the structure, the courses, the goals and the logic behind the Master’s Degree. We have had to face many challenges to devise a curriculum to be really effective. The crucial points regard both practical and theoretical aspects. In my speech, I will describe how we found a solution to them.

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