Science journalism: take this free online course in Portuguese to learn how to improve your coverage of the pandemic, the climate crisis and more

Science is present in every corner of our lives – which is made even more evident today with crises like the pandemic and climate change. Journalists, on the other hand, cannot afford to ignore the basics and more nuanced aspects of science coverage.

That’s why the Knight Center and the Brazilian Serrapilheira Institute are teaming up to offer a free online course in Portuguese, “Science journalism: from the pandemic to the climate crisis, how to improve scientific coverage”.

Registration is open for the massive open online course (MOOC), which runs from October 11 to November 7, 2021. During the four-week course, the instructor, Brazilian science journalist Thiago Medaglia, will cover the environment , health, and other science-related topics, teaching fundamental skills that will help journalists and editors improve their work when reporting on science issues. The course is open to journalists, professors and students of journalism, or anyone interested in the intersection of media and science.

Click here for more course information and instructions on how to enroll!

“If anything, the pandemic has made it very clear that science is present in our daily lives, and deepening your knowledge and understanding of science will be an essential step for any journalist in the coming decades,” Medaglia said.

“A very clear argument to support this claim is the climate emergency, which has evolved from a niche topic to a broad pressing issue present at all levels, from politics to economics, from urban topics to environmental coverage. in remote locations. Having an introductory knowledge of science, which this course provides, will allow journalists to avoid basic mistakes and also malicious pitfalls, thereby improving the quality of your work,” Medaglia said.

The course will be divided into four weekly modules:

  1. Introduction to Science Journalismincluding basic terminology, fundamental concepts, best practices and reading a scientific paper
  2. Trust in science, including examining how it works, identifying sources and experts, and acknowledging scientific denial
  3. Coverage of the environmental and climate crisis, with a particular focus on the Amazon rainforest, COVID-19 and climate change
  4. Intersection of data journalism and science journalism, including simplifying complex topics and making science content accessible and engaging

“The course is an introduction and offers tools and knowledge that will have a direct impact on the work of journalists covering various subjects,” Medaglia said. Professionals covering all rhythms are invited to register!

Medaglia will teach the course using video instructions, readings, exercises, quizzes and discussion forums.

There will also be visits from guest speakers. “They are all professionals who share certain aspects that I consider essential: they are all experienced, restless, up-to-date and open to sharing,” Medaglia said.

Like all Knight Center MOOCs, the course is asynchronous, which means students can complete course activities on days and times that best suit their schedule. However, there are recommended deadlines so that participants do not fall behind.

Those who successfully complete the course requirements will be eligible to receive a certificate of completion upon review by the Knight Center team. For this MOOC, the usual fee of 30 USD will be waived. As with other Knight Center online courses, there is no official academic credit associated with the certificate.

Medaglia is a Brazilian science journalist, writer, and founder of Ambiental Media, a local news initiative turning science into compelling and accessible journalism. He is a former editor of the environmental news sites Mongabay and, as well as National Geographic Brasil, where he still contributes to the editorial staff. He is a former member of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the Knight Science Journalism Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in the Department of History of Science at Harvard University.

“We are grateful to the Serrapilheira Institute for their support in carrying out this program and to Thiago Medaglia for his dedication to preparing, together with the Knight Center team, a fantastic course”, said Professor Rosental Calmon Alves, Founder and director of the Knight Center. . “Science journalism has never been more important. Training journalists to report on science has never been more necessary.

So join Medaglia and improve your knowledge of science and science journalism to better cover the world around you and the great stories of our lives! Register today!

Center Knight

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin offers top-level training, resources, news, and information to journalists around the world. The center was established in 2002 at the School of Journalism and Media at Moody College of Communication by Professor Rosental Alves, Knight Chair in Journalism and UNESCO Chair in Communication. Its journalism course program has reached more than 250,000 students since launching its massive online course program in 2012.

Serrapilheira Institute

The Serrapilheira Institute is the first private non-profit institution focused on the promotion of science in Brazil. It was founded to give more value to scientific knowledge and to increase the visibility of science. The idea is to stimulate a culture of science by acting in two areas: science itself and science popularization.