This practical guide is for journalists and editors passionate about development issues, who see the value of publishing stories based on development research findings. It will also be of interest to communications staff in universities, think tanks, or civil society organisations responsible for promoting research findings. Although there are many advocates of communicating research through the media, there are few practical guides on how to do it well.
Research findings can provide journalists with news stories, news ‘pegs’, background information, statistics, case studies and expert sources. But research papers are often written in an inaccessible style and poorly promoted.
The Relay programme in Panos London produced a series of news features (the Relay Research Spotlight) in 2010 based on international development research findings. Based on this experience, this guide explains how research findings can be used in articles and offers suggestions for writing successful copy. It also explains some common pitfalls and suggests how to avoid them.
This how-to guide is divided into five sections:
■ Using research in your articles
■ Finding and interpreting research
■ Interviewing researchers
■ Writing news articles using research findings
■ Top 10 tips for successful articles